Can You Naturally Increase Your Height After Your Teenage Years?

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Height is a physical attribute often associated with various social and psychological benefits, from increased confidence to perceived leadership qualities. Many people wonder if it’s possible to naturally increase their height after the teenage years, especially given the societal advantages taller individuals might enjoy. Understanding human growth and the factors influencing height is crucial to addressing this question.

Understanding Human Growth

Biological Determinants of Height

Human height is primarily determined by genetics, influenced by the growth patterns inherited from one’s parents. However, it’s also significantly affected by environmental factors, nutritional status, and overall health during the developmental years.

Growth Phases

The human body experiences several growth phases, with the most significant spurts occurring during infancy and adolescence. These spurts are closely linked to hormonal changes in the body:

  • Infancy and Childhood: Growth during these stages is influenced by various factors, including nutrition and overall health.
  • Puberty: This phase involves rapid growth due to increased secretion of hormones like growth hormone, thyroid hormones, and sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone). These hormones stimulate the growth plates or epiphyseal plates at the ends of long bones, which are crucial for making bones longer.

Closure of Growth Plates

The growth plates remain open and facilitate bone growth during childhood and adolescence. However, they begin to harden and eventually close once puberty ends, typically around the ages of 16 to 18 for females and 18 to 21 for males. Once these plates fuse, further increases in bone length are not possible, and thus natural increases in height cease.

Can Adults Increase Their Height Naturally?

Given that growth plates close after the teenage years, increasing height naturally through bone lengthening is not feasible for most adults. However, there are a few approaches and lifestyle changes that can help maximize or maintain one’s height potential:

Posture Improvement

Improving one’s posture can lead to small increases in apparent height and help maximize an individual’s potential height. Correcting slouching and bending habits can effectively make one appear taller:

  • Exercises: Routine practice of posture-enhancing exercises, like yoga or Pilates, can strengthen the core and the back muscles, leading to better posture.
  • Ergonomics: Adjusting work and living environments to support better posture can also help maintain natural height.

Spinal Decompression and Stretching

While these methods do not actually make one grow taller, they can help elongate the spine and improve overall posture, potentially leading to a slight increase in height temporarily:

  • Inversion Therapy: Using inversion tables to hang upside down can decompress the spine, potentially adding a small amount of height temporarily.
  • Stretching Exercises: Regular stretching can improve flexibility and help maintain the natural length of the spine.

Nutrition and Lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent loss of height due to osteoporosis or poor spinal health in later years:

  • Calcium and Vitamin D: Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D supports bone health, crucial for maintaining spine strength and structure.
  • Regular Exercise: Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, or weight lifting, strengthen bones and muscles, supporting spinal integrity.


While you cannot naturally increase your height after the growth plates close, you can take steps to ensure you reach and maintain your maximum potential height. Improving posture, strengthening your spine and bones, and optimizing your nutritional intake are practical measures. While these methods won’t make you grow taller, they can help you maximize and maintain your natural stature by preventing height loss and improving your overall physical appearance.