Human Growth Velocity

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As we all know by now, humans do not grow after the age of 25. Infact your lucky if you grow after the age of 20 (for males) and 15 (for females). So between birth and the age at which you stop growing, remember, we do not follow a perfect growth curve. There are certain times in our life which are growth will be very slow and times at which it will be drastic. The rate at which we grow taller is called Human Growth Velocity. Any who has an interest in human growth should take note at which stages in our life we are growing the most, as these stages have a huge influence on determining ones final height. If neglect our bodies during these essential periods, our growth could be restricted.

 

What is Human Growth Velocity?

I like to use the following analogy. Imagine entering a running competition, you have 25 minutes to run as far as you possibly can, however there are many obstacles in your path. At certain times you can run fast, but at certain times you may be slow, depending on the terrain along the way. The speed at which you travel at will determine exactly the distance that you cover. In this analogy, distance is equal to height, and speed is equal to Human Growth Velocity. Normally we calculate speed to be distance over time, so in this case:

 

Human Growth Velocity (HGV) = Height Grown / Time

Scientist will look at how many cm you have grown over a specified period of time. For example someone who has grown 7cm in a year will have a HGV of 7cm/y. Medical practitioners will always use cm per year as units.

 

Velocity Chart

Below is a chart illusrtating HGV for males between the ages of 2.5 and 18. Analysis follows below.

Height Velocity

 

As expected, there is a huge spike during the years of peak puberty (13-14). The rate of growth during these years even surpasses the rate of growth when we are toddlers. On average, teenage boys grow at a peak rate of 9.5cm per year. It's extremely unlikely that any will grow faster than 12cm per year and slower than 7cm per year.

The chart shows a significant drop off in the HGV after the age of 14. Remember, the chart is an average. Everyone is different, with some people not hitting puberty until later into their teenage years. 

Althought the chart does show averages, nearly all male HGV charts follow exactly the same pattern. It's just that early or late developers will cause a skewing / distortion effect, however the general rates of growth will remain the same, albeit different years.

Why is HGV this important?

Track your growth. The power of this can never be underestimated. The reason I say this is because you (or your kids) will, just like everyone else, follow the shape of the above growth velocity curvature almost down to a T. However as mentioned above, the ages at which you will peak will slightly vary. By plotting your growth, you can calculate your growth velocity and thus see exactly when you are peaking. By knowing when your peak growth is, you have the highest possible chance of maximizing your growth. At a peak growth period, one should be ensuring their diet and nutrition is optimal, sleep well with good patterns, lead a stress free life and exercise well.

Plot your ages of peak growth velocity to maximize your final height.

Feel free to make your comments below.

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Comments

Ryan's picture
I'm plotting my 12 year old son's height. His rate of growth has slightly increased recently, meaning that soon he will be entering into the phase of huge growth. I need to make sure his diet and routine are perfect over the next 2-3 years.
laurent's picture
Im 18 yo an i grew 2 inch from 17 to 18, does that mean that im not done growing since the curve pattern is the same for most people?
admin's picture
2 inches in 12 months at 17 is highly unusual. You have most likely experienced delayed adolescence. It's difficult to say if you will grow more. Check your difference in height over the last 2 months. If you can see a difference, then you could grow another inch (max).
Aryan's picture
I'm 24yr and few months older and 5'10.5 in height i want and recently did my wrist growth plate x-ray and it looks they recently fused as their is very very small visible line is their so is their any chances that i'm done growin or their is any chances that few more months left for me to add some more centimetres?.

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