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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\kmcgrigg on September 16, 2008

My brother is tall. Apparently, if you are tall, it can be hard to find things that fit like clothing or shoes. If you are quite tall, you might even need to think twice about the kind of car you drive and the style of furniture you buy. Plus, being tall might limit the amount of time you can comfortably sit on a bus, airplane, or other sardine-like mode of transportation. With all this in mind, I planned to write about the costs associated with being tall. Until I learned that it pays to be tall.

Did you know that tall people earn considerably more money and respect than those who are height-challenged? According to a University of Florida study, each inch in height amounted to about $789 more a year in pay. So someone who is 7 inches taller – say 6 feet versus 5 feet 5 inches – would be expected to earn $5,525 more annually. From the press release:

"If you take this over the course of a 30-year career and compound it, we're talking about literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of earnings advantage that a tall person enjoys."

In my opinion, the higher pay and respect tall Americans receive is well worth any challenges they might face while pant-shopping. There is even a social organization exclusively for tall adults.

In case you are wondering, the average height of Americans today is about 5 feet 10 inches for men and about 5 feet 5 inches for women. I am 5 feet 6 inches tall.

Tags:  tall
Posted in:  Reflections, Shopping


Chris says:
September 18, 2008

Interesting perspective. I should forward this to my boss and/or HR department. :) I’m a tall guy and am very happy with my height. I’m not going to complain about how difficult it is to shop for clothes (which it is…oops) or that it costs more for to buy larger items' (which it does…there I go again). However, I’ve lived long enough in my 6 foot 6 inch frame to learn that being tall does come at a price…both physically and financially. As you mentioned, most furniture is not designed for taller individuals. The same holds true for office furniture which means that, in many cases, tall people must adapt by slouching and/or stretching more than normal which can lead to repetitive stress injuries. The same holds true for most forms of transportation. While a taller person may be able to fit in a smaller, more economical vehicle, our heads are closer to the roof and knees closer to the dashboard which means that, even in a minor accident, we’re more likely to sustain injuries. Over time, these events take their toll. Many health-related issues have been linked to height. Longevity as an example. In general, shorter people tend to live longer lives. Skin cancer also may have a link to height presumably due to increased surface area. There’s also evidence that being tall puts men at a greater risk for prostate cancer. The list goes on… Does it (literally) pay to be tall? Maybe. Do the challenges that tall people face have financial implications? Definitely. Chris

Kim McGrigg says:
September 23, 2008

Check out this post from Free Money Finance for more on the topic:

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