What Height is Considered Short For a Man and a Woman?
Does your height really determine how successful a person you are?
Or how likely you are to land a date with that stunning woman or handsome guy you’ve been wanting to ask out?
Well, there’s science-backed research that says that taller people are likelier to be more successful and confident in their careers as compared to their shorter counterparts. (1)
Also, there’s research that says that men and women are more likely to be attracted to taller partners than short ones.
But how do you define ‘short’? Are you really short?
Or is it the ‘little man syndrome’, also known as ‘Napoleon complex’ playing in your mind?
Let’s demystify the ideal height before you self-label yourself Tyrion Lannister.
What Height is Considered Short For a Man?
Globally, the average height for men has increased substantially over the past 100 years. It has a lot to do with an improvement in nutrition and access to better healthcare.
Take Iran for example, where the average height for men has increased by 6 inches in ten decades.
In contrast, the average height for American men has increased by just 2 inches, somewhat like Africa where constant strife and civil war has led to a depleted nutritional profile that has reduced the average gain in height.
All said and done, let’s take a quick peek at some global numbers
- In most parts of Asia, the average height for men is 5’5, with China and Japan faring slightly better at 5’7.
- Netherlands has the tallest men in the world with the average height being 5’11. Germany and Australia are a close second with an average height of 5’10.
- In United States, the average height for men is 5’9. In Canada, it’s 5’10.
- Philippines has the shortest men in the world with an average height of just 5’4.
What I Did to Boost My Height a Few Inches
Yeah, I just so happen to be one of the shorter guys, and to be honest.. I do not really enjoy the fact that I am on the shorter side. As you can see here I have social anxiety and it super sucks.
So I found a way to fix it, or at least helped me gain a few inches so I could seem like I am not really as short as I actually am.
I bought shoe inserts, that I literally have in every pair of my shoes. I wear them in all my shoes and they give me a good 2-3 inches of height which I am happy with and give me a bit of a confidence boost.
There are a ton of them on amazon that are dirt cheap that you can check out by clicking here.
These are the ones that I use. You can check them out on amazon by clicking here.
Or here are some Gel ones that are fine if you are not working out or running. You can check them out on amazon by clicking here.
What Height is Considered Short For a Woman?
Thankfully, there’s no global average here ladies.
Imagine a world where anyone shorter than a specific height would be persecuted for not measuring up. Sounds straight outta ‘Black Mirror’.
The fact is that what’s considered short in one part of the world maybe more than average height in another.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the average heights for women in different countries.
Heights Considered to be Average for Women
- In most parts of Asia, the average height for women is 5 feet. So, if you are Asian, you are only considered short if you are below 5-feet, which is extremely rare.
- In many parts of Europe, the average height for women is 5’6. So, if you are shorter than that, you might be considered short.
- In the United States, the average height for women is 5’4. It is 5’6 in North America though.
- Latvia earns the distinction of having the tallest women in the world with the average height being 5’7, whereas Guatemala has the shortest women at just under 5 feet.
Unofficially though, 5’3 is considered as an average height for women. So if you are under 5’3, it’s likely that you are considered to be short by most people around you.
For the ladies who feel that their frame is a bit too short to be comfortable in, you can get a slight boost with a few inches with height increase insoles as well. And for t a bit of flexibility, grab some adjustable ones.
Recommended Reading: How I Built My Bubble Butt
How You Can Tell If People Consider You Short or Not
It’s one thing to be short when comparing yourself to national averages but does that really matter? Not really… The reason for this is because you are not walking side by side with everyone in the country. This is why it makes much more sense to compare yourself to the people you actually interact with.
The people you actually interact with are the ones you want to compare yourself with to find out if you are really considered short by others if you are actually just thought to be average height or maybe even you are even considered to be tall.
Below I have put together a few tell tale signs that you can use to decide if you are thought of as short by your peers or not.
Do Your Friends Tower Over You?
This is going to be the most obvious sign that you will notice if you are thought of as a short person or not. In your friend group do you find that most of them tower over you when you are standing side by side with them?
If you find that most of your friends are quite a bit taller than you and have to look down at you when they talk to you then you are more than likely considered to be short by the people around you.
Related Reading: How To Get Smaller Calves
Are You the Shortest in Big Crowds?
Headed to a game, concert, or big event? Next time you are, try to take notice if you are considerably shorter than the people around you.
If you find yourself always having trouble to see in big crowds and that everyone around you is either stepping on you or blocking your way then you know that you are considered to be a short person.
Have Trouble Finding Clothes that Fit Right?
Ever notice that you always have a hard time trying to find clothes that fit you right? Are the clothes you try on always seeming to be a bit big or just a tad bit too long? This is a common problem that many short people have when trying to find clothes that fit them. Me included.
I have to shop online for most of my clothing because most stores do not carry the sizes that fit me right.
If you find that this happens to you more often than not, then you know that you are considered to be short.
What Factor Caused You To Be Considered Short?
If you wanted to add a few extra inches to your frame, the easiest way would be to pick taller parents. All these debates on whether swimming makes people taller, or whether jumping can actually make one taller are all just that – debates.
The best natural way to get taller is to be born of tall parents, no two ways about it.
Now where’s that DeLorean when you really need it?
Oh yes, genetics plays the most important role in determining your height.
It also has a lot to do with your location, access to clean, hygienic surroundings, nutrition, hormonal levels during childhood and puberty, sleep and a nurturing family environment.
How About Fitness? Do Tall People Fair Better in the Gym?
If everyone seems to eclipse you at the gym, you might have felt intimidated by their stature at some point, right?
Well, you don’t have to.
Ok, sometimes I spark a few chuckles from my gym bros when jumping on one of those recumbent bikes for tall users, or reaching for the bars to do a neutral grip pull-up… but hey, it’s the end result that counts, right?
If anything, it’s the short people who have an unfair advantage when it comes to workout, one that tall people can’t beat you at.
Pound for pound, a short person might actually lift more than their tall counterparts – be it the power clean, the clean, the smith machine squat, the smith machine deadlift, or just squatting and deadlifting in general, it takes stability and a shorter range of motion to nail it better.
It’s no surprise then, that one 5’7 short Ed Coan ranks among the best powerlifters of our time.
When it comes to working out, a tall frame and increased arm reach mean that a tall person will have more range of motion to cover.
This means having to move and work more for the same rep, at the same weight. Besides, tall guys have a larger distance in the joint-muscle intersection, another significant Hercules heel.
So in the long run, a shorter person stands a better chance of putting on muscles faster.
But there is a catch, you need to strike just the right balance with the results, that potential muscle growth comes with a potential downside.
There is always a possibility that you will either bulk up too much and look even shorter than you really are, with a massive chest, broad shoulders, and bulging biceps and triceps.
Or, you will lose too much weight and slim down a tad too much – this has the slight advantage that you might actually look taller then, your body might look weak and your arms will look skinny though.
Sounds like walking a thin tightrope to me…
To offset this challenge, use one or a combination of these;
- Understand your body
- Try different workouts to find out which one gives you the best results
- Determine the ideal exercise for you and dig in on that
I’m Considered Short… Will height really matter in my career or a relationship?
No matter what you hear or read, it’s undeniable that we automatically veer towards taller men and women, because it maybe hardwired in our genes.
It’s simple evolution.
Tall equates more power since the days when we used to forage and hunt for food.
But we don’t really hunt for food anymore, do we?
In the current age and time, it may have to do with stereotypes about height in our minds, that are very deeply rooted.
Scientists have attempted to decode this through various studies and research that have all led to the same conclusion.
Women tend to find taller men more attractive, confident, leader-like and masculine as compared to their shorter brethren. (2)
Men on the other hand tend to be more accommodative in their romantic liaisons and are likelier to date women who are shorter than average height.
On the professional front, just 1-inch of additional height can lead to an increase of almost $1000 of earnings a year. (3)
The Takeaway – Does Height Really Matter?
Tall or not, do note that your life and career will not be determined by your height alone.
Some of the highest-paid actors and sportsmen in the world are way below what’s considered average or normal height.
Robert Downey Jr., Tom Cruise, Kit Harrington and Jenifer Lopez to name a few.
As short people often put it, height does not necessarily breed success.
There’s a lot more to it, like intelligence and confidence.
But if you have those few extra inches to boast of, you’ve already won half the battle, haven’t you?
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Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page