Tall men earn more, are more attractive and have healthier hearts
From an increase in earning potential to a greater ability to referee football matches, we round up five things that help tall people reach for the stars
Tall people don’t always appear to be delighted with their status. They grumble while folding their legs into seats on public transport, hold their back and wince when stooping to shake your hand, and frequently bash their heads to the widespread mirth of all in the room.
But as anyone who is vertically challenged will testify, being tall is an enviable quality. After all, what’s a bang on the bonce compared to the ignominy of not being able to reach the top shelf (of the kitchen cupboard, obviously)?
There’s good reason why the phrase ‘stand head and shoulders above the rest’ denotes success. As science tells us, being tall really is a convenient leg up in the great rat race of life …
Tall men make more money
Ever heard the stat about CEOs of Fortune 500 companies? According to the much-touted factoid, more than half stand at six feet tall – and a whopping 90pc are above average height.
While those figures originate from a study done way back in 1980, there’s plenty more research out there to suggest that tall men really do get ahead in business.
For example, a study published in the Spring edition of the Journal of Human Capital found that an increase in height from the 25th to 75th percentile (roughly 4-5 inches) in the Western world results in a salary increase between 9 and 15pc.
As Timothy Judge told Malcolm Gladwell in his essay Why Do We Love Tall Men, “If you take this over the course of a 30-year career and compound it, we’re talking about a tall person enjoying literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of earnings advantage.”
Interestingly, an increase in height for women does not result in such an emphatic increase in earnings.
Tall men are more attractive to women
How many couples do you know where the man is shorter than the women?
Up until recently, it was a truth universally acknowledged that men sought out shorter women, while women gravitated towards taller men.
However, a joint study conducted by researchers at Rice University and the University of North Texas last year found that men don’t particularly care about their partner’s height – whereas women definitely do.
After looking at the data from just under 1,000 Yahoo! personal dating ads, the researchers concluded that only 13pc of men were specifically searching for a shorter woman, but 49pc of women required a taller man. This figure increased to 55pc when the researchers asked the women open-ended questions related to attraction.
Tall people are more authoritative
Not only are taller men likely to earn better salaries and attract more women than shorter men, but they’re also seen as more authoritative when walking into a room of strangers – or onto a pitch of football players.
That’s according to evolutionary psychologist Gert Stulp from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, who studied referees in the French and German football leagues and the 2010 World Cup.
The taller referees, found Stulp, were assigned to high profile games, proving a positive correlation between height and perceived ability. he concluded that “taller referees were better able to maintain control of the game” due to their natural social dominance.
On average, referees were also taller than their assistants (the humble linesmen).
Tall people have better hearts
Yes, you read that right. Although we’re talking about the physical kind, not the emotional symbol, in case you’re wondering.
According to research published by the University of Leicester in last month, every 2.5in jump in height decreases your risk of heart disease by 13.5 pc. That means someone who is 5ft tall has a 32pc higher risk of suffering from coronary disease than someone who is 6in taller.
One possible theory to explain the discrepancy is that factors such as nutrition and socioeconomic environment that determine eventual height during childhood are linked to heart health. In layman’s terms: good nutrition during your childhood could help you grow tall and develop a healthy heart.
However, 80pc of our final height is believed to be dictated by genes, which suggests evolution could be at play.
Tall men keep their wits about them
Short men are more likely to develop and die from dementia, according to a massive study of nearly 220,000 people across Britain that was completed at the end of last year.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that men who were 5ft 5in inches or shorter were 50pc more likely to develop, and die from dementia, than those who were 5ft 8in inches or taller.
A gap of 2.8 in between any height raised the risk of dying from dementia by 24 per cent.
Lead author, Dr Tom Russ, of the University of Edinburgh’s College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, said: “This just shows the importance of intervening early to make sure children have proper nutrition and are not at risk.
“We found that shorter adult height was associated with an increased risk of subsequent dementia death and that this association was stronger in men than it was in women.
The original article can be found at telegraph.co.uk
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