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There are some things that get better with age: Cheddar cheese, cast iron skillets, and especially Jane Fonda. One thing not on the list, though, is our joint health. Seriously, how often have you heard—or maybe you’ve said it yourself—”Ooh, my aching joints!”
That’s because as we age, joint mobility tends to wane—thanks to a combo of nine-to-five desk jobs, lounging on the couch, and poor posture when we use our phones and computers. Joint mobility is our ability to access all the ranges of motion within our joints, explains physical therapist and certified strength and condition specialist Grayson Wickham, founder of Movement Vault, a mobility and movement company.
The consequences of limited joint mobility? Pain, compensating with the wrong muscles and joints to move how you’re trying to move, and even injury. “Around the age of 40, the injury rate starts to increase because at that point we’ve been putting our bodies in—and operating in—sub-optimal positions for four decades,” Wickham says. “That results in tight muscles and joints and means we have less ability to move freely, which really takes a toll on the body.”