Your hip flexors are a group of muscles you use to pull your knee into your chest and bend at the waist. When you sit for long periods, these muscles stay in a shortened position, which eventually tightens and weakens them.
Tight hip flexors shift your center of gravity to the point where your hip and back muscles have to work overtime just to keep you upright. Eventually, you’ll put more wear and tear on joints in your back and hips, and you could end up with osteoarthritis. To prevent these problems, get up and walk around periodically throughout the day. Ask a trainer or a physical therapist to recommend exercises to stretch your hip flexors, like the one illustrated immediately below.
This article first appeared in UC Berkeley Health After 50.