At barely 5’ 2”, I can’t afford to lose any precious height. It’s difficult enough finding clothes that hit me at the right places. Hemming pants and skirts is already a fact of my life.
So this frighten me:
Until around the age of 30, you normally build more bone than you lose, but after 35 this switches. Women can lose about two inches in height, with the rate of bone breakdown happening more quickly after menopause.
4 common reasons why you shrink as you age
A decrease in muscle mass (known as sarcopenia) can lead to weakness and frailty, as well as a decrease in height
A decrease in bone density and resilience (known as osteoporosis) can lead to weakness, fractures, and greater curvature of the spine—all of which can also cause you to become shorter
The discs between your spinal vertebrae can dehydrate and compress causing shrinkage
Flattening of the arches of your feet can also make you slightly shorter
This is not just a superficial concern, either. Losing one to two inches within a year puts you at a higher risk for spinal and hip fractures.
Consider getting your bone density screened at your next doctor’s visit, especially if you’re around menopause-age or have any risk factors, such as any broken bones as an adult or a close relative with osteoporosis.
But here’s an important thing to know: Just because age-related shrinking is common nowadays does NOT mean it’s natural or inevitable.
4 things you can do now to prevent age-related shrinking
Practice good posture
Engage in regular physical activity
Don’t smoke or diet excessively
Eat a nutrient-rich diet
Over the next few weeks I’m going to go over some ways you can learn to improve your posture, so not only will you resist losing height over time, but you’ll also keep your joints healthy and pain-free. Another bonus: Good posture helps you look fabulous!