Do We Shrink As We Age?


Growing older has many benefits: more time to spend with family, wisdom, and clearer priorities just to name a few. Along with aging comes many changes that happen to the body. Hearing, vision, memory, and hair are some of the things we lose...but what about height?


Unfortunately, it is true that shrinking is a normal part of the aging process. Here are three reasons why shrinking happens:

  1. Your spinal discs shrink. Your spinal discs are pumped up with fluid. As you continue to age, less fluid reaches them. Less fluid causes them to flatten, meaning your spine loses length.

  2. Your foot arches fall. The arches of your foot will flatten as you age, which causes you to be just the slightest bit shorter.

  3. Your muscles lose mass. Your muscles help you stand up tall, and you simply lose them over time. The loss of muscle mass will cause your posture to falter, and gives you the appearance of being shorter.

Though shrinking is a normal part of the aging process, don’t allow yourself to worry too much as the amount of height you lose isn’t drastic. The average person can lose up to 1/4 of an inch every decade after the age of 40. So, by the time the average male turns 70, he could lose around 1 1/2 inches, whereas a woman could lose up to 2 inches.


There isn’t anything you can do to completely stop the aging process, but there are measures you can take to stop shrinking from affecting you.

We support regular exercise as part of one’s routine, and it can also help you to prevent shrinking, particularly weight-bearing exercises like jogging and running. These exercises work the hips and legs, which support muscle mass and bone mass. Another way to support the body is to get the right amount of Vitamin D, as it contributes to strong bones. Be sure to add foods rich in Vitamin D to your diet such as kale, broccoli, and almonds.

Another way to shoo away shrinking is to practice proper posture. When you are aware of your posture, you help your muscles remain strong, your bones healthy, and you prevent unnecessary stress from being put on your spine. if you aren’t sure how to maintain good posture, check out these suggestions.

Lastly, regular chiropractic adjustments can help you maintain a strong and healthy spine through all stages of life. Do you have any other suggestions to prevent shrinking? Let us know in the comments!