• Question: why do old people grow shorter?

    Asked by 11hew to Jemma, John, Lisa, Sam, David, Mus, Tess, Yue on 18 Jun 2012. This question was also asked by reds14fanatic.
    • Photo: Lisa Fitzgerald

      Lisa Fitzgerald answered on 18 Jun 2012:

      Hi @11hew,

      People shrink as they get older because gravity gradually squashes the disks in our spines. As we get older our muscles also weaken so that they cant support our body in as straight and tall a posture.

      Hope this explains it a little.


    • Photo: Jemma Ransom

      Jemma Ransom answered on 27 Jun 2012:

      Hi @ 11hew,

      in addition to Lisa’s answer, we also become shorter during the day when we are on ur feet (again due to gravity). To test this, try measuring your height in the morning when you first get up, and compare this to measuring yourself in the evening. You can expect to have lost a couple of mm which will be regained overnight when you are lying flat.