If you remain inactive at your desk for too long, research suggests your buttocks muscles may be paying the price.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University found for inactive people, their buttocks muscles were shrinking and breaking down due to a lack of physical activity. This particular condition has been coined "desk derriere."
For the study, researchers scanned the buttocks of participants who were deemed to be inactive. The study revealed that fat cells increase in the buttocks of those who lead an inactive lifestyle. This leads to layers of fat to develop deep in the muscle tissue. In addition, to an inactive lifestyle, poor diet is also a contributing factor to desk derriere.
"The hip flexor muscles, found at the front of the hip, become overactive and tight if an individual spends all day sitting," Chris Jones, professional head of physiology at Nuffield Health told Daily Mail.
According to Jones there are three muscles that give the buttocks its shape: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. All three muscles become less responsive which leads to poor muscle tone. The gluteal muscles are essential in controlling movement in areas such as the pelvis, legs and lower back.
Women in particular are more likely to store fat around their hip, near their gluteal muscles. Men on the other hand are more likely to store fat in their waist area. The enzyme lipoprotein lipase determines where the fat is stored in both sexes.
If you are concerned whether your gluteal muscles are function properly there is a simple exercise one can do.
Jones suggests lying flat on your stomach and bending one knee to 90 degrees so that the sole of the foot is facing the ceiling. You should keep the your feet facing the ceiling, slowly lift the leg five inches off the ground by squeezing your buttock on that side and then hold it motionless in the air for 30 seconds. You should be able to hold the leg perfectly still, with any sensation of tension being limited to the buttock itself. If the lifted leg shakes a lot with the effort or you feel tension in your hamstrings or lower back, the gluteal muscles are not correctly functioning.