When do men stop growing?

When looking at growth charts, you can recognize that most males grow very little after 18. But do they truly stop growing at this age? Because in rare cases, some might continue to grow into their early twenties. Is there a concrete answer to what age men stop growing in height? Keep scrolling if you want to unveil the secret!

What is the average male height?

The mean height for an adult man at 20 in the U.S. is 69 inches (176 centimeters), according to the CDC [1]. But note that this is just an average, meaning there will be men who will be taller or shorter when reaching their full adult height.

Age (years)

Average height (inches)

Average height (centimeters)

8

50.4

128

9

52.6

133.5

10

54.5

138.5

11

56.4

143.5

12

58.7

149

13

61.4

156

14

64.6

164

15

66.9

170

16

68.3

173.5

17

69.1

175.5

18

69.3

176

Factors that affect height for men

Like every other physical trait, height varies from person to person. The ultimate height of a man is predetermined from birth, particularly genetics. However, other factors also affect how tall he will grow.

Nutrition

Aside from genetic factors, nutrition is vital in determining our height. If a child does not get enough nutrients, they can experience stunted growth. Lacking protein is the most common nutrient deficiency that hinders growth. Also, vitamin D, calcium, and zinc deficiencies impact overall growth.

Sleep

Sleeping is an ideal time to help the body produce growth hormones and thyroid-stimulate hormones, which are necessary for the proper development of bones.

Health conditions

  • Genetic disorders like Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, and Cushing’s syndrome can affect height growth.
  • Growth hormone deficiency is when the pituitary gland releases insufficient growth hormone, stunting growth.

Medications

An observational study in 2015 pointed out the link between using stimulants to treat ADHD might stunt growth. It assessed 410 children between 0.9 and 16.1 and recognized that the medication resulted in a temporary halt in increases in height and weight [2].

However, another study in 2014 found that using stimulant medications did not affect a cohort of 340 kids with ADHD into adulthood [3].

A poster that says when men stop growing

When do men stop growing?

Puberty is the vital process of growth and change in the body when boys become adults.

Puberty is different for every boy and can begin at any age between 9 and 14. The average age to show their first signs of puberty is about 12 years old, about 1 year after girls start their puberty. Developing physically into an adult happens between 2 and 5 years. So, most boys will stop growing taller by age 16 and have fully developed by 18. But sometimes, you might notice boys can continue growing up until 20 or even 21.

Does stopping growing early or late might affect the final adult height?

Well, let’s share some interesting research. Those who go through puberty earlier might get taller due to more potential years of rapid growth, particularly for boys who consume a diet rich in protein and animal fat [4].

Is there any method to predict a male’s height?

There is no 100% accurate way to determine how tall a man will be in adulthood. However, you can consult some methods pediatricians often use to predict adult height for boys and girls. Research also shows that these methods might give valid estimates [5]. That means the estimate you end up with could be a possible height range rather than an expected height.

Mid-parental height calculator

This is the common method to help you determine how tall you will grow.

Add both parents’ height (in either inches or centimeters). Then add 5 inches or 13 centimeters and divide by 2. For instance, if a boy’s dad is 5 feet 10 inches and his mom is 5 feet 2 inches, the final number will be 5 feet 8 ½ inches. According to this method, the boy should grow 5 feet 8 ½ inches or even be a few inches taller.

Two times two method

Start with your toddler’s height at 2 and double it to get the future adult height measurement. For example, if your son is 2 feet 11 inches at 2, their predicted height will be 5 feet 10 inches. Although there is no research related to this method, it is an easy and quick way to get a good rough estimate.

Growth chart

Finding the height percentile on a growth chart and following the corresponding curve out is preferred. For instance, a 13-year-old boy 5 feet 1 inch tall will be in the 50th percentile in the CDC growth chart for boys [6]. Based on that curve, he might reach an adult height between 5 feet 9 inches and 5 feet 10 inches.

How to affect your growth or height?

There is little you can do to support your height once your growth plates fuse. Even a healthy diet and regular exercise are unlikely to boost your height. However, if you focus on improving your posture, this will help strengthen your spine and make a small gain in height (but it does not make your bones grow longer). Here are a couple of ways you can do to improve your posture:

  • Strengthening the core
  • Sitting with good posture regularly
  • Avoid slouching
  • Exercising regularly

In case you are still growing, you should try some effective ways to achieve your desired height.

Have good nutrition

Consuming a healthy diet with all the essential vitamins and minerals is a must for overall health and growth. Calcium, vitamin D, and protein are vital nutrients related to height growth. It is best to include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Besides, do not forget to add protein from lean meats, eggs, soy, and dairy.

Get adequate sleep

Growth and thyroid-stimulating hormones are released during sleep, and they are critical for the proper development of bones. That’s why you need to get the recommended amount of sleep for different ages. For instance:

  • Age group between 6 and 12: 9 to 12 hours of sleep per day
  • Age group between 13 to 18: 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day
A poster that says when men stop growing on it

Engage in regular exercises

Aside from eating and sleeping, engaging in moderate physical activities can bring positive effects on growth. For instance, practicing core stability exercises, such as plan, hip bridge, or abdominal crunch, might help you grow well. But be careful of intensive physical training as it might negatively affect your height.

To sum up,

When your growth plates fuse, your bone will stop growing (though good posture and regular physical activities might support your stature). That’s why most men stop growing by age 18, but some might continue to grow into their early 20s. Of course, genetics are one of the biggest factors that determine how tall they will be but do not forget that nutrition, sleep, activities, etc. also play significant roles. In case you are concerned about possible growth delays, the best thing is to visit your doctor for further advice.

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