There is a lot of debate on whether playing basketball makes you taller.
On the one hand, many people believe that playing this sport can help you grow taller. They say that the constant jumping and stretching involved in the game helps to elongate your spine and stimulate growth in your bones.
However, many people disagree with this idea. They say that there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that playing basketball can make you taller. They argue that the opposite is likely to be true; that playing basketball can stunt your growth.
Which is it? Does playing basketball make you taller, or does it stunt your growth?
The answer is: it depends. If this was not the answer you were looking for, let us explain.
If you are young and your bones are still growing, playing basketball may help you become taller.
However, suppose you are already an adult. In that case, the effects of playing basketball on your height are likely to be very rare. Many other factors are more important in determining how tall you will eventually be.
These include genetics, training intensity, how often you play, diet, and sleeping habits. The next time this question pops up in your mind, the best thing to do is look for a thoughtful answer that takes all of these factors into account.
A Few Factors Regarding Height
The Age at Which You Start Playing the Sport
Young children and teenagers may see a temporary effect in their height as their bones grow, but this will usually level out by reaching adulthood.
For kids, the answer to the question: “does playing basketball make you taller” is ‘yes, it does.’ However, if you continue playing into middle age or beyond, this will likely not affect your eventual height because you have already reached your maximum growth. Any other sport or exercise will not affect your height.
Some people are just naturally taller than others, and there is nothing that basketball can do to change this. Similarly, some people are genetically shorter in height. There is nothing they can naturally do to change this.
However, if you are not tall enough to play basketball, you can practice many other sports.
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The Intensity of Your Training
If you are just playing basketball for fun, there is probably no effect on your height. However, suppose you are training hard and pushing yourself to the limits of your endurance. You will see improvements in your jump height, grip strength, and total body mass.
It concludes that playing basketball improved the anthropometric growth of the body and not its height. Again, this has no proven effect on the height of a player.
How Often You Play
Before wondering whether playing basketball makes you taller, ask yourself: how often do you play?
Some experts say that it takes many hours of playing basketball to see any effect on your height. In contrast, others contradict this idea and say that you won’t grow any taller no matter how often you play.
If you are not getting enough nutrients in food, then playing basketball will not help you grow taller either. On the other hand, it will leave a negative effect on your health and height.
If a player or a normal person is not consuming enough nutrients necessary for proper growth, this affects the person’s HGH levels. A direct hit on human growth hormones results in short height, among other things.
Your Sleeping Habits
Good sleep is very crucial for someones’ health, and this includes making sure that you have enough time to rest. Not enough sleep can have a severe effect on both your physical and mental wellbeing, which in turn may impact your height.
Your Mental Health
There are many reports of basketball players suffering from stress and anxiety. When you feel stressed out, it is difficult for your body to produce sufficient human growth hormone (HGH).
This indirectly prevents them from getting the rest they need to grow tall. This pressure affects your height and could harm your ability to play basketball well.
Height of the Basketball Hoop
Now here comes another myth, some people think that playing with a higher basketball hoop helps them get taller.
No, it doesn’t. It can negatively affect your spine and posture because playing with a higher net will make it harder to score points if you have short arms. It means that sometimes you need to lean too far back to dunk a ball in a usual way. Repeating this step over and over can affect your health and height.
Related: Can Short People Play Basketball?
Why Are Basketball Players Always So Tall?
There are players with significant heights in basketball because they can perform better. A study in 2020 claimed that among the teams that played in the FIBA World Cup, those with taller players ranked better.
Indeed, body shape and health play a significant role in an athlete’s overall performance. The study concluded that taller players were better at the point guards, shooting guards and small forwards.
Related: What is the Average Height of NBA Players?
Conclusion: Does Playing Basketball Make You Taller?
It is not possible to say with certainty whether playing basketball makes you taller or stunts your growth. It all depends on a variety of individual factors.
However, suppose you are keen to increase your chances of growing taller. In that case, it is essential to consider all things that can impact your height. And if you do decide to start playing basketball, make sure that you are doing so at the proper age and with a reliable coach.
There are undoubtedly other sports that make you taller such as tennis or volleyball. Still, basketball does not appear to be one of them. If you are looking to add a few inches to your height, you may want to try another sport.
However, if you just enjoy playing basketball and don’t care about growing taller, go ahead and keep playing. It may even be a good way to improve your cardiovascular health and strengthen your muscles.