Standing tall

Exercises can help with the bad posture and osteoporosis that cause us to stoop and lose height as we get older.

With chronological addition comes some anatomical and physiological subtraction. As we age, we experience decrements in everything from hair and hearing to memory and muscle.

Height loss is also on the list. Starting at about age 40, people typically lose about half an inch each decade, and the decline usually accelerates after the 70th birthday. The phenomenon has been documented by researchers. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging is a well-known investigation that included roughly 2,000 people. The men in the study lost, on average, about two inches of height between ages 30 and 80, and the women, about three (see chart below).

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