The Truth About Being Tall – Is It Really Better?

The Truth About Being Tall – Is It Really Better?

For a long time now, many believed that being tall is better because it leads to better jobs, more romance and popularity. But is that true or just a tall tale?

by David Stone

for Assorted Ideas, Large & Small

woman standing on hallway
Photo by mentatdgt on

In the first place, what does being tall mean?

It’s a genetic trait that generally refers to a person being taller than average. Though height is often seen as being advantageous, there are both pros and cons.

What qualifies as taller than average?

The average height for men in the United States is about 5 feet 9 inches, so being taller than that would make someone tall. For women, the average height is about 5 feet 4 inches, so being taller than that would make a woman tall.

Some benefits

Studies have shown that taller people often earn more. In fact, for every inch of height, someone stands to earn more every year.

Quote: A person who is 5 feet 6 inches making $50,000 per year would expect to make about $2,000 more if they were 5 feet 7 inches, and $4,000 more if they were 5 feet 8 inches. Forbes: Your height has a big impact on your salary.

This is because being tall is often seen as being advantageous in the business world. Tall people are seen as being more authoritative and commanding, and this can lead to them being given better jobs and earning more money.

But no one is sure why this is so. It may relate to height being associated with physical power, which in history brought leadership and other privileges

Taller people often have better health

Taller people also tend to have better health overall. In 2015, for example, a study found that for every 2.5 inches of height, a person’s heart disease risk declines by 13.5%.

It also reduces your risk of developing diabetes.

The two sides…

On one hand, being taller often gives people an advantage in terms of physical features. Tall people have a better view and find it easier to reach things on high shelves. But they are more likely to suffer back pain. Taller people are also seen as being more confident and successful.

On the other hand, being tall also has disadvantages. For example, taller people may have trouble finding clothes that fit properly. And they are at greater risk for cancer and strokes.

Expectations set for taller people often exceed the person’s abilities, leading to disappointment, even when they do well but not well enough.

Looking for love overview

And if you’re looking for love, being tall probably gives you an edge. A 2012 study found that taller men and women are more likely to be contacted by members of the opposite sex and have more sexual partners.

While this is probably fine with many people, for some it may feel like being pursued for the wrong reasons. Other, deeper or more meaningful attributes may be missed.

But It isn’t all fun and games

There are some clear disadvantages to being the tallest person in the room. For one, you’re more likely to suffer from back pain. A study published in the journal Spine found that being taller than average leads to increased stress on the lower back and spine.

Tall people sometimes scrunch down for casual conversations or making eye contact. And there’s always the risk of bumping your head where others have no problem moving in, out and around.

In addition, taller people are also more likely to develop heart problems. A study by Swedish researchers found that for every two inches of height above average, the risk of heart attack increases by 13.5 percent.

Full Disclosure: I’m tall, just under 6 feet 2 inches, and I’ve always thought being tall was better. But on the other hand, I’ve never been short; so, my perspective may be a little skewed.


So being tall has its pros and its cons. But if you’re on the taller side, don’t worry; you’re in good company. Some of the most successful people in the world are tall, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and, of course, every basketball legend of any period.

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