What Influences Your Growth?

Medically Reviewed on 2/24/2022

8 factors influencing your growth

7 factors influencing your growth
Here are eight factors that influence growth, which include genetics, nutrition, culture, socioeconomic factors, and more.

Eight factors that influence your growth include:

  1. Genetics: Your growth is usually determined by genetics or rather by the growth of your parents.
    • Studies have reported that height in identical twins is related. For example, if one twin is tall, the other twin tends to be tall. Similarly, people having well-built and tall parents are more likely to be tall and well-built, whereas people having short parents are more likely to be short.
    • According to studies, 60 to 80 percent of growth is determined by genetics, whereas 20 to 40 percent is determined by other factors such as nutrition and lifestyle.
  2. Nutrition: Nutrition can play a key role in determining your growth, as visible in trends in height taken worldwide.
    • Studies report that children and adolescents who are malnourished may not achieve their desired growth and fail to survive for longer periods. In the same study, the height difference in 1896 and 1996 was highlighted.
    • With increased awareness about nutrition and lifestyle, people today have better growth and development, on average, than their ancestors 1,000 years ago.
  3. Culture: Cultural factors can affect the physical growth of human beings.
    • Certain cultures may follow restrictive dietary patterns that may deprive the child of proper nutrition.
    • Additionally, some changes in the geographical area distribution can have a significant influence on the physical growth of the individual.
  4. Socioeconomic factors: Socioeconomic factors can play a significant role in children’s growth.
    • Some ways by which socioeconomic factors can influence physical growth include:
      • Children belonging to a higher socioeconomic status including higher income have better growth due to adequate nutrition, better childcare, and better medical and social services.
      • In a developed country, obesity is commonly seen in lower social classes due to poor diet, whereas the reverse is true in developing countries.
      • The size of a family can have an indirect influence on the growth rate because children in large families are usually smaller and lighter.
  5. Sex: Women tend to be shorter than men.
    • Girls hit puberty earlier than boys, meaning the growing ends of their bones fuse earlier.
    • Moreover, hormonal differences in boys (such as higher testosterone levels) stimulate the bones to grow thicker and longer.
  6. Certain medical conditions:
    • Some of the medical conditions that can affect growth include:
  7. Exercise: Exercise or physical activity during childhood can significantly influence a person’s growth. Exercise can promote the release of growth hormones responsible for increasing height.
  8. Medications: A few studies have reported that children who take medications for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder tend to be marginally shorter than their peers. Other studies, however, have disproved this finding and reported that the child will likely catch up with their peers once the medications are stopped.

How does normal growth occur?

As you age, your bones increase in length due to growth plates called epiphyses. During puberty, your epiphyses mature, and at the end of puberty, they fuse and stop growing.

Growth stops in the following order:

  • Hands and feet
  • Arms and legs
  • Spine

Once the epiphyses fuse, the person no longer grows physically.

The growth of a person is also controlled by:

  • Growth hormone
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen

How can you ensure adequate growth?

Here are some ways in which you can maximize your growth during childhood and teenage, which include:

Good nutrition

A healthy diet comprising all the essential vitamins and minerals is crucial for growth.

Some of the important nutrients associated with growth and height include:

One of the best ways to prevent nutritional deficiency is to include fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Including protein can be favorable for proper growth. Proteins from egg, soy, lean meats, and dairy can all affect your growth.

Adequate sleep

The release of growth hormones and thyroid-stimulating hormones is increased during sleep. Both these hormones are crucial for proper growth and development.

Sleep deprivation can suppress these hormones and increase the levels of stress hormones, thereby affecting your growth. Getting the recommended amount of sleep for your age might help you achieve your desired height.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recommended hours of sleep per day for different age groups are as follows:

Table. The CDC recommended hours of sleep for kids
Age group Recommended hours of sleep per day
6 to 12 years 9 to 12
13 to 18 years 8 to 10

Regular exercise

Moderate physical activities can have a positive effect on growth. However, intensive physical training can negatively affect your height. Exercises that strengthen core muscles may help achieve your desired height.

Some the core stability exercises may include:

  • Plank
  • Abdominal crunch
  • Hip bridge


Exercise Tips for Kids and the Whole Family See Slideshow

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Medically Reviewed on 2/24/2022
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Sleep in Middle and High School Students (cdc.gov)