How to Know if You Are Growing Taller

Two Parts:Tracking Your GrowthImproving Your Odds of Growing Taller

Practically all kids, and some adults for that matter, are eager to grow taller. Unfortunately for them, there is no quick way to increase height. If you’re a kid, you have to be patient; if you’re an adult, you just have to hope you don’t start shrinking too soon! Learn easy ways to keep track of your height and know if you are growing taller.

Part 1
Tracking Your Growth

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    Look for signs of growth. Have you begun to clunk your head on that low doorway in your basement? Have you finally conquered the “you must be this tall to ride” sign at the amusement park roller coaster? Slowly but surely, you must be growing taller.
    • Short pant legs are an easy way to tell that you must be growing. If the jeans you used to have to roll up now make you look like you’re ready for a flood, it may be time to take a height measurement (as well as buy some new jeans).
    • Foot growth is another likely sign of height growth. Not surprisingly, since they provide your base, just like expanding roots hold up a growing tree, there is a clear correlation between foot size and height in humans.
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    Find a point of comparison. If you have a brother or sister, you’ve probably stood back-to-back more than once to see who’s taller. Picking something that isn’t also growing, however, is the best way to prove that you’re gaining height.
    • Practically any non-growing, stationary object — the bottom of a sign on the wall, the ceiling in your treehouse, your father standing back-to-back with you — can serve as a reference point. The closer you get to being eye-level with the sign, scraping your head on the ceiling, or reaching your dad’s shoulder blades, the taller you are becoming.
    • Traditionally, of course, the reference point for a kid is a wall, door jamb, or inside panel of a door where his or her height can be marked every so often.
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    Stand against a wall. There is a method to getting an accurate measurement against a flat surface like a wall,[1] but consistency is of first importance. If you measured your height in bare feet before, make sure you take off your shoes each time you step up to track your progress.
    • Remove your shoes, and flatten your hair down if necessary.
    • Stand up straight, back and heels flat against the wall. Keep your feet flat on the ground and together (no tippy toes!).
    • Look straight ahead. Have someone use a pencil to mark the highest point of your head against the wall. Another, less accurate method that works if you are alone is to hold a book on top of your head; press it against the wall; turn around while holding the book in place; and mark the spot with a pencil.
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    Mark your progress. Parents love doing this so they can see how much their little darling has grown!
    • Mark the lines on the wall in pen or marker if you want more permanence than pencil, and add the date (along with the child’s name and age, if desired).
    • If marking up the wall isn’t an option, take a tape measure and record the distance up the wall from the floor to the mark. Keep a log book with the relevant information.
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    Visit your doctor. Height and weight measurements are standard procedure at a medical appointment, for kids and adults, because unusual variations in either can indicate possible health issues. For kids especially, healthy growth is a good sign of a healthy body. Your doctor will chart your growth velocity, which is your change in growth over time.
    • The nurse or doctor will take an accurate measurement for their records; ask for the result and jot it down for yourself if you like.
    • If you’re over forty, don’t be surprised if you start getting a little bit shorter each time. By this time, you are far past your growth stage, and the effects of gravity, especially on your spinal column, begin to drag you down. Unusually rapid height decrease, however, could be a sign of a condition like osteoporosis (bone weakness, essentially).[2]
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    Project where you’ll end up. Since genetics plays the largest role in your eventual final height, looking at your parents’ heights will give you a good idea of where you’ll likely end up.
    • How to Predict Height describes several methods for predicting height, including those mentioned here. Be warned, however, that the simplest methods have a margin of error of +/- 4 inches, which means you may have a predicted height of 5’6”, but you could end up being 5’2” or 5’10”.
    • The simplified Gray Method involves adding together your parents’ heights (in inches or centimeters), dividing by two, and either adding (for a boy) or subtracting (for a girl) 4 in. (10 cm).
    • For small children, doubling a girl’s height at eighteen months or a boy’s at two years will offer a fairly accurate estimate.
    • More accurate calculation methods (made easier by online calculators), or hand x-rays that determine “bone age,” are also available, and of particular value for older children.

Part 2
Improving Your Odds of Growing Taller

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    Accept that you can only do so much. Your final height is determined overwhelmingly by genetics (roughly 70%), with health, nutrition, and environmental factors deciding the remainder (about 30%).[3]
    • So, if you end up shorter or taller than you’d like, blame your genes. And don’t bother trying to hang on the monkey bars to grow taller!
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    Skip the fantastic “grow taller” claims online. Any online search will result in thousands of hits for sites that offer “can’t miss” methods for increasing your height. The vast majority of them are junk. Special pills aren’t going to make you taller, but they might make you sick and they’ll definitely take your money.
    • Many of the sites describe exercises that will stretch out the body. While stretching is good, and may possibly make you a little bit taller for a short period, you aren’t going to see long-term gains from doing so. Remember, gravity always wins.
    • That said, exercises that improve your posture, so that you stand up straighter, can help you at least look taller.
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    Get adequate sleep. The human body produces its growth hormones during sleep, so the more deep, restful sleep you get, the better odds you have of maximizing your genetic height potential.[4]
    • For physical, mental, and emotional health, growing teens should strive for eight to ten hours of sleep nightly, ideally on a consistent schedule to keep they body's clock in proper balance.[5]
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    Eat a healthy diet. No, there aren’t any super-foods that are magically going to make you a starting center in the NBA, but proper nutrition can only help in the body’s growth process.
    • You know the drill for healthy eating: more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, less saturated fats and refined sugars, more fresh food, less processed food.
    • Some particular nutrients, such as calcium, which strengthens bones (and thus helps improve posture), are beneficial to looking and feeling taller.[6]
    • Other essential nutrients like niacin, vitamin D, and zinc — all of which you will consume as part of a varied, healthy diet — may offer added benefits to the body's growth as well.[7][8][9]
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    Exercise regularly. Don’t focus on the exercise plans that claim they will make you taller. Instead, focus on a healthy exercise regimen that involves aerobic workouts and strength training; good health gives your body more opportunity to grow.
    • As noted above, stretching is good for the body, but stretching exercises that claim to make you permanently taller aren’t going to work for long. Keep your focus on health and fitness, and let growth come naturally (as far as your genetics allow).
    • Sixty minutes or more of activity per day can help keep teens feeling and looking good, which can help even if you don't grow any taller. You can locate recommended exercise regimens online.[10]


  • Watch the fit of your clothes. Noticing the hem of a pair of pants that touched the floor when you bought them that now doesn't even reach your ankles is a sure sign you are getting taller. It is also possible that someone isn't laundering the clothes properly and they are shrinking.
  • Do not obsess over your height. You can do very little to speed the growing process, and some of us grow in tiny increments, only to have a burst of growth over a short time.
  • Get someone else to mark your height if you can; it is easier and may be more accurate.
  • Try to measure your height at the same time of day each time. Your spinal column expands while laying down, and compresses as the day goes on. You can actually be one inch taller in the morning than in the evening.
  • Take out some old clothes from last year or even a few months ago to see how they fit. Those way-too-long pants? They fit now! You're growing!
  • Measure very carefully, with your body in the same position each time. You may not notice much change so careful measurements will ensure greater accuracy.
  • For more accuracy you should be measured at the same medical facility at intervals.
  • Do not be discouraged if you do not see any sudden change. Enjoy life and friendships that have nothing to do with your height.

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Categories: Self Esteem for Young People | Health for Teens and Kids