Do We Shrink As We Age?


There are many great things that come with aging: we become wiser, seniors have a reportedly higher level of happiness, and retirement means more time for ourselves. However, there are some changes that happen to the body as we age. Vision, hearing, memory, and hair are some of the things we lose…and even height! Here’s what you need to know.

Will I Shrink?

Unfortunately it is true that shrinking is a normal part of aging. Here are the three main reasons this happens:

  1. The arches in your feet fall. Not dramatically or even noticeably, but as we age, the arches of our feet start to flatten which will cause us to lose a bit of height.

  2. Our spinal discs shrink. These discs are mostly made of water and as we age, less fluid gets to them. This means they flatten and the spine loses length.

  3. Muscles lose mass. Our muscles help us stand tall and eventually, we simply lose them. When our muscle mass is reduced, our posture falters and gives the appearance of being shorter.

It’s true that shrinking is a part of the aging process, but don’t worry too much about it as you won’t drastically lose inches overnight. The average person can expect to lose about 1/3 to 1/4 of an inch every decade after reaching the age of 40. That means by the time a male turns 70, he could lose around 1 1/2 inches, while a woman could lose 2 inches.

Stop The Shrinking

While there isn’t much you can do to completely stop the aging process, there are some steps you can take to stop shrinking from affecting you.

  1. Regular exercise can be a huge help, particularly weight-bearing exercises like jogging or running. These exercises work the legs and hips, which help support muscle and bone mass.

  2. Incorporate foods rich in Vitamin D in your diet as it contributes to strong bones. Eat lots of almonds, broccoli, and kale.

  3. Practice proper posture to avoid shrinking. When you pay attention to your posture, you help your muscles to stay strong, your bones to stay healthy, and you prevent unnecessary stress from being put on your spine.

  4. Receive regular chiropractic adjustments to keep a healthy spine through all stages of life!

Chiropractic isn’t just for back and neck pain, but also for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Contact us today to schedule your next adjustment!