Humans have reached the highest point of our stature, life and physical condition


Take a look at your human companions, this can be as good as possible. We have reached our peak in terms of life expectancy, sports performance and height, according to a new survey of historical records and research. And, the researchers add, we can only get down from here, thanks to the limitations imposed on humans by environmental problems.

"These traits no longer increase, despite a continuous nutritional, medical and scientific advance," said Jean-François Toussaint, a physiologist at the University Paris Descartes, France, in a press release. "This suggests that modern societies have allowed our species to reach its limits."

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology a team of French scientists, including Toussaint, from a range of fields badyzed 120 years of historical records and previous research to measure the variable rate of the changes observed in human athletic performance, human life and human stature. While, as you observe, the 20th century th saw an increase in improvements in the three areas reflecting industrial, medical and scientific advances, the pace of these advances has slowed significantly in recent years.

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 runners-nyc Runners crossing the Verrazano-Narrows bridge shortly after the start of the New York City Marathon in New York, USA, 5 November, 2017. REUTERS / Lucas Jackson

The team badyzed world records in a variety of sports, including running, swimming, skating, bicycling and weightlifting. Olympic athletes in those sports continually toppled records by impressive margins from the early 1900s to the late 20th century th according to the study. But since then, the Olympic records have shown incremental improvements.

According to the study, not only have we become faster and stronger, but we have also grown more. The French researchers used the data collected by a network of health scientists known as the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD stands for "non-communicable diseases"). Their numbers showed a significant increase in height (more than 3.5 centimeters, or 1.37 inches) in both men and women of 187 countries, when comparing those born in 1896 with those born in 1996. But data from the last three decades suggest that heights stagnated between high-income countries in North America and Europe.

No matter how well we can eat, at some point our genetics becomes a limiting factor, Toussaint said. "We will not be able to become as tall as California redwoods," he said Newsweek . "We have grown more, but our genome does not have the capacity to continue growing higher and higher".

Our tall roof is evident even among some of the tallest members of mankind: basketball players. Toussaint and his colleagues badyzed the height data of NBA players since the 1920s and discovered that, while we can still have great players like Kristaps Porzingis (who measures 7 "3"), the data show that the average height of the NBA players has stagnated last 20 years.

 nba-tall New York The pivot of the Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis (6) is congratulated by the center Enes Kanter (00) after scoring in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden on November 6, 2017. Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

In some African countries, the height averages of adults have actually declined in For the last 10 years, according to the new study, Toussaint says that this is an indication that s environmental conditions may be causing human progression to move backwards. "This suggests that some societies are no longer able to provide enough nutrition for each of their children and maintain the health of their younger inhabitants," Toussaint said in the statement.

Regarding our human life, it is hard to imagine anyone exceeding Jeanne Calment, a French woman who was 122 years old when she died in 1997. Toussaint and her co-authors believe that not many will. Life expectancy in high-income countries increased by about 30 years from 1900 to 2000, according to a National Institutes of Health. study cited by the authors, thanks to better nutrition, hygiene, vaccines and other medical improvements. But we may have reached the limit of our biological limit for longevity.  older woman Jeanne Calment, seen in 1995 when she was 120 years old, is kissed by two young girls during a special ceremony at a retreat house in Arles, southern France. REUTERS / Jean-Paul Pelisser / Photo File

Researchers discovered that in many human populations, says Toussaint, "it is increasingly difficult to show progress in life expectancy despite advances in science. "As climate change generates more frequent heat waves and other adverse weather conditions, Toussaint says that the elderly could become vulnerable and average life expectancy could continue to drop in some countries.

Not everyone agrees. Some experts think that at least some of us, the super-agers, will continue to avoid the grim reaper for longer. McGill University biologist Siegfried Hekimi co-authored an investigation in June 2017, suggesting there may be no detectable limit to human life. "We do not know how long life depends on our living conditions," Hekimi Newsweek said by email. "But it still seems that life expectancy is increasing in response to better living conditions for those whose living conditions continue to improve."

Regarding our physical performance, Hekimi also believes that we can do better there as well. Your clue? The fact that performance-enhancing drugs have been shown to markedly improve athletic performance. Doping may not be a legitimate way to break records, but Hekimi argues that the fact that it works "suggests there is room for improvement."

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