Today’s IFOD is written by my 18 year old daughter.
I am what people call “vertically challenged” or “fun-sized.” Standing at 5’2”, and no long growing, I have encountered obstacles that have made me want to be taller.
It wasn’t until my first semester of college when I made a friend who plays on the basketball team, Alison, that I started to notice and appreciate being short. I was telling Alison how I was mad at my short legs because I couldn’t run as fast as girls with longer legs. Alison countered my thought with her own experience. She told me how she hates to play against shorter girls in basketball because they have a shorter step making them able to step to the ball quicker. This made me stop and think and wonder what other perks there are of being short.
How Short People Will Feel After Reading This
(Shout out to parents with short sons wanting to grow for sports- now you have more to say than ‘you’ll grow!’)
People who are short tend to make better distance runners than people who are tall. Tall people can still be great distance runners, but people who are shorter have an advantage. Dr. Joyner, an exercise researcher, says that tall people have longer legs giving them larger strides, but stride length does not determine speed. The best runners are small and light because they don’t have to move as much weight when they run. Source
Low Center of Gravity
A low center of gravity gives an athlete more stability and better balance than those who are taller.
Shorter people have shorter arms allowing short weightlifters to hold the barbell closer to their bodies which makes it easier to be lifted because of the shorter distance. Source.
Leg room in airplanes, cars, and stadiums are not a problem. Shorter people fit better almost everywhere.
Front and Center
Being shorter than other people almost guarantees you a spot in the front row of a group picture.
If you like wearing heels but don’t want to be taller than your date or significant other being short is helpful.
Friends Block The Sun
No sunglasses? No problem! Stand behind your tall friend (or stranger) for a sun shield.
Short people typically don’t have to worry about underneath signs, low hanging tree branches, short doorways, or showerheads.
Lower Risk of Cancer
People who are shorter than average have a smaller risk of various cancers.
For women this can consist of the following cancers: breast, ovarian, skin, kidney, and leukemia. For men: Cancers not related to smoking.
There is no definitive answer to why the risk of certain cancers increases with height but a theory for this is because tall people have more cells in their body and cancer comes from cell growth or multiplication.
NOTE: The reduced risk of cancer due to a shorter height is minimal. How one lives their life along with genetics are the biggest factors.
Reduced Risk of Blood Clots
The taller you are the more at risk you are for blot clots (mostly the legs).
Health experts are not sure why this is but have possible explanations including that blood has to travel farther in tall legs there is more opportunity for it to clot.
Less likely to have a Heat Stroke
The more skin you have the greater your body mass and more body mass means generating more heat. Shorter people don’t have as much skin and are able to cool down more efficiently.
Health Benefits of Being Tall
To make things fair:
While there are health benefits to being shorter there are health benefits to being taller.
Tall people have a lower risk of heart disease and heart attacks compared to short people. Tall people are less at risk for a stroke.
A physicist friend observes:
If she were a physicist, she would realize that the lower risk of blood clots in the legs, and the higher risk of strokes, among short people, is due to the fact that short people have lower blood pressure in their legs than tall people, and higher blood pressure in their heads than tall people, if you make the reasonable assumption that tall and short people have about the same blood pressure at their heart. Also, that the lower risk of heat stroke among short people is due to the fact that they have a greater ratio of surface area to volume. The heat generated per second per cubic centimeter in the body of a mouse is the same as the heat generated per second per cubic centimeter at the center of the sun. But the mouse has a very much greater ratio of surface area to volume than the sun, so the center of the sun gets up to 15 million degrees, while the mouse gets up to about 37 degrees C.
Hi Audrey – I am five feet and one half inch and have enjoyed many of the advantages you outline. Thank you.
Love this! From one 5 ft 2 inch lady to another! Way to go! Hey Lady Gaga’s IG name is 5ft 2:)
In solidarity, Audrey! Woot!
A very good start Audrey, keep it up. Your message is wonderful and I especially like your last meme!
Thanks, Audrey! I’m 5’1″ and can totally relate.
This was a good one. Perspective and optimism are wonderful things.
Well done Audrey!
Stay short and stay proud.