Were People Shorter in the Past? Average Height 'Back Then'

Pigmies with a European explorer
Pigmies with a European explorer | Source

Were People Shorter Back Then?

Time and time again, I'll hear the misconception that people were shorter back then. I've spent untold hours trying to convince people that just is not true. Well, not very true, at any rate.

Maybe thousands of years ago, people really were shorter. However, the average height in America today is shorter than people think, and colonial Americans also were not as short as people believe.

Average Height of American Men Today

Human heights vary greatly. However, in general, men are taller than women. There are also better records for historic male height because of military record-keeping. In modern America today, the average height for males ages 20 and up is 5'9.5". If you ask a guy who is 5'10" if he is short, he may say yes because, for some unknown reason, we have this societal expectation that guys are 6 feet tall. That just isn't true, though, since a 6 foot tall man is well above average height.

The average height for all women in America over the age of 20 is 5'4".

Average Height in 15th Century England

A fantastic article published in The Economist in December, 2010 revealed a team of archeologists' findings on human health and height in 15th century England. These archeologists examined a mass grave from a War of the Roses-era battle and determined that the average height of participants was only 4cm shorter than the average height of an Englishman today -- not much of a difference at all.

Other researchers also suggest that average height did decline during the 17th and 18th centuries, bottoming out at 65.5" (about 5'5.75") at some point in the 18th century. However, this information comes from studies done on skeletons excavated in northern Europe, not the colonies. Records indicate that the average height of an American soldier during the Revolutionary War was about 2" more than the average height of the British troops of the time.

Average Height of Colonial Americans

In 1981, Harold Gill, who was the lead historian at Colonial Williamsburg at that time, compared the average height of Revolutionary War recruits with 1950s Army recruits. The findings concluded that the Revolutionary War soldier was only 2/3 of an inch shorter than modern recruits. Again, not really much of a difference.

There were also plenty of tall people in the 18th century. Thomas Jefferson is believed to have been 6'2.5" and George Washington was 6'1.5" -- this places both men well above today's average height.

Thomas Jefferson's bed at Monticello
Thomas Jefferson's bed at Monticello

Average Height of Union Army Soldiers

The American Army loves measuring its soldiers and hanging on to this data forever. Union Army records reveal that the average Union soldier during the American Civil War was 5'8.25" and weighed 143.5 pounds.

For more data about both armies during this war, read E.B. Long's The Civil War Day by Day.

Were Beds Shorter Back Then?

"What about shorter beds?" has probably been asked as many times as the basic height question.

The long answer is that most historic beds are not actually shorter. If you see them in a historic home or museum, they probably look shorter, but, it's actually an optical illusion. Many of these beds have posters and canopies that we are not used to seeing on modern beds. Many of them also have feather mattresses and covers that are far more voluminous than what most people use today, which also adds to the bed's perceived height. Stick this taller-looking bed in a house with high ceilings, and of course it'll look short.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, all furniture was basically custom-made, and there were no standardized bed sizes. However, the same 1981 CW study measured all the foundation's antique beds and found that every one of the beds was at least 6'3". Many were even 80" long, which is the same length as a modern King-size bed.

Personal story: Once, a former co-worker of mine was giving a tour at the Governor's Palace at CW. A visitor refused to believe that the bed was over 6 feet long. So, in turn, he hopped the plexiglass barrier and laid down on the floor next to the bed to prove it to her. While I myself was too afraid of the curatorial staff to get anywhere near the antiques when I worked at CW, I have employed this tactic in other historic homes. Since I'm only about 5'2", seeing me next to a bed definitely made it clear that the bed isn't that short.

Have I convinced you that people really weren't that much shorter?

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"People Were Taller Back Then . . ."

So, were people really shorter back then? A more accurate answer isn't an absolute yes, but maybe a little, but not by much. Even so, the average height of Colonial Americans and their English ancestors was greater than the average height in many of the world's nations today. For example, the average height of Filipino women today is 4'11", so you could even claim that people were taller back then -- it's all a matter of perspective.

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Comments 63 comments

lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Very nicely done!

All one needs to do is follow the evidence.

Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

You did a wonderful job of detailing the facts and included citations. This is a great example of a well written and researched article!

Voted Up!

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thank you, lonestar and Curiad. I'm so glad you both like it and took the time to vote and comment.

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

Neanderthal were shorter than homo sapiens. When homo sapiens evolved they were not tall as people are now days. Height of human beings also depend according to race. Asian seems shorter than Europeans.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

Definitely. There is a great deal of variation in human height. Today, average height in some countries is close to 6 feet, but below 5 feet in others. But, historically speaking, with the exception of some periods of extreme malnutrition, people from one ethnic group are not substantially different in height from others of the same group at other times in history.

The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States

I'm convinced! Well done.

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

I went to San Salvador in the Bahamas when I was a young man. The British called it Watlings Island after the slave trader who owned it and used it as a holding and staging area. You can see Watlings "castle" today. The door openings are barely five feet high. General consensus says it is because they were short back then. The old guy I stayed with, great grandson of the British lighthouse keeper, told me that Watling was a tall man. They made the door low for defensive purposes. You had to duck and put yourself at a disadvantage to get in.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

I had not heard of that site - thanks for sharing! I don't know why there are some popular stories that just really catch on, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. Maybe it's just because, today, many of us do not think about having to defend our homes, for example.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Always wondered on this question Natashalh. Very cool to see your research and thoughts. I always assumed people were shorter in the past because of generally lower nutritional levels as compared with today but perhaps it's time to reevaluate!

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

Interestingly, a couple of years ago a study suggested thhat Medieval peasant types may have had a diet at least as healthy as the famed "Mediterranean diet." Lots of whole grains, lean meats, vegetables, etc. What is also amazing is the bone density of some of the skeletons uncovered at that English site. These people were used to some seriously strenuous activity!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

My pleasure Natashalh. Couch Potatoes were unknown animals back then lolo. Remember all those full-set gleaming white teeth at Pompeii and Herculaneum.

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

This is quite interesting -- I've always thought people were far shorter in the past. But your facts state otherwise. Voting this Up and Useful.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thanks so much!

Snurre profile image

Snurre 4 years ago

Very interesting article. I knew about the fact you've mentioned here and I keep trying to prove it to my friends that it's a misconception. Somehow they never believe me lol. The "evidence" they mention that I like best is short beds. Guess they don't know that people used to sleep in a half-sitting position to prevent their brain leaking out.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

Well...people frequently slept 'reclining,' as they liked to all it, because it makes it easier to breathe. In a time before today's modern chemical decongestants, simply sleeping half sitting is much nicer than getting up in the middle of the night to slather on some camphorated bear grease.

It is amazing how people want to believe the crazy, sensational things (even in the face of evidence to the contrary). After almost 20 years of living history, I have an enormous collection of outlandish myths!

Brainy Bunny profile image

Brainy Bunny 4 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

I really like the way you presented the historic evidence about men's height. I'm curious -- is there similar data for women? Have we been 5'4"ish for generations, or did women use to be slightly smaller as well?

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

Men are easier to track because of military records, but I believe archeological evidence suggests a similar height difference for women. I will have tonlookmin to it, though.

Paula 4 years ago

Not sure if you are comparing Apples to Apples. You are stating measurements for Europeans and Early Americans for the past, but all current Americans for the present. how about only including men of European descent for the present measurements?

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

I see your point and I can try to add some additional information, if I can find it. While there are certainly shorter than European immigrant populations in America, there are also taller than European populations here, too.

Additionally, The Economist piece about the dig site in England shows the average height of Englishmen then and today, so it is certainly an 'apples to apples' comparison.

That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

I like your post. But, I've been inside houses built 100 - 200 years ago. The doorways would make all the men in my family have to stoop to enter. I'm average height and have no problem. But, I would think builders would have given more clearance/ headroom than my average height.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

Yes, I, too, have visited lots of older buildings. Where were some of these old buildings you were in? If they were in colder climates, the low doorway was probably a function of wanting to keep the building warm. Here in the South, we have pretty high ceilings and doorways, even in old houses, since warm air rises. In more primitive style buildings, like houses out in the country, the owners probably built the house and either didn't have the necessary architectural skill to build a taller doorway safely, or didn't feel like putting the extra effort in. And, a lot of times in the past, people just seem not to have really cared if things were inconveniencing. Thing about clothing - it's kind of inconvenient to lace yourself into stays or a corset and whatever else, but people accepted it as the way life was

Thanks for stopping by!

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I really didn't know any of this. But I think your argument speaks for itself. Sometimes people just need to investigate the facts to get the whole picture. Interesting hub!

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thank you! I'm really glad you stopped by.

Chris 4 years ago

Thanks for the insight! I've heard that a lot of the basis for thinking that "back then", people were shorter is because the world's gone industrialized, but I'm guessing now that a lot of the determinants of height depend on genetics as well since my mother and father are around the same height as their parents.

But I do have a problem with the end saying that the average Filipino male is about 4' 11", that's actually the average for the typical Filipino female in the Philippines since for males, it's 5' 4" (around the height of a typical female). However, in the cities (coming from my sister's perspective who lived in the capital city), people are usually taller, with men averaging around 5' 7" (also my father's height).

I myself stand 5' 8" after a long day while my sister (older than me) is around 5' 6" and she grew up in the Philippines during her first decade of life (Fortunately I'm going through a strange growth pattern even at 19 that started at 18 and I'm not the best with posture :( ) so basically this just correlates with your argument!

Anyway, very interesting hub for the most part. I'm always looking towards those who are a bit older and have more knowledge than I do when it comes to these things so thanks a bunch!

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thanks for the great comment and information!

Based on reading your comment, I looked at height data again and you're totally correct - it is Filipino women that are 4'11". I guess I either misread or mistyped something when I wrote this a few months ago (or maybe my source had a typo!). Either way, it sounds like folks in the cities are still definitely taller than average height the Philippines. And your sister is several inches taller than me, as well as above average height for American women today. Thank you for stopping in and I'm fixing my error right now!

kris 3 years ago

thomas jefferson slept sitting up, as he believed that the lower you slept the more germs there were. It's a well known fact if you visit Moticello.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Yes, sleeping reclining, rather than flat on one's back, was very popular in the 18th century. It was believed quite healthy.

Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

This is a very interesting hub. My family is a little mixed up. On my mother's side of the family- my grandfather came from Cuba and my grandmother came from France.

On my father's side of the family we are related to someone who came over on the Mayflower.

I am only 4'11''

So was my mother.

I think I am a human mutt :)

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Hey! We are distally related, then - I had a relative on the Mayflower, too! Cubans tend to be pretty short. I am used to being shorter than everyone around me, but when I'm with Cubans, I am sometimes the tallest! It is very strange to me.

Luis 3 years ago

Humans increased in stature dramatically during the last 150 years, but we have now likely reached the upper limit. The average height of a human man will probably never exceed that of basketball, who stands 7 feet and 1 inch the reason is in this days we have more food available and hormons in it,the average men back in the American revolution was 5.7 to 5.8 and the average size of a men in 2012 is 5.9 the average roman soldier was around 5.6 to 5.7 and I'm not talking about a singular individual but population in general

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

In some areas today, and even the country of The Netherlands, average height is at, or above, 6'. If we known an average of 6' is attainable, then we as a species haven't reached our full height potential. Since height does vary, though, the average height of a Dutchman has fairly little to do with the height attainable by a Filipino.

Yes, Americans today are about an inch and a half taller than Americans a long time ago. My point is simply that isn't much of a difference. I have worked in public history for 7 years and I know that many people think the height difference is much greater. I hear people say "yeah, but they were only five feet tall" all the time, and most people today believe average height is taller than it really is.

I wanted to link a study for you, but I have it bookmarked on a different website and couldn't find it again quickly. An extensive archaeological survey shows that Northern Europeans were taller during the Middle Ages than they were during the 18th and 19th centuries due, no doubt, to increasingly poor living conditions. As for the Roman soldiers - they may well have been shorter than that, but you can't mix apples and oranges. Human height between genetic populations and ethnic groups varies widely. The genetic makeup of a centurion from Dalmatia has very little to do with most modern American's DNA.

Luis 3 years ago

data from thousands of skeletons excavated from burial sites in northern Europe and dating from the ninth to the 19th centuries. Average height declined slightly during the 12th through 16th centuries, and hit an all-time low during the 17th and 18th centuries.

"Height is an indicator of overall health and economic well-being, and learning that people were so well-off 1,000 to 1,200 years ago was suprasing

Northern European men had lost an average 2.5 inches of height by the 1700s, a loss that was not fully recovered until the first half of the 20th century ,the reason for such tall heights during the early Middle Ages may have to do with climate. Steckel points out that agriculture from 900 to 1300 benefited from a warm period – temperatures were as much as 2 to 3 degrees warmer than subsequent centuries. Theoretically, smaller populations had more land to choose from when producing crops and raising livestock.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Yep, that's the study! Thanks for finding and quoting it.

rfmoran profile image

rfmoran 3 years ago from Long Island, New York

Great myth busting hub. I have heard the 'shorter back then" comment countless times, usually when visiting an old building or house. The reason the doors were low had more to do with the level of carpentry and construction methods than the height of people walking through. Voted up and awesome.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Oh, yeah. Today we are all about convenience. Back when everything was hand made, if making a door frame shorter so you had to duck ment saving money in materials, saving time on construction, and keeping heat in a room better, they were going to do it!

Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

Convinced! I have to admit I had also preconceived ideas about this whole issue, meaning I was very sure that people were much shorter a few centuries ago... Thanks for the hub, informative - voted up.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Glad you found it informative and convincing! Thanks for stopping by.

james raddle profile image

james raddle 3 years ago from washington

hi natashalh i was just wondering, the u.s height scale you distributed seems to have more men in the 5'8 zone so would that not be considered the 'average' for males in the u.s? or is it just that men regularly give out their public height which means adding 2 cm to a good 173 (5'8) man making it 175 (5'9) i mainly see it this way because you wrote" Thomas Jefferson is believed to have been 6'2.5" and George Washington was 6'1.5"." therefore giving the conclusion these men would have easily been an inch or two below there claimed 'given' height from an unknown source. What do you think miss natasha? great article btw loved the way your information was allocated.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

I'm sorry - your text is a little confusing. Are you asking if I think TJ and GW were actually an inch or two shorter than reported? Thomas Jefferon's grandson reported the 6'2.5", though others may have recorded that, as well, so that is his observed height, not self-reported.

Rob Lattin profile image

Rob Lattin 3 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

Nicely organized article about height. There are so many factors affecting height that you can't pinpoint it to one however people's beliefs about it distort truth. People in the past were shorter because they didn't have good health and shorter lifespans are a few of them Raw data can give us the answers. Thanks for a good article. BTW I was shorter when I was younger.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Actually...while average lifespans were shorter, it primarily was due to a very high infant and child mortality rate. If you made it to adulthood, chances were really good you'd live just as long as folks today. In fact, I read somehow that a greater % of the population in America in 1900 was 100+ years old than the percentage of Americans over 100 in 2000. That was a weird sentence, but I think you get my point!

Anyway, sorry for being a perpetual contrarian and thanks for stopping by b

morse 3 years ago

Americans were only slightly shorter, but Europeans were much shorter

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Some of them at some points in time, like specifically during parts of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries. But, yes, that's pretty much what I talked about! =)

Rob Lattin profile image

Rob Lattin 3 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

Hi Natasha, I think we all should strive to live to 100 or more. Have a wonderful Easter!

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

That's my plan! Many members of my family have lived into their 90s and 100s. Plus, I'm short and female, both of which are good for life expectancy.

Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen

I also thought earlier that peoplein the past were shorter. But your hub gave me a satisfactory explanation. Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge. Great hub.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Your comment was an amazing way to start my morning! Thank you and I'm very glad you enjoyed it =)

vandynegl profile image

vandynegl 3 years ago from Ohio Valley

Wow! What a great hub! I found this topic interesting! I think that while there were many advantages to people years and years ago (like fewer obesity rates, less pollution, etc.), we also have some advantages now, such as more knowledge and resources to meet our needs. I still like the idea of living kind of caveman style. So much less stressful, don't you think?

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

You know what's really interesting? About 1/3 of ancient adult mummies studies recently had evidence of heart disease! Isn't that fascinating? I agree that life in the past certainly seems simpler in many ways, but I wonder what hidden challenges these people faced. That being said, I would to live on a self-sufficient farm in the middle of nowhere!

quicksand profile image

quicksand 3 years ago

It's probably the diet that makes the man of today taller than his ancestors. If there is some way we could check out the dimensions of abodes of the previous centuries we could arrive at some definite conclusions.

Do you think that the average height of an oak tree or a palm tree would have changed? Well, their "diets" have not changed over the centuries. :)

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Actually, dwelling spaces are a very poor measure of human height. Great idea, but in the days when everything was handmade and there weren't mechanical ways to heat and cool air, houses had more to do with cost and practicality than height! Think about your southern plantation homes with 12-18 foot ceilings - looking at these might cause someone to conclude that everyone was a giant! It helped keep the rooms cooler because hot air rises. By the same token, homes in colder climes had much shorter roofs, and doors you even had to duck under, because they kept things warmer.

Diet and access to clean air and water do play a big part in it, though, which is why average height in Europe declined a little during the Industrial Revolution. Thanks for stopping in! I like a little thinking in the (for me) morning =)

Mojo 3 years ago

5'-10 is NOT short or average. It's above average/tallish. I'm this height and I feel tall. I get no complaints. Heck, I've given an impression of being a 6 footer.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Glad to know you don't feel short because you are above average in height! I know guys who feel 'short' even though they're taller than you are. I guess it's a matter of self esteem - maybe they don't think well enough of themselves. Thanks for offering your opinion!

anonymous 3 years ago

Sooo you are saying people weren't shorter in the past even though all of your evidence indicates that people were on average shorter. So because you are wrong you force your opinion on people saying "they weren't that much shorter." in my opinion you are uncredible because u disagree with the facts. You should be say people were shorter not people weren't much shorter, your adding to the statement to make you sound less wrong. The question was "Were People Shorter in the Past? " its a yes or no answer not a "maybe a little shorter," you're answer is wrong its yes in fact studies show that throughout the years several studies have been done and the average height between the past and the present is shorter

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

It honestly took me a minute to compose a reply to your comment because it's pretty downright amusing to be called 'uncredible' by someone who does not capitalize, uses letters as words, and punctuates incorrectly. No offense, but it is entertaining.

I do see your point - it seems like a very qualified answer and I understand how you could take exception to it. I ask, however, that you pay attention to other heights around the world today. There are many groups of people in the world today who remain far shorter, on average, than historical average height for Europeans, for instance. My boyfriend is 5'2" and the tallest member of his family, so clearly the average American colonist wasn't taller than him! As you may notice, height hasn't been a straight line onward and upward - it was about the same as today, dipped down a little, and then came back. In Europeans. I know from speaking to literally thousands of people on the subject that many believe average height in the American colonial period was significantly shorter than what it is today, and my main point is that average height in the past was not as short as people think, nor is average height today as tall as people think.

I do sincerely hope that leaving an anonymous snarky comment on my hub has improved your day and thanks for providing me with a bit of fun.

Tyne 3 years ago

I just thought that your research was so fascinating. I remember when I was 13 I thought the average height of today and the 30's and 50's was something significantly crazy but now I that I actually read something with a lot of helpful research to understand this, I now realize it's not that crazy of a difference at all. I just turned 15 about 5 months ago and right now I'm either 6'3 or 6'4 I haven't measured it in awhile but last I checked it was 6'3. Also, I haven't looked into this yet but do you think people in Germany were taller than Americans during the 1900s? I ask this because my grandfather is 6'1 and he is 62 right now and he is part German and Indian (I think he said he was Crow Indian) while I'm 15, 6'3 and while I do have German blood in me, I'm also part Mexican, and I'm a Kalahari Indian (African). Sorry for going off topic about my question but anyway, do you think the average German male was taller than the average American male during the 1900s?

someonesome 3 years ago

5'8 men are more common than 5'9? I thought 5'9 was the mode height and 5'9 1/2 was the mean.

someonesome 3 years ago

Hi Natasha, Do you know of any study in England that claims young white men are 5'11.5 in great Britain or England? I read this a few months back on a post so it may have just been an opinion.

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii Author

Tyne - I don't know. Maybe, but I've never looked into it. It sounds like your family is really tall! Germans do have a reputation for being tall, but I'd be willing to bet that you're still above average height because there are very few groups of people with average heights above 6'. It would be an interesting thing to look in to and I'm sure there's lots of data from military records.

Someonesome - I also looked at that chart a few times when I first found it! You may notice that 5'10" is a bit more common than 5'9", which is also interesting. As for the English number, that sounds a little suspect to me. Recent research shows the average English man is 5'9". I can't imagine that white men would be a full 2" taller than average! Once again, people seem to have a very overinflated idea of what average height really is. =)

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 2 years ago from Hawaii Author

I'm sorry your caps lock got stuck in the "on" position.

The "average" WWII recruit was 5'8", and average height today is 5'9.5". Considering some sources say the WWII recruit was actually smaller than than his WWI counterpart due to malnutrition coming out of the Depression, that's not so surprising. My point was that people weren't that much shorter "back then" than today. When you round numbers up as convenient, it makes it easier to perpetrate an exaggerated myth, but it's not terribly accurate to say Americans magically sprung up 3 inches in a few decades.

Jakob 18 months ago

There could be bias in the sampling. Those in the army might not represent averages. If you consider that about half the adult population in pre 20th century was not capable of work (age, illness, disability etc), it could be also that there were fewer people capable of military service in the past, and those that were were healthier and likely taller than average. Mass mobilisation during the wars of the 20th century might also distort comparisons.

Bed size could be a problem, since in many cases furniture which has survived will be of wealthier people (high status buildings etc). Wealthier people would have a better dieter, and thus likely to be taller. Or bed size could be a factor of status (similar to how King size beds are bought for luxury rather than necessity).

Looking at the world today, and very recent history, average height is a proxy for health and diet. There have been increases in average height in many countries alongside development. There has also been increases in average height in 'more equal' healthcare.

The heights of individuals might not be terribly relevant. It is likely that there has always been a similar spread of heights. The average will be changed by the relative numbers of shorties and tallies. With more people getting access to good diets throughout their lives, more people will reach their potential height. This brings up the average.

Broadly, this parallels the misconceptions about historic life expectancies. People have lived into their 70s and 80s for a long, long time, even when the average life expectancy was in the 30s and 40s. This is due to historically there being two bumps in mortality - early childhood, and early old age (roughly 55+). If you made it through childhood, you had a good chance of achieving early old age.

ken 4 weeks ago

Average Height in 15th Century England wot is average? for the average men or nobles ,the Average man who were under fed and over work ,the Average height is related to both food intake and the prevalence of disease in the population. the nobles did not work and had Fewer disease,a mass grave from a War of the Roses-era battle ?a battle The Wars of the Roses were a series of wars for control of the throne of England. They were fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House The wars were fought largely by the landed aristocracy and armies of feudal retainers, with some foreign mercenaries. Support for each house largely depended upon dynastic factors, such as blood relationships, marriages within the nobility, and the grants or confiscations of feudal titles and lands. and so the so called Average Height in 15th Century England ,?? for the nobility and the medieval knights (yes) But the Average Height in 15th?? NO! the Average man is the peasants were on average shorter than nobles,It is commonly believed that during the Dark Ages people were shorter than today. Recent studies conducted to British skeletons have shown some very interesting results. First of all, peasants were on average shorter than nobles. This helds true because of the poor nutrition to which peasants were subject to whilst nobles had a better nutrition and a much better way of life (including enough sleep and other necessary factors for growth).

A person was on average slightly shorter than today. During the XII century, taller people lived but this declined slowly in the following centuries until the XVIII century when the shortest people of the millennium existed. The reason is debated, though some believe that food and plague contributed to this phenomenon.

A recent study based on twins shows that 90% of a person's height is inherited whilst the 10% is based purely in environmental factors. While this difference might seem minor at a first glance, it is to be considered that a person who should have been 6' would be only 5'3. This makes evident that if medieval people had had a good nutrition, they would be as tall as we are today.

Tran 6 days ago

Human height depends on environment and condition where they live. According to Darwin’s theory, all species of organism arise and develop through the natural selection. For what I see, people who live in cooler regions are normally big and tall. People who live in hot regions are normally shorter. This rule applies to Asia, Europe, Africa and America with some exceptions due to other factors needed for survival.

There is also a factor that has great effect to human height and it is not natural at all. WARS. Yes, warfare eliminates a lot of tall, healthy young men everywhere throughout the ages and left behind healthy but shorter young men to breed. This explains why once Americans were taller than Europeans and now Americans are shorter than Europeans.

Where I came from, in the old days, the king selected 1 man out of 3 or 4 for service. Guess who he chose. After the last civil war that last more than 10 years, my countrymen now average 2” shorter than the people who live in neighbor countries.

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