Your height isn’t steady and shifts as you age.
From early childhood to adulthood, your bones keep on developing until you hit your adult figure in your late teens or early twenties. As you mature and pass middle age, your figure will begin to decrease gradually due to several years of spine compression. Most people shrink 2-4 cm in their mature stage compared to their peak young adult height.
Your actual height is also affected by your DNA and there is no drastic way to tamper with this and shrink your natural height. It’s one of the things that make YOU and your identity and there are no health perks that come with being shorter.
Many folks that are way past the average height above may live long and happily. Embracing your tall height isn’t as easy as it sounds but it’s overall the best approach you can take if you don’t like your figure.
Let’s examine everything that affects your height and how you can make yourself appear shorter than you really are.
Is getting shorter naturally possible?
So, how to get shorter? There is no viable method to decrease your stature intentionally. The long bones that form your legs and arms will roughly remain the same throughout your whole life. The only height decrease you’ll experience will come from ageing and the compression of the discs found among your vertebrae.
Spinal disc compression may also lead to daily yet slight changes in your height. Some folks find that their height shifts by at least an inch from the moment they get off their bed to the time they go to sleep. For most folks, this shift will be about half an inch or less.
With that being said, there are some bone shortening surgeries but they are very uncommonly performed for the sole aim to make someone shorter. These are typically performed to even out any bone length imbalances.
Сan you get shorter with exercise?
There is this common misconception that lifting weights when we are kids or teens will hinder our growth. However, no scientific studies have backed this up. A specially designed exercise plan may actually help your bones become tougher and protect joints from damage.
Even though there is no evidence suggesting weight lifting hinders growth, resistance exercise performed wrongly may cause damage to growth plates. These are the tender spots of your lengthy bones that encourage expansion.
Damage of growth plates is not only limited to weight lifting. Close to 15-30% of adolescent bone injuries damage the growth plate as well. Thanks to special treatment though, major side effects are uncommon.
Ways to appear shorter than you really are
Even though there is no viable method to actually shrink your height, there are several tricks to make yourself look shorter. Your collection of clothes plays a major role in setting how tall you’ll appear. In case you want to appear shorter, it’s best to wear baggy clothes with volume to give the illusion of width rather than height.
Some folks suggest that wearing horizontal lines will add to your width whereas vertical stripes will make you appear taller. However, studies have found that the exact opposite applies here. Here are some tricks to make yourself look shorter:
- Wear flat shoes. It makes total sense to wear shoes that don’t add more inches to your height e.g flat shoes with no heels or platforms.
- Don’t wear pointy shoes. Pointy and elongated shoes will visually elongate your legs.
- Wear long tops and jackets that reach your bottom or legs. Long and loose garments like that will visually shorten your legs. Avoid any tight tops as they will make you look taller.
- Experiment with colour blocking. If you wear tops and bottoms in constratic colours e.g white and red or orange and pink, you will appear wider and shorter.
- Wear long skirts. This is another smart way to become shorter. Long skirts that stop at a knee level or below will make your legs look shorter.
- Let your hair down and loose. Letting your hair down and not in a tall ponytail or updo will trim a few inches off your upper body visually.
- Carry a large bag. Large and thick bags will make you look smaller and shorter in comparison.
What determines growth?
Genetics are the biggest determining factor of your height. Your general health, quality of sleep and diet also play a major role in determining your height.
Scientists suggest that 80% of your height is set by your DNA. The other 20% consists of environmental variables such as nutrition habits, sleep patterns and physical activity.
Males are typically taller than females. According to a 2018 report by National Health Statistics, the average height of an adult male in the US aged 20+ is 5.9” feet whereas the average female height is about 5.3” feet.
Some conditions may have an impact on your bone development during childhood and determine your height during adulthood. These may feature:
- Down syndrome
- Slowed-down puberty
- Russel-Silver syndrome
Kids that are malnourished often encounter delayed growth from insufficiency of proteins, amino, calcium, Vitamin D and other bone-building nutrients. It is also suggested that 1/3rd of 155M children with delayed growth in the globe live in Africa, in the sub-saharan belt.
Kids and teens with eating conditions such as anorexia or bulimia may also encounter delayed growth from malnourishment. If any of these eating disorders are temporary and not chronic, the person’s growth may temporarily pause. However, long-lasting malnourishment can result in permanent growth stop.
Our pituitary glands produce growth hormones during sleep. This is an anabolic hormone type which means that it activates the formation of proteins for muscle, bone, and connective tissue development.
The quality, as well as duration of sleeping patterns, has a definite effect on bone growth.
Embrace your height
Although there is no viable way to actually shrink your height, it’s wise to accept your height as a part of your identity and not a hindrance to living a healthy and joyful life.
You may find it helps to list down everything that you like about yourself inside and out to shift your attention from your height to somewhere else. Being tall also has its perks and you may list them to take off your focus from the cons of being tall.
Your height is mainly set by your DNA and so there is no actual method to shorten it. It’s hard but the best approach to deal with it is to accept it and use it to your advantage.
You may also wear clothes that are baggy and add width to your figure to make yourself look a tad shorter.
Watch this video to get more ideas about how to get shorter: