Q:

Men's Health: When do men stop growing?

A:

Quick Answer

Much of the data collected on when a person starts or stops growing is gathered by observing the average person during his or her lifespan or within a period of his or her life. There will always be outliers and anomalies that don't match the average, especially when it comes to human growth and development. Even within the average, there can be a wide range of differences. The average male starts growing after birth and continues growing until around age 21-25.

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Full Answer

The Beginning of a Man's Growth
A male starts growing just after birth, and continues to grow well into his twenties. During a man's adolescence he may have periods where his body is smaller than his hands, feet and head. This is thought to be what causes the clumsiness used to describe many preteen and young teen boys. The extremities grow faster on males, while the bodies generally catch up a bit later. Many parents fear that young boys won't grow enough or won't catch up to peers in height or weight. However, there can be a wide variation of when growth occurs in boys, and a boy who may seem small for his age range will grow to a normal stature later.

Puberty
The question of when do men stop growing can't be answered without looking at a few important phases in a male's growing journey. Puberty is generally the time when a boy's body will be most disproportionate to his hands and feet. Puberty also brings along a series of hormonal changes, many of which help to fuel the next few years of a boy's growth. Most often, a male grows the most during the years he is going through puberty and those directly following.

Ages 12-16
Most males will grow the most between the ages of 12 and 16. The extremities experience the most growth during this time period, continuing the sometimes odd or clumsy look that began with puberty. During this period of immense growth, males will also experience other bodily and hormonal changes associated with puberty and the growth that occurs during the teen years. These include having oily skin and hair and growing body hair.

When Do Men Stop Growing?
By the age of 18 a man will have filled out and his shoulders and the rest of his body will have finally caught up with his hands, feet and legs. Not every male fills out completely by this age, and it isn't uncommon for a man to take another year or so to fully grow to having broader shoulders and a stronger abdomen.

After the age of 18 men don't stop growing. Though the body has filled out and a man is generally close to what his ending height will be at this point, men grow until they are around 21 to 25 years old. Some may grow until 26 or a little older, but it isn't as common.

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