12/11/2010 18:17 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Going For A Walk? If You're Short You'll Burn More Calories

Smaller steps burn more calories Small steps burn more calories. Photo: MorgueFile, jdurham

Short people have plenty to moan about. Like always have to take up trouser hems and not being able to quite reach the floor when you're sitting at the back of the bus or on the train.

But at last there's some good news for the vertically challenged. According to Dallas-based scientists, short people burn more calories than tall people while they're walking. Writing in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the researchers discovered all people use more or less the same amount of energy (calories) for every stride they take. But shorter people have smaller strides - on account of their legs being shorter too - so they take more steps than tall people to cover the same distance.

Now here's where it gets a bit complicated. After testing a group of volunteers of varying heights walking on a treadmill, and measuring the amount of oxygen each volunteer used to calculate their metabolic rate, the researchers came to this conclusion. Someone who's just 5ft tall and weighs 100lb burns 49 calories if they walk a mile. But someone who's 6ft tall and weighs 190lb burns around 71 calories per mile.

However, while taller people use more energy overall - because in general they have to support a heavier body weight against the effects of gravity - short people actually burn more calories in relation to their body weight.

We're not exactly sure why this is important, but we're guessing all of you shorties out there will have a smile on your face while you read this.

Are you fed up of being either too tall or too short? Tell us why.

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