Is it true we shrink as we age?

Do some of the more “mature” people in your life appear shorter now than they maybe did before? Have you wondered “is it me or is grandma really shrinking?” There’s good news…well, for you anyway. You’re not crazy. Your grandmother really is shrinking.

That’s right. Once we hit the age of 40, we start to lose about 1/4” of height every decade. While estimates on just how much height we lose varies, losing a little height as we age is normal, but doctors warn that losing a lot, as in two or three inches, is not normal.

So, what’s behind the human shrinking, you ask? Doctors say the reason we shrink is because as we age, bones start to get thinner and our vertebrae become a little shorter. Medical professionals point out that with full-blown osteoporosis, people can lose several inches in height.

According to BBC Science, it is common for men between the ages of 30 and 70 to lose 3 cm of height while women lose 5 cm, which they say, can increase to a loss of 5 cm and 8 cm (respectively) by the age of 80.

How do you stop shrinking with age? Exercise and diet. Doctors say a lifestyle that includes calcium, vitamin D and physical exercise is one of the best ways to prevent bone loss and help combat the inevitable shrinking.