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Why Being Short Might Be Good for Your Health

Written on July 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm , by

Photo courtesy of pasukaru76

Tall or short, healthy habits are key! (Photo courtesy of Flickr user pasukaru76)

The next time you struggle to reach the top shelf and curse your short legs, remind yourself of this recent revelation: tall women were found to have a greater risk for cancer, according to a new study. Total cancer risk rose by 16 percent with every 4-inch height increase, according to a study published in The Lancet Oncology.

Researchers looked at more than one million middle-aged women who were grouped into categories based on their height. They found that taller women were at higher risk for cancer regardless of their age, income, BMI, physical activity and other factors known to increase your chances of getting cancer. The biological reason for this correlation is still unknown, but some researchers are pointing to growth hormones, which tall people tend of have more of, and the simple fact that tall people have more cells, which can lead to more growth of cancerous cells.

For someone who’s stuck standing at 5 feet 0 inches tall, I guess this makes up for all those times I wish I were a little bit taller, like when I look at long-legged runners who could cover in one stride what I do in two, volleyball and basketball players who make spiking and dunking the ball look so easy, and tall women who look statuesque (and frankly more intimidating than my petite self).

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So tell us: Tall or short, do you think your height affects your fitness or health?