Keeping Mobile - What happens to your joints as you age?

Keeping Mobile - What happens to your joints as you age?

Movement Trends

As young children we jumped up from the floor with ease, swung on monkey bars and climbed with agility and speed, with no hesitancy. For many of us, moving into adult years carrying out such carefree activities without consequence, is a thing of the past. 

A study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology aimed to evaluate the association between the ability to sit and rise from the floor and all-cause mortality. It was concluded that musculoskeletal fitness, as assessed by the sitting rising test (SRT), was a significant predictor of mortality in 51-80-year-old subjects.1

We have also seen a decrease in physical activity levels of children in modern times compared to pre-devise days. Walking and biking to school, or playing games across the street with the neighbours was commonplace in the 80s and 90s. This has decreased as we have become more conscious of child safety, but also the ease of communicating with friends via social apps. We also see a drop off in sport involvement and exercise when people leave school to begin their university study or careers, and consequently their time spent sitting increases. Research has shown that activity levels influence how we age. Read more about the affects of a sedentary lifestyle here.

Lack of Exercise

Lack of physical activity impacts people in several ways, and research has shown that moderate exercise can actually reinforce cartilage for long term joint health. Inactivity can also potentially lead to excessive weight gain and obesity, which puts more stress on the weight bearing joints. 

Senescent cells accumulate in obese individuals, and with age as our cellular housekeeping processes decline to systematically remove these problematic cells. Age-related mitochondrial dysfunction and associated oxidative stress might induce senescence in joint tissue cells, and research has also revealed there is an increased quantity of senescent cells in the joints of osteoarthritic individuals.3

Excessive Exercise

On the other hand, excessive exercise can be detrimental, because the inability of cartilage to adapt to its mechanical environment may be coupled with its inability to repair following mechanical and other insults.2

Therefore, balance is important.

Leading anti-aging doctors around the world recommend senolytics as the next megatrend in slowing cellular aging and delaying disease. Plant extracts such as Fisetin, Apigenin and Withaferin A have been studied for their senolytic action to help clear senescent cells contributing to aging joints and subsequent discomfort and disease.

So what happens to your joints as you age?

For many of us joint movement becomes stiffer and less flexible due to thinning of cartilage, reduced joint lubrication and a tendency for ligaments to shorten. This gradual degradation of joints may lead to pain and decreased mobility which can affect the ability to partake in everyday activities.

This isn’t a doom and gloom scenario however,  there are things we can do as we age to minimise the effects of aging on our joints. Eating a balanced diet with quality protein, good fats, healthy oils and fruits and vegetables, all contribute to looking after your joints throughout life. A balanced diet helps provide your body with key antioxidants and nutrients for repair, and also helps maintain a healthy weight.

While a balanced diet does support joint health, it can be hard to get the amounts of raw materials needed from diet alone. This is where supplementation can be useful. Oral administration of NEM® and 5-LOXIN®  through supplementation, support healthy joints by providing all the building blocks in the right amounts for joint maintenance and repair. NEM® is a natural source of chondroitin sulphate, hyaluronic acid, and other key proteins like collagen to support healthy joints. 5-LOXIN® supports the maintenance of healthy cartilage, collagen and connective tissue, with recent research showing 5-LOXIN® can supports joint comfort in as little as 24 hours. This combination of ingredients is not only useful for looking after our joints as we age, it can also be used by athletic individuals who’s joints are subject to high impact activities.

The right amount of exercise comes down to a combination of what makes you happy, and what you feel comfortable doing for your health. Ideally any individual would exercise regularly, doing a variety of activities that help to maintain muscular balance in the body, normal range of motion, and without exerting excessive force on the joints. To protect our joints we combine this with eating well, maintaining a healthy weight by supporting our health with key nutrients to slow down the changes in our joints, which aging subsequently brings.


Nerena Morris B.Sc., N.D is a medical herbalist and naturopath with over 20 years of experience working in the natural health industry.



  1. Brito LB, Ricardo DR, Araújo DS, Ramos PS, Myers J, Araújo CG. Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortality. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2014 Jul;21(7):892-8. doi: 10.1177/2047487312471759. Epub 2012 Dec 13. PMID: 23242910.
  2. Hunziker EB. Articular cartilage repair: basic science and clinical progress. A review of the current status and prospects. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2002 Jun;10(6):432-63. doi: 10.1053/joca.2002.0801. PMID: 12056848.
  3. Coryell, P.R., Diekman, B.O. & Loeser, R.F. Mechanisms and therapeutic implications of cellular senescence in osteoarthritis. Nat Rev Rheumatol 17, 47–57 (2021).
  1. Coryell, P.R., Diekman, B.O. & Loeser, R.F. Mechanisms and therapeutic implications of cellular senescence in osteoarthritis. Nat Rev Rheumatol 17, 47–57 (2021).