[image from the Volgograd City Center of Orthopedics and Cosmetology.]
I swear, I can no longer tell the difference between science journalism and inept satire. This study* from Clinical Endocrinology was reported on the Beeb website thus:
Danish researchers examined more than 14,000 responses to the 2003 Health Survey for England.
Men shorter than 5ft 4in (162cm) and women shorter than 5ft (151cm) reported much lower well-being than others, Clinical Endocrinology journal says. The authors urged more work to clarify precisely why the shorter someone is, the worse they feel about their health.
The results predicted that increasing height could help boost feelings of wellbeing. If men could add just 7cm (2.7in) to their height and women 6cm (2.3in), their health-related quality of life could improved by 6.1%. This is an equivalent improvement to an obese person losing 10-15kg (22-33lb).
Um. Add what now?
* T. L. Christensen, C. B. Djurhuus, P. Clayton, J. S. Christiansen (2007)
An evaluation of the relationship between adult height and health-related quality of life in the general UK population
Clinical Endocrinology 67 (3), 407″“412.
“If we could make people TALLER, think about the amount of MONEY we would have!!!”
Exactly, Mary Tracy. As someone noted on my blog, one of the lead researchers on this study is employed by a company that’s pushing growth hormone therapy. Shocker.
I’m finding this “study” darkly amusing since the newest commercial that seems to run 24/7 is the one that say kids should use booster seats in cars until they reach 4’9″
I…I…did it ever occur to the people that noticed that cars were unsafe for people under 4’9″ that maybe booster seats are not the best solution? In no small part because some of the people that fit that description are in the driver’s seat? And that a larger percentage of the people who drive aren’t much taller than 4’9″?
Is this the kind of shorter life span that they are talking about? The one that comes about from air bags being unsafe for me if the accident happens at low velocities?
It really is mind-boggling research. But the car thing is just one example of the physical world being designed for the average (Anglo-Celtic) male, rather than acknowledging that women also sit at desks, drive cars and open doors. I saw a female politician interviewed once saying that the doors at Australian Parliament House were so heavy she had trouble opening them, and she certainly wouldn’t want to have been doing it one-handed while baby wrangling. I am a tall woman, and I used to job (and desk) share with a quite short woman. The chair was adjustable, the desk wasn’t. I got RSI.
I’d also like to be able to buy shoes that fit properly for less than $300. Having sore feet is impacting on sense of health and well-being. Perhaps I should have had my feet bound, or perhaps the market could make shoes that accommodate the diversity in the shoe-wearing public.
Or with a disability.
I don’t know from airbags (my car is old), but seatbelts don’t fit me properly either. Maybe we could abandon the idea of booster seats for 4-foot-niners, and instead make cars to fit them – with adult H- harnesses, adjustable seatbelts, that sort of thing.