October 8, 2020

Can Posture Affect Your Height?

By: Audrey O.

 

If you are beyond your teenage years, you probably think your height is set in stone, right? As it turns out, this may not actually be the case.

We are all aware that sitting up straight and practicing good posture makes you appear taller. But, did you know that bad posture can actually affect your true height?

Many of us have grown accustomed to slouching at our desks or sleeping in a position that is not conducive to maintaining proper posture. It can be difficult to break these habits, but your height is at stake.

Like anything else, changing our habits requires effort, time, and patience. It is crucial that you assess your positioning because poor posture can have both short and long term effects on your body.

You may have gone to the doctor and wondered why your height has decreased slightly. Maybe you attributed this to aging. Did you ever consider that your posture could be causing this change?

Luckily, this is an issue that is within your control. Start today by taking note of your positioning and attempt to correct your posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping.  

Being mindful of your positioning will pay off by decreasing the strain on your muscles. And, it might just make it a little easier for you to reach the top shelf in a few years.

Bad Posture Can Make You Appear Shorter

In the short run, bad posture can definitely make you appear shorter. Just picture yourself slouching and you will easily see why this is true. With your spine curved, you are not reaching your greatest height potential.

Of course, the flip side of this is true as well. If you sit up straight and fully extend your spine, you will not only appear taller, but you will actually be reaching a higher height level.

Proper posture comes with loads of benefits that you will experience as you become more mindful of your positioning. Not only will you appear more confident, but sitting up taller signals a sense of professionalism to others.  

When you are slouched, you are exhibiting nonverbal communication that suggests doubt or skepticism about your self-confidence. Leaning over for long periods of time also increases your risk of becoming injured.

While these are only short term consequences, they can have significant impacts on your physical health and the signals you send to others.  

Posture does not just impact you in the short run. There are endless long term benefits of maintaining proper posture.

Long Term Effects of Posture on Height

While this is still a fairly new topic, practicing bad posture over time can permanently affect your height. If you typically slouch while sitting and standing, you can alter how your muscles and joints adjust. In the long run, this can create a curvature of your spine that is difficult to reverse.

Genetics play an unquestionable role in height. If you’re destined to be tall, having poor posture in your adolescent years will not prevent you from becoming tall.  

When you are past your natural growth period, it is unlikely that you will grow significantly taller. As you age, it is normal for your body to lose a couple of inches vertically. This is because your vertebral discs naturally decrease in height.

However, this issue can be exacerbated by poor posture. If you consistently slouch, you will see long term effects in your later years as your body will naturally curve downward, decreasing your height as a result. This type of spinal compression can cause serious discomfort.

Luckily, it is possible to avoid losing a couple of inches resulting from improper positioning. If you are consistently mindful of your posture, you will be able to achieve your maximum height even as you age.

Good News: Perfecting Your Posture is Possible

Poor posture is something you can change although it requires some practice and patience. If you have spent years slouching at a desk, you must practice good posture consistently to see a positive change.  

minder by obVus Solutions provides a wearable device that tracks your posture in real time. This technology provides immediate biofeedback and reminders that will enable you to be more conscious of your positioning.

There are a variety of exercises available that can assist you with maintaining proper posture and avoiding serious injuries in the future. Completing these exercises on a daily basis can make a lasting difference.

It is recommended that you create an ergonomically-friendly workspace in order to achieve your posture goals. Position your desk and computer so that the top of your computer monitor is at eye-level. Sit up straight in a comfortable chair and place both feet on the floor.

While there are many steps you can take on your own, you can also speak with a health coach, physical therapist, or chiropractor to develop a plan to correct your posture.  

Together, these recommendations will permit you to maintain your maximum height for years and decades to come.  

Other Factors Contributing to Bad Posture

Your body positioning while sitting and standing are not the only factors that can impact your posture and height.

One factor is your diet. Be sure to eat a well balanced diet and get enough vitamins each day. Poor diet can lead to lower energy, making you more likely to slouch or lean on surfaces for support.

Also, greater body mass can make it more difficult to maintain good posture. It has been shown that those who were overweight in their childhood are predisposed to a greater likelihood of poor posture during adulthood. 

Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly are important factors in your ability to maintain correct posture.

Many people do not think about their positioning when they are going to bed. However, your posture while you sleep can have important implications. Sleeping with correct posture can help you lengthen your spine and avoid discomfort in your back and neck.


Overall, your height is predisposed for the most part due to genetics. However, there is a chance your body could lose a couple of inches vertically if you do not practice proper posture.  

You can avoid spinal discomfort and injuries by being mindful of your positioning and making a plan to ensure you maintain proper posture throughout the day. If you continue to practice good posture, you will be able to maintain your maximum height.  

If you typically slouch, it is recommended that you start working to correct your posture now on a consistent basis. With time, you will notice that what was once unattainable, might be within reach- literally.