We all know about the havoc prolonged periods of sitting can wreak on our health, and there’s a new impact to add to the list.
If you spend most of your day behind a desk it’s likely that you’re suffering from “dead butt syndrome” or “gluteal amnesia”.
When your glute muscles are underused, they “forget” how to function properly.
Chris Kolba, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., physical therapist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told SELF, "When you sit a lot, the hip flexor gets shortened and tighter, which leads to the butt muscles not firing or working as optimally as they should."
This can have ongoing repercussions for the rest of your body.
When your glutes lose strength, other muscle groups in your back and lower body overcompensate, wearing out quickly.
Dr Cassandra Fairest told Stuff that she often sees patients presenting with a knee, hip or lower back injury when weak gluteal amnesia is the actual cause of the pain.
"Often people can have weak glutes and don't know it."
Fortunately, there are a few ways to fix it. Focus on exercises that target the three gluteal muscles – the maximus, medius and minimus.
Incorporate glute bridges, squats, lying-down leg lifts, clamshells, lunges and bird dogs into your exercise routine. Also, ensure you’re taking regular breaks from behind the desk to walk around and stretch.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.