|MadSci Network: Evolution|
Through hominid evolution, from australopitecines to modern humans, there has been a general increase in body stature on average. However, in the last hundred years or so there has been a secular trend in which we have seen each succeeding generation become larger. This is a trend which has characterized Western populations. It has been due to environmental factors such as changes in nutrition. What is most important to note in reference to your question is that there is much variation between populations in the world as far as average stature is concerned. I think that you have been dealing with Western populations in which the secular trend is relevant. Many of the world's peoples have not gone through the changes that we have witnessed in the Western world. Therefore there is disparity in population averages for height between different cultures. For your specific research I suggest that you search for the key concepts 'human variation,' 'anthropometric measurements,' 'secular trend,' 'human stature,' and in regard to furniture and architecture check out 'ergonomics.'
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