Advantages of Being Tall (11 Interesting Facts)

Written by Joshua Leaf | Updated on October 8, 2021

Height is one of the things that tall people frequently take for granted – especially how it changes how people perceive you. Today we’re discussing this height advantage, the perks it provides, and the scientific facts about the benefits of being tall.

These 12 advantages can be overlooked but contribute to all areas of life…

1. Stature Affects Success, Job & Career Opportunities

Firstly, height affects other people’s perceptions during job and career opportunities [1]. Taller people are regarded as more prestigious, honorable, and upstanding.

Height signals affect men and women differently where male respect and female admiration share a similar root. Taller people are seen as leaders and command respect [2] in life, giving them the upper hand.

The most obvious perk is during a job interview, where height directly influences in-person non-verbal communication. This non-verbal communication accounts for a huge amount of gravitas or respect.

The result of height in interpersonal success is also visible in vertical progression.

People working within the same company or structure are likely to be promoted more often proportional to height [3]. This is one reason why CEOs are disproportionately tall – around 60% of male CEOs are 6′ or taller, compared to about 15% of the general population standing above 6′[4].

Taller people utilize these biological, evolutionary cues to seem more likable, respectable, and capable. Studies on promotion-chance show that taller people – and taller men specifically – are more-trusted in the corporate world, which can be a significant height advantage.

2. Tall People Make More Money

Because of job advancement, better interviewing, intelligence differences, and expectation-change, taller people tend to make more money [4].

This fact is accounted for by both the likelihood of being in better-paying, higher-up positions and more negotiating weight.

Taller people are more successful in negotiating situations like, for example, negotiating salary bumps, promotions, and have the self-confidence to assert their salary expectations.

3. Confidence Booster

Speaking of self-confidence, height confers a general boost to self-confidence across all other individual differences [5].

Taller people aren’t only seen as more capable; they believe themselves to be, too.

This sense of competence leads to actually performing better, being paid more, and having a stronger sense of self-concept and self-esteem. It turns out that some of those height advantages might be self-fulfilling prophecies.

4. Height & Happiness

Taller people are happier [6] – probably because they’re more confident and better paid.

Height correlates well with happiness, specifically through taller people’s interactions with others, their improved dating prospects, and their more fruitful work lives.

5. Height & Romance

Dating is one area where height – especially male height – is a significant factor [7].

Stereotypes about guys above and below 6′ are the most common, but height is a general signal for strong genetics and a contributor to the attraction of partners.

Not to mention, improved self-confidence from height is a huge boon in the dating scene, where self-confidence is key for all kinds of interactions.

6. Taller May Mean More Intellectual

Studies show that taller people may be more intelligent. The things that produce height and intelligence are closely related [8] – genetics, fetal and childhood nutrition, sleep quality and quantity, and so forth.

Remember, the brains and the bones are all feeding on the same set of dietary resources and the same hormonal environment. People who achieve greater height, especially relative to their parents’ height, are likely to be more intelligent.

It’s worth noting that there’s some correlation between socioeconomic status, height, and intelligence since higher-income households have more resources such as adequate nutrition and the ability to afford higher education.

7. Bird’s Eye View

Nobody likes being stuck behind the tall guy at a movie, sport event, or concert unless they’re even taller.

Being tall is a perk in these kinds of experiences where being relatively short can be frustrating. If you’re trying to enjoy a concert filled with giants, a few extra inches goes a long way.

8. Competitive Advantages in Some Sports

Height can be advantageous in many sports – especially those without weight classes.

For example, being taller is a blessing for sports like basketball, where height is crucial for rebounds. Even in sprinting, stride length is one of the key factors that determine potential – and more so in the 200-800m competitions.

Of course, there are also some sports where being short is beneficial, like gymnastics, horse racing, and motorcycle road racing.

9. Tall People Can Reach the Top Shelf with Ease

The perks of being tall are all over your everyday life; if you start to look for them anyways, try checking on the upper shelf.

Tall people have no problem with those daily tasks because long limbs make reaching things that much easier.

Perhaps the pros and cons balance out with having to crouch down to get to the lower shelves.

10. International Hug a Tall Person Day

International hug-a-tall-person day is the one day of the year where height really does convert into being more loved.

This particular holiday celebrates tall people and provides another reason to bask in the affection of family, friends, and other loved ones. This can be a height advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you feel about random hugs.

11. Increased Caloric Expenditure

Height is one factor in mass – and that means it’s a factor in calorie expenditure too. This can be good for keeping body fat down but becomes a real tall guy problem when you’re trying to gain weight or don’t like eating much.

Tall people use more calories, especially when evening out for BMI [9]. This is because height increases in cm while volume increases in cm cubed.

Height, bone mass, and muscle mass are three key players in your basal metabolic rate – the number of calories burned by doing absolutely nothing.

The advantages of being tall are prevalent in daily life, but that’s not to say a height increase will automatically make someone more intelligent. However, increasing height could improve others’ perceptions of an individual and even help their self-esteem.

As always, if your height is bothersome, please discuss the matter with a healthcare professional.

References

[1] Magnusson P K E, et al. (2006). Height at age 18 years is a strong predictor of attained education later in life: cohort study of over 950 000 Swedish men, International Journal of Epidemiology, 35(3), 658–663, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyl011

[2] Ralph M. Stogdill (1948) Personal Factors Associated with Leadership: A Survey of the Literature, The Journal of Psychology, 25:1, 35-71, https://doi.org/10.1080/00223980.1948.9917362

[3] Tall people more likely to be successful in life, study finds | The Independent | The Independent

[4] Lindqvist, E (2012); Height and Leadership. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 94(4): 1191–1196. https://doi.org/10.1162/REST_a_00239

[5] Schick, A., & Steckel, R. H. (2015). Height, human capital, and earnings: The contributions of cognitive and noncognitive ability. Journal of Human Capital, 9(1), 94-115. https://doi.org/10.1086/679675

[6] Deaton, A. (2009) Life at the top: The benefits of height, Economics & Human Biology, 7(2), 133-136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2009.06.001.

[7] Prokop, P. & Fedor, P. (2011) Physical attractiveness influences reproductive success of modern men. Journal of Ethology. 29, 453. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10164-011-0274-0

[8] Marioni, R.E. et al. (2014) Common Genetic Variants Explain the Majority of the Correlation Between Height and Intelligence: The Generation Scotland Study. Behavioural Genetics 44, 91–96. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-014-9644-z

[9] J J Cunningham (1980). A reanalysis of the factors influencing basal metabolic rate in normal adults, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 33(11) 2372-2374, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/33.11.2372

 

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