Why Do Older People Grunt or Moan When Sitting Down or Standing Up?

People make a variety of sounds when lifting heavy objects, from grunts to moans and everything in between. If you’ve ever been around someone elderly, it’s likely you’ve heard a grunt or two when they sit down or get up. That’s because rising from a chair calls upon core strength of the abdominal muscles. The older you are, the more likely you are to have those muscles ravaged by time. Both sitting down and standing up require some level of core engagement. By tightening the core, the elderly may exhale with a grunt. Younger people don’t need to brace themselves in the same way, which is why a child can spring up from a sofa and begin dangling from a ceiling fan without so much as a peep. The elderly may also be letting out a grunt as a verbal response to pain or stiffness that often accompanies aging. If they’ve been seated for a while, the muscles in the hips might be resistant to sudden movement. Letting out a grunt or a moan is reflexive. Finally, sometimes groaning can increase exertion in the way it seems to for tennis players. Letting out a grunt often helps tennis players return a serve more potently. In the general population, a slight grunt can assist in propelling someone up from a recliner, and at a certain age, that’s as impressive as winning the U.S. Open.