When do Boys stop Growing in Height, Feet & Other Organs

By  | 

Are you a man growing no taller? Why is that the case? When  do boys stop growing? Read on to find growth and development in men and factors that influence this process.

When do boys stop growing in Height-Is there an Age Limit for Growth?

Watson and Lowery studied growth and proposed the meaning of ‘growth’ as an increase in physical size of your body in whole or in part. The units of measurement that are used to denote growth are in centimeters, kilograms or by use of the balance of metabolism.

Balance of metabolism involves the extent of retention of calcium and hydrogen in the body. Growth is measured after birth or postnatal and therefore regarded as an increase in the postnatal size by Juan Comas.

There are factors that affect the growth of an individual some of which are intrinsic while others extrinsic. These factors influence the amount of lean and fat tissues and the size of organs in the body among others. Again, it is important to understand that different parts of your body grow at different times, at different rates and to a certain size hence the proportional distribution you observe with your body.

when do boys or men stop growing height feet and other organs

Male Physical Growth

The issue of growing up is an integral process of three inclusive of increase in the physical, biological maturation and development of behavior. However influential these factors are to the daily lives of children and adolescents, the focus of this material is on the physical aspect.

Boys, as compared to girls, tend to stop growing much later due to a later onset of puberty which is normal for this sex. Puberty marks the point in growth and development in which the growth hormone is optimally increased and peak growth rates and heights are seen in this age bracket.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention mention that boys stop growing at an age of between 16 and 17. By 16 years, on average, girls have stopped growing. However, this is not to mean that there will be a nil in slight growth hereafter in every person. In fact, in some boys, growth has been observed to continue an extra inch as the teen years abate into 20 where growth finally stops.

So there is an age limit. You can view this fact from another scientific perspective. Growth is said to stop when the bones of the legs, arms and the back stop increasing in size. These are areas of long bone responsible of longitudinal growth.

Increase in girth of the bone when it has stopped increasing in length is a phenomenon known to increase the body width. Long bones anatomically are blessed with growth plate that is unfused in early growth years.

However this cartilaginous plate made of elastic tissue, dies and production of matrix is halted. It is from the matrix that a new bone is formed. When all the cartilage on the terminal end of these long bones is turned into bone courtesy of osteoblasts, growth stops. This is in the age of 16 to 18 years.

If you want to know how much growth remains in your bones, you can visit a doctor who will perform an x-ray on your long bones and do the math. At the age of 11-15, boys grow relatively faster than later or prior ages and growth spurts as much as 12 inches have been seen. At this age, puberty is at its peak and shoulders become more masculine meaning that they broaden.

When do Boys’ Feet & Penis stop growing

It is during puberty that your level of testosterone surges upwards to its peak. This in effect to making you more masculine alongside other features of adolescence such as

  • Growth of beards and pubic hair
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Broadening of your shoulders
  • Increased perception of your body in line with societal and sexual expectations.

The latter makes boys rather judgmental when it comes to sizes and presence of features of adolescence.

While others may be experiencing early manifestation of puberty, you may take a bit longer such as the growth of beards. This basically means that you are different from the others and this is an important factor as you delve into the ‘business of growth’.

Your penis increases in size at puberty and this is between the age of 11 and 14. Some, by the age of 13 have a penis that has already grown to its full size while others make it to the same size as late as 19.

Your penis is expected to stop growing when you are out of the puberty stage. Adulthood marks the end of puberty and this is probably the waning ages of 16 and 17. Most of your body parts at the age of 19-21 are satisfactorily grown to par.

The foot on the other hand is an important support to your body in movement and absorption of shock. Depending on the surface on which you walk for years, your feet will adapt a commensurate structure in alignment. According to The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the foot of a child has few bones relative to an adult’s.

Therefore, this means that new bones grow in the child’s foot and this is closely examined by a Podiatrist. You might not be seeing a Podiatrist, but this might form an essential routine examination of the growth of your child especially within the ages of 4 and 6 months. It is at this time that the baby pursues a new vision, walking on its two feet. Catch-up checks could be done every 2 years when the child is about 10 years.

Factors such as what the child wears as a foot covering or shoe, how tight it is and how much barefoot walking does the child do could affect the size of the foot making it stop growing at an early age among making it flex into an inappropriate shape.

To the California Podiatric Medical Association, these are considerably pertinent variants. All factors kept constant, the feet of a boy stop growing at the age of 16 years but the foot would be 80% fully grown by the age of 10 years.

What Determines Growth & Development in Men?

The influence of environmental factors on human physical growth has been widely and broadly studies over a century by now. Schell, L. M., Gallo, M. V., & Ravenscroft, J. (2009)[1], have perpetuated available studies by considering case studies and focus on social, biological and economic factors.

Well, this is the best way to categorize the factors that determine growth and development in men. There are other factors such as pollutants among others that are man-made an indirect effect of globalization.

Biological factors

Hormones: the hormones that are responsible for growth and development include the growth hormone, the sex hormone, testosterone, ghrelin, glucagon and the thyroid gland. The similarity between all these hormones is that they are all responsible either directly or indirectly in the production of glucose into the blood for its mobilization to body tissues that are growing.

Therefore, if you are genetically or environmentally predisposed to reduction in the levels of these hormones, then growth and development will be altered unless hormonal replacement therapy is instituted or stimulatory drugs administered.

Children with somatotroph adenomas or a pituitary tumor with somatotroph cells have high levels of growth hormone hence increased growth known as pituitary gigantism. Hypothyroidism interferes with boys’ growth and development. Insufficient testosterone in boys at puberty have been shown to reduce growth rate of masculine parts inclusive of the penile size.


Food is an indirect factor influencing the growth and development of children. Areas with malnutrition have populations with stunted growth. This is a prevalent case in the Sub-Saharan Africa where climate change has led to food insecurity.

nutrition determines men development

What you eat matter

On the other hand, you might have access to food but you incessantly make the wrong choice on aspects diet. Men sexual and reproductive health has been found to be improved with adequate intake of the micro-nutrients, zinc and selenium.

With reference to the penile size, foods that are vasodilatory in nature increase blood flow to the penis and promote its growth during the pubertal age. Such foods include salmon, liver and eggs. Take a look at iodine and its importance in the synthesis of thyroid hormone. In iodine deficiency which leads to goiter, growth is altered as it leads to hypothyroidism.


Short stature could be genetically inherited. It could be normal for you if it is not due to a genetic mutation. Decrease stature is seen in cases of Down’s syndrome (5 feet 1 inch) while increased stature, in Klinefelter’s in the age of 4-6 years than peers. Klinefelter’s syndrome is associated with decreased penile size (micropenis).

Socio-economic factors


Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine discovered a correlation between the size of a man’s penis after puberty. While some studies have shown that it could reduce the penile size during puberty, it also has effects after this stage.

This is so due to the vasoconstrictive effect of its principal compound nicotine (Black, C. E., 2001)[2] on the vasculature of the penis. It also has marked effects in the growth of the baby antenatal and post-natal if an expectant mother smokes.


In populations with low per-capita income, children are not able to get proper nutrition. They are also not able to visit health-care facilities for routine check-ups. Some studies have shown that growth in large families is reduced as compared to small families as the distribution of available resources such as food is above average for each child.

Signs when men do stop growing Physically

There are signs that show a man has stopped growing. It is not practically visually observable to adequately rule out signs of growth since growth can take place in a fraction of an inch. This is still growth. Therefore, the following are ways to know so:


this is the single best sign. By simply asking the age of a man, you can tell if growth has come to a dead-end. As mentioned earlier, men or boys stop growing at the age of 16 for many with a few proceeding to end of the teen years with some spec of growth.

At times, men appear to be growing beyond the age of 16 but this could be a result of increased girth as bones and muscles get thicker.


you can be able to predict the end-height of a boy by observing that of the parents. If the boy is significantly shorter than the parents even at the age of 15 will still grow taller.

genetics and human growth


There is a formula cited by The Adolescent Health Curriculum at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine that may be able to predict the terminal height of a fully-grown boy.

It involves adding a 13 centimeter height to the father’s then taking the total and adding it to the mother’s height. Afterwards, get the average by dividing the sum by two.

Tips to ensure Optimal & Healthy Growth in Male before and After Puberty

Men grow at a slower rate than women and they therefore need to be well taken care of during their early stages of growth so as to ensure optimal growth. This is by ensuring that the body is unlikely to malfunction. Men can achieve the optimal and healthy growth by living a lifestyle that allows the body to carry out its functions optimally. Below are tips to ensure the above happens;

Proper feeding habits

In most cases, men use more energy in a day than women. They equivalently need to feed well to acquire that energy each day. Most foods that are men’s favorites are not the best for their health. For optimal growth, men need to focus on consuming the essential nutrients.

Joy Bauer, author of Joy Bauer’s Food Cures and Today Show; nutrition expert explains that, it is not a handful of foods or a certain food that is important but rather the habit and patterns of consuming nutrients that are essential to the body.

This is further supported by Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) journal which explains the difference noted between men from high social class families and the poor families. The journal points out that men from high social class families tend to grow taller owing to the fact that they have a chance to access the best food and good health care.

Avoiding stress

Another secret towards optimal growth in males is by avoiding too much stress. EHP journal notes that stress slows down production of growth hormones. When you do away with the stress, more growth hormones are produced to aid in catching up with the normal growth before the stress phase.

Adequate physical exercise

Men, especially during puberty, are advised to do exercise as often as possible. This allows for the muscles to build up. However, you are advised not to do more than required exercise as that will only do more harm than good.

Other tips towards optimal growth in men include; drinking plenty of water, ensuring you take three meals in a day, and seeing your doctor frequently for an assurance that your body is functioning normally.


[1] Schell, L. M., Gallo, M. V., & Ravenscroft, J. (2009). Environmental influences on human growth and development: historical review and case study of contemporary influences. Annals of human biology36(5), 459-477.

[2] Black, C. E., Huang, N., Neligan, P. C., Levine, R. H., Lipa, J. E., Lintlop, S., … & Pang, C. Y. (2001). Effect of nicotine on vasoconstrictor and vasodilator responses in human skin vasculature. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology281(4), R1097-R1104.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.