The equivalent of 1 inch in the metric system is 2.54 centimeters. To convert a height, h, in inches to centimeters, solve the equation x centimeters = (h inches) (2.54 centimeters/1 inch). Since the inches are cancelled out, the new equation is x centimeters = (h) (2.54) centimeters.
This equation could be summarized as multiplying the height by 2.54 to convert inches to centimeters. If the height is a mix of feet and inches, multiply the feet by 12 and add the inches to get the height in inches. The centimeter is one one-hundredth of a meter, which is the SI unit for length. Historically, the inch was the width of a person's thumb, but it is now a standardized part of the imperial system.