As we get older, we can lose inches off our height, but why? And what can be done about it?
The older we get, the shorter most of us become. In fact it is estimated that during every decade after the age of 40, people generally lose ¼ - ½ an inch, an amount that increases every decade.
Unfortunately, women tend to also lose more height than men, and are more prone to bone conditions like osteoporosis.
The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging discovered that women lost, on average, 2 inches between the ages of 30 and 70, and over 3 inches by the age of 80, while men lost just over an inch by the time they turned 70, and 2 inches by the time they hit the big 8-0.
Why do we shrink as we age?
The pressure on our spine to stay upright, even as the muscles around it become less effective, means discs between vertebrae can become flattened and the spaces between our joints becomes smaller.
It’s also the case that the arches in our feet flatten too, leading to further height loss.
Four ways to prevent shrinking:
1. Top up your calcium levels
2. Work out
Certain studies have found that people who exercise regularly during their younger years tend to lose half as much height as people who didn’t.
However, it’s never too late to build muscle and strengthen your bones. Running, jumping and doing weights can all really make a difference.