How Height Effects Your Metabolism

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Photo courtesy of SashaW on Flickr

If you and a shorter friend go for a walk, your friend will burn more calories. That is the gist of a new study published today in the Journal of Experimental Biology, according to Science magazine.

“When walking the same distance, short people burn more calories per pound of body weight than do tall people,” writes Science, because short people have to work harder to get there by taking more steps.

For the study titled Why Big People Walk More Economically Than Small People, researchers measured the metabolism and biomechanics of 48 children and adults as the subjects walked on a treadmill. Everyone burned the same amount of calories per pound per step, but the children had to take more steps to cover the same distance.

Don't worry, tall people, you still have a metabolic advantage. Chances are your basal metabolic rate— the minimum amount of calories you need to function–is higher than that of your short friend.

–Erin Beresini

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