SHORT people live longer, according to a new scientific report.
Vertically challenged folk, such as myself at 5ft 6ins, have the last laugh when it comes to longevity over our longer chums.
Of course, it’s commonsense when you think that tall chaps go around hitting things with their heads, like ceiling beams. And they are the first to suffer from weather variations.
My chum Willy is so tall we used him to predict driving conditions. On the occasions he arrived at the pub with snow on top of his head, we knew it wouldn’t be long before they closed Woodhead Road over Holme Moss. He was about the same height. He was so tall his passport picture had to be folded out like a Playboy centrefold.
We’ve had many a conversation about the advantages of height. Getting served in crowded bars was easy for him. Having a clear view at a sporting event was no problem. People took you more seriously, he said.
That was all well and good, but in times of war the taller bloke made a bigger target. And at least I fitted into an aeroplane seat which are, on grounds of economy, only made for extremely small people.
No problem, he said. We were not at war and he flew business class.
It has been said before that small people live longer. Four years ago, an American study said this was down to a specific growth gene. If you didn’t have it you were shorter but your longevity increased.
Research has suggested that shorter people have physical advantages over their Long John friends. They have faster reaction times, greater ability to accelerate body movements, stronger muscles in proportion to body weight, greater endurance, are less likely to break bones in falling and have the ability to rotate the body faster.
If you want to rotate your body faster, that is. Me? I’m ambivalent on the possibility.
As a consequence they make excellent gymnasts, divers, skiers, martial artists, rock climbers, figure skaters, football players and long distance runners.
Lionel Messi, for instance, acknowledged as the world’s greatest footballer, is also 5ft 6ins.
The latest study was led by Professor Poulain from Belgium and Dr Salaris from the University of Cagliari in Italy. Their report suggested that short people suffer lower DNA damage (and no, I don’t know what it means but it sounds good), have greater cell replacement potential, higher heart pumping efficiency and higher sex hormone binding globulin.
Short and a sex beast, to boot. Like Tom Cruise (5ft 7ins) and Justin Bieber (5ft 5ins in his heels).
The scientists concluded that height makes up 10% of a person’s longevity profile and said shorter chaps could expect to live two years longer than their taller chums.
They did their research in Sardinia, specifically because people are small. So if a short person on an island with a short population lives longer than the average, this surely means that, in the real world, I can expect a decade or so extra.
Just as long as my pension lasts.