Does height increase after 21 years old?

by   |   Jan 07, 2021

Some people are not satisfied with their height and only wish to become taller. The bad news is, there is nothing much for most adults to do to increase height. Most people’s growth plates will have closed completely by the age of 20, after which any tricks to increase height will not work, even with exercise and nutrition. Despite this, there are ways to prevent loss of height and appear taller for adults to improve their looks as they age.

Let’s find out which factors determine height as well as the most effective techniques to look taller for adults in this article.

Factors that determine how tall you are

A person’s height is under the influence of different factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Sex
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Living environment.

The role of genetics in your height growth is significant as studies show that the biggest factor that decides the body type in fraternal twins is heredity. In other words, you are more likely to become tall if you have tall parents; on the contrary, your chance of having a good height is relatively low if your parents are short. Another biological factor that determines your height is sex. Men tend to have more total height potential than women. Some medical conditions also alter the growth of your height during childhood and adolescence, including:

  • Cancer
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Turner syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Untreated celiac disease
  • Arthritis
  • Dwarfism
  • Gigantism
  • Any conditions that require prolonged use of steroids.


Nutrition also impacts your height potential to a large extent. In fact, it can be as powerful as genetics in increasing height during your growing years. Having good nutrition from dietary sources of bone-nourishing minerals and vitamins can help children and teenagers grow taller fast and effectively whereas a lack of nutrition will prevent them from reaching their genetically predetermined height. Researchers have discovered that people have become taller as nutrition has improved over time. As a result, children and teenagers who consume a diet rich in protein, calcium, and other height-increasing nutrients will be able to maximize their growth potential.

Another determinant of height growth is exercise as growth hormone is released when you are active and involved in various physical activities. Once this hormone is secreted, children and teenagers with active growth plates in their bones will experience more growth than they would if they have a sedentary lifestyle.

Notwithstanding this, people will generally stop growing taller if their growth plates have fused completely. While boys tend to reach their final adult height by the age of 16, most girls achieve their adult height between the ages of 14 and 15. Cases of people growing taller after 19 are really rare.

How to look taller and avoid height loss for adults

Now that you know the answer to your question of “Does height increase after 21?”, you should consider these tips to appear taller and prevent height loss as you age instead of looking for different methods to increase height from unauthentic sources.

Strengthening your core muscles

A person can look taller and maintain good posture with a strong midsection. Core muscles are the muscles along the spinal column and in your abdomen. As these muscles support your spine, they need to be strong or else your spine may get compressed when it is not properly supported. This can eventually result in slouching.

To strengthen your core muscles, you should perform these exercises:

  • Abdominal crunch: Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent. Then, raise your shoulders and head using your core muscles.
  • Superman: Lie on your stomach and extend your legs, arms, and head off the floor; then, hold the position.
  • Plank: Keep the muscles in your abdomen engaged, hold this pose at the top of a push-up.

Improving your posture

Back pain and headaches that usually accompany slouching can be avoided by sitting and standing with good posture. Besides, better posture will make you look taller as well.


You should consider these tips to improve your posture while standing:

  • Hold your head level and in line with your body
  • Keep your shoulders back
  • Keep the belly muscles lightly engaged and pull your belly toward the spine
  • Do not lock your knees
  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Let your arms hang naturally at your sides
  • Place your weight mostly on the balls of your feet.

When sitting, keep in mind the following points:

  • Allow your shoulders to comfortably rest
  • Use a towel or small pillow to support your back
  • Do not cross your legs
  • While seated with your feet on the floor, you should adjust the height of your chair so that your thighs remain parallel to the floor
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor.

Good posture secures proper space between your vertebras and thus, makes you appear taller and longer.

Preventing age-related height loss

You can begin taking steps to prevent loss of height due to the aging process instead of looking for ways to increase height as an adult. In fact, a person may lose as much as half an inch in height every 10 years after they reach the age of 40. This age-related loss of height is caused by vertebral compression, osteoporosis, and other reasons. You may even be subject to a significant height loss over time.

Following these tips can help you combat age-related shrinking:

  • Stay properly hydrated
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid cigarette smoking
  • In order to combat muscle loss, try to practice weight-bearing exercises regularly
  • Ensure sufficient nutrition, especially your calcium intake.

Bottom line: Does height increase after 21 years old?

You can only grow taller if your growth plates are still active. However, for most people, their growth plates will have already closed by the age of 20, which means they cannot increase their height after that. Despite this, there are many ways for adults to look taller and correct their posture. Besides, there are preventive measures for people over 21 years old to take to protect them from loss of height as they age.

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