My brother said recently:

You need to stretch after you cycle or you will become shorter.

I am very sceptical about this and a simple Google search doesn't bring up anything in the affirmative.

My question is, is it true that cycling without stretching afterwards is linked to height loss?

  • 4
    I have a magic rock that protects me from bear attacks. I keep it in my pocket and I haven't been attacked by bears even once... Can you prove to me that my rock doesn't protect me? Your mistake here is that you're putting the burden of proof on yourself; the burden should be on your brother. There's no rational reason cycling would be able to make you shorter (crushing your leg bones? Spine compression?!?), so instead of you proving it isn't true, make him provide proof that it is.
    – Ross
    Sep 15, 2017 at 13:08
  • @Ross: If bears were a problem in the UK, I would buy a dozen magic rocks ;-)
    – user32701
    Sep 15, 2017 at 13:21
  • streamable.com/y97mk
    – Ross
    Sep 15, 2017 at 13:31
  • Did he mean you as a whole get shorter, or rather some muscles?
    – stijn
    Sep 15, 2017 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


Everyone gets shorter during the day as the spine compresses under the influence of gravity. This is then reversed as you sleep at night. Yoga and stretching that improve core strength and posture can counter this effect. However it is not clear that cycling will make the effect any worse - in fact the extra exercise may actually help!

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