In this day and age when physiognomy greatly affects how other people treat you, height has always been a cause of concern for most parents, especially of boys. Most women would describe their ideal guy as tall, dark and handsome – a phrase we often encounter and has been a standard of what a man should be as set by our society. Stereotyping is very common in schools where children spend most of their time. One typical example is the school basketball team where members are required a certain height.
There is no way of telling how tall one person will be. Sure, we can always assume based on genetics, but external factors should be considered as well. The only thing we can estimate, with a basis on scientific facts, is the age a person will stop growing. So let us look at the facts and see when boys stop growing.
What Age Do Boys Stop Growing
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average adult female in the United States is about 64 inches tall while the average male measures just about 69 inches tall. The beginning of puberty determines what age each individual stops growing.
In general, girls grow the most two years after puberty begins which is typically around 12 or 13 years old with a usual one or two inches increase in height and stops by age 14 or 15. Boys, on the other hand, reach their growth spurt about two years after girls which is around 12 and 16 years old. During this growth peak, boys get taller by as high as 12 inches while also gaining weight. Growth is also focused on the upper and lower extremities. This sudden growth of the legs, feet, arms and hands causes boys to become a little clumsy as they start to balance with their longer sets of extremities. This is really the time boys gain a lot more, like, more oil production that causes acne, more hair all over the body and of course, little more of that bass in their vocals. Right before they reach the end of their growth spurt, the shoulders get broad and the body becomes more muscular. By age 18, boys stop growing, but in rare cases, growth does not cease until the age of 21. There are even those uncommon cases wherein only by the age of 25 that growth has stopped.
When Do You Know If Your Child has Stopped Growing?
With the differences in age when children reach puberty, it is very hard to determine if a child has stopped growing. You can’t just look at their age or their height and tell if the growth has stopped, although tracking their growth with the help of a doctor and diagnostics is possible. According to the Duke Health website, an X-ray may help the doctors examine whether a child’s growth has stopped. Doctors use x-ray films to check if the areas of cartilage at the ends of the long bones have closed. This closing indicates that the teen has already finished growing. A pediatrician may also utilize a growth chart to see how much the child has grown and how much more he has to grow.
There are several factors affecting a child’s growth. Let us explore these factors one by one.
- Genes: One of the greatest contributors is genetics. A child’s height can be estimated by the average percentile of his parent’s height.
- Environment: Another factor to consider is the environment. Nutrition, some disease processes, and stress may cause variance in growth. It is known that most people who were born during famine are likely to be short due to nutrition deficit and stress.
- Hormones: Our growth hormone or Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is responsible for growth and development during puberty. A gland located right behind the eye is responsible for producing HGH, it is referred to as pituitary gland. Sleeping and exercise trigger this gland to release HGH. Some medical conditions such as celiac disease or heart disease may cause a mess up in a child’s growth hormone. Catching this at an early age increases the success rate of growth hormone therapy treatments according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Most of these factors should be manageable, some are even preventable. Eating healthy and avoiding stress shall help the growth deficit while addressing the underlying condition for lacking growth hormones will help balance things up.
Tips to Grow Taller
There are a few, very easy things to do to help attain your ideal height. Here are some of them:
- Balanced diet
Our body depends on our nutritional intake for its optimum development. Eating a balanced diet will help you achieve your ideal height. It is no secret that calcium and zinc promote muscle and bone development. Eat foods high in calcium, such as dairy products, combined with vitamin D for faster absorption.
- Get enough sleep
Remember when you were young and your parents force you to have 8 hours of sleep? Guess what… they’re wrong. Teenagers require nine hours of sleep every night, that is saying the least. Some may need up to 11 hours of sleep daily because it is during sleep that the growth hormone is released. So this is a free pass to sleep in during the weekends.
Help your teenager sleep like a baby by giving warm milk or chamomile tea just before bedtime.
- Physical activity
Be it running, brisk walking, yoga, swimming, jogging, aerobics, etc., exercise is one best way to grow taller, especially when done on a daily basis. These exercises help in the release of growth hormones in your body.
- Morning stretch
Help your body start at its highest height by stretching every morning. Stretching stimulates our growth hormones, therefore, increasing your height. It also helps correct slouched posture.
- Posture is important
An upright posture will not only make you look tall but it will also ensure proper body alignment. Maintain proper curvature of your spine by keeping your chin high, hips directly over your feet and shoulders back. Always do this when walking, sitting and standing.
A massage may help stimulate growth just a little bit to help you grow taller. It also eliminates one factor that hinders growth, STRESS. So choose to go stress-free and be taller.
It is a known fact that children grow at different rates, so your child may be ahead or behind. But growth is not a race, think of it as more of a cruise -travel smoothly at a moderate speed.