The Case of the Missing Butt

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I presented an ergonomic health talk in a corporate event last month on ‘How to Succeed at Health with Chiropractic’. It was of no surprise that working in the white collar industry, almost 90% of them requires to sit for more than 6 hours a day, excluding the hours sitting while you drive, while you eat or at home watching television.

Some results have estimated that some people may sit up to 15 hours a day. When I asked:” how many of you experience discomfort on your low back and pelvic region?’, I had a room of 40 attendees and 8 of them raised their hand, admitting that they have some sort of such symptoms, majority due to prolonged sitting.

We did a quick 5 minute glance of the attendees’ posture and realized. ‘The saggy butt’ syndrome appears in more than 30% of them, majority of them comes with low back pain.

You’re a runner. You are active, maybe few times in a week. It probably will never run across your mind of having ‘sedentary lifestyle’. CNN Health+ highlighted that countless studies have correlated chronic sitting with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, obesity and the list goes on. More importantly, health care professionals also discuss why there is nothing inherently wrong with sitting. Placing your body in a seated position does not do any serious damage of itself, but the serious damage comes when your body is chronically places in the same position with little to no movement for 60-90 minutes or more at a time.

Sitting is bad because of the absence of physical activity. The negative health consequences of being sedentary for more than 60-90 minutes apply to any position…… including standing. Standing workstations only makes you marginally healthier than sitting, in the long run because you are still sedentary. SEDENTARY IS THE NEW SMOKING. Get advice from your orthopaedic or chiropractor, they’ll tell you that standing desk hasn’t lessened their number or regular clients, they just present with a different kind of problems. While all that excess typing and minimal moving may be good for your career, it’s not all that great for your butt.

It is like a frog slowly boiling in water, you don’t realize anything is wrong until it’s too late. “It is not going to happen right away, but sitting at the desk for five years, it will” said Emmanual Stamatakis associate professor of physical activity, lifestyle and health behaviours at University of Sydney.

Here’s the hard truth: The probability is that over 70% of you are sitting as you read this article. You were probably sitting for the 60 minutes before reading this article, and you will probably sit for the vast majority of your day after reading this article. I see many people in pain day to day and nearly all of those with leg pain can be traced back to weakness of the derriere.

Have you ponder, what makes your buttock just switch off? Is it from the sedentary lifestyle? Can it be from all those years of sitting in school, university or behind the desk at work? Or could it be inherited from our forefathers, or do they even have them?

Extended periods of sitting causes your buttock muscles to deactivate or shut down. What more with sitting in a bad posture without much movement? It no longer remains as the primary mover for the lower body. This causes the quadriceps muscles to bear more responsibility and your lower back to bear more strain, sooner or later affecting both the knees.

 

ANATOMY

The Gluteal muscles refers to your muscles of the Buttocks, consist of three individual: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus. It is one of the strongest muscles in the human anatomy and is primarily assisting you to walk, run, climb stairs, and lift your leg in a sideways motion and helping you maintain an upright posture whilst standing.

Your buttock muscles (gluteus) impact your hip movement, pelvis rotation, and pelvic stability. Your pelvic connects the spine to make the trunk to hold the whole upper skeletal framework and attaches the lower limbs by a pair of hip bones. Basically, what is bad for your butt is actually bad for your entire body.

 

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