Bandidos Motorcycle Club
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2004
I've been trying to do some research on this through Pubmed, but with limited success. I thought there might be some Endocrinology buffs, and perhaps growth experts in general on this forum. :D

Anyway, I've been wondering for some time if regular exercise during teenage years affects growth, and therefore final adult height. My Dad (whose in Pediatrics, but did his schooling long ago) says exercise doesn't affect growth. But I'm not sure I believe that though. With exercise you get both GH release and stimulation of appositional growth at the long bones, right? I've also read some stuff that exercise delays or prolongs puberty (less estrogen in both sexes), and therefore means more time to grow until growth plates close.

Does an otherwise able bodied, but idle couch potato kid lose out on 1-2 inches of height compared to an athelete?


I like Popeye's Chicken.
15+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2002
Somewhere in the Pacific
Attending Physician
Your theoretical reasoning seems sound and it would make an interesting study if no one has not done it yet. It can be difficult though in dealing with a multi-factorial outcome such as height; with so many things that determine height, it would be hard to factor out the many confounders. Second, there could be some differences depending on the type of exercise done (i.e. weightlifting vs. cross country running). Maybe you can find something in the Exercise Science literature. Unfortunately, I can't answer your question off the top of my head... and I am not sure if a Pediatric Endocrinologists posts on this forum. Interesting question though for what it's worth. :oops: