Tall people ‘lead happier lives’

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  • They judge their lives more favourably

    Taller people live better lives, according to US researchers. Overall, taller individuals judged their lives more favourably and were more likely to report positive emotions such as enjoyment and happiness.

    More than 454,000 adults aged 18 and over were asked by phone for their height and evaluate their lives.

    The researchers used the Cantril ‘self-measuring striving scale’ which asks you to imagine a ladder with rungs numbered from zero at the bottom to 10 at the top. The tenth rung represents the ‘best possible life for you’ and the bottom is the ‘worst possible life for you’.

    Men who were above average height 5ft 10in (177.8cm) reported that they were standing higher on the ladder than men who were below average height. Taller women above the average height of 5ft 4in (162.6cm) scored 6.64 compared to a score of 6.55 for the shorter women.

    The study also looked at people’s emotions. Taller men and women were more likely to report enjoyment and happiness, and less likely to report pain and sadness.

    The authors say their findings cannot be attributed to different demographics or ethnicity, but are almost entirely explained by the positive association between height and both income and education, both of which are positively linked to better lives.

    Chartered psychologist Dr Colin Gill said: ‘There’s no direct correlation between income and happiness – surveys going back years show that. But there does appear to be a correlation between height and happiness and height and income.

    Height does matter, it’s always mattered for a very obvious reason – when you are born you are shorter than the people who look after you and have authority over you. And that power relationship never reverses.’


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