It’s no secret that we spend more time sitting than our ancestors did. We no longer have to hunt and gather for food. Many of us work at desks that support computers. Oh, and there’s also Netflix, which is no fun to watch while standing up, right? Well, we may want to rethink how we watch our fave programs because it turns out that sitting isn’t all that great for our behinds.
“When you sit all day, basically what happens is your glutes shut down,” Dr. Dan Giordano told Self. In other words, while you’re working, your butt isn’t. This causes your butt muscles to not get the workout they need to help with pelvic stability, hip movement, and the rotation of your pelvis.
Sadly, we have even more bad news: Sitting all day doesn’t only impact your booty, it impacts your entire body. See, when your butt muscles aren’t active, this causes your hip flexors to tighten. Dr. Giordano explained, “When this happens, your pelvis can’t rotate forward, causing compression in the lower back which can lead to back pain.” If you don’t take care of this, it will only get worse over time – and it may even spread to other parts of the body like the knees and ankles.
In addition to causing pain, too much sitting can also change how your butt looks. “An anterior pelvic tilt (tight hip flexors) can make your booty appear flatter,” revealed Dr. Giordano. Personal trainer Adam Gallo added that many of his clients see their butts getting less toned, less perky, and even saggier because they sit for long periods of time.
Gallo also mentioned that constant sitting can affect the quality of our skin. He stated, “Cellulite can form because of lack of blood flow at skin level, which causes loss of collagen.”
To combat the above effects, it’s important that we workout regularly and focus on maintaining good posture. This consists of feet being flat on the floor, having lower-back support, making sure your computer screen is at eye-level, keeping elbows at the height of the table, adjusting your chair so your knees are slightly below your hips, keeping your shoulders relaxed, and (last, but not least) pushing your chair close to your desk so you don’t have to reach for your keyboard.
If you feel like you still need some assistance in the posture department, plenty of products out there can help. There are back cushions, butt cushions, posture correctors, and even back support mesh that can be attached to your chair. If you want to know which product will be best for you and your condition, consulting a doctor will definitely help.
Though it may be hard to keep our posture perfect 24/7, we have a feeling that our butts and bodies will thank us in the end.