Many office workers would be able to relate the inactivity that comes along with a desk-bound job. Other than your fingers, the rest of your body pretty much remains immobile while you’re churning out your report.
But this inactivity sometimes extends beyond working hours. Most people are guilty of sitting down for too long every day. Whether it’s eating, reading messages, typing emails or watching videos, chances are you are on your butt.
Over time, the inactivity adds up and weakens your butt muscles, also known as glutes. So besides feeling jelly down there, you may find it increasingly harder to do basic movements like squatting to lift a child, reaching for an object above, climbing the stairs and even running after a bus.
Kareen Lai, a fitness professional and founder of Mums in Sync, calls this the Squishy Butt Syndrome.
In her book 18 Again: Bringing Out The Sexy Fit Mummy In You, Kareen explains that Squishy Butt Syndrome happens when your butt has “an inability to function as well as it was designed to”.
She says: “Most women are overly concerned about their abs and worry that their arms are too flabby. They have no idea that when they work on their butts, they work on those abs and arms too. Glutes form one of the biggest muscle groups in your body. When you work on your glutes, you have a higher chance of turning your body into a fat-burning furnace.”
Here, she offers 10 easy ways to get rid of the Squishy Butt Syndrome during your day-to-day office life. Tone your butt and burn extra calories at the same time!
1. Stand up and talk during phone calls
With the increased activity level, you’ll feel and sound more energetic.
2. Walk to the furthest bathroom during toilet breaks
The bathroom that’s farthest away is usually the cleanest and most peaceful anyway.
3. Stand up and move every 30 minutes
This will disrupt your body’s tendency to get comfortable in a steady sitting-down state.
4. Walk down the stairs to lunch
Instead of waiting for the crowded lift, go for the stairs to raise your heart rate.
5. Take a longer way to the pantry
Whenever you afford it, choose the path that has you walking more steps.
6. Stand during meetings
Especially when your meetings drag for hours, it’s a good idea to leave your chair behind. You’ll pay better attention when standing up. If your colleagues stare, tell them you’re working your butt and invite them to join you.
7. Stand and switch positions during workshops and courses
Sitting through hours of workshops would make you feel lethargic anyway.
8. Walk to hand-deliver an internal document
Grab every opportunity to move. At the same time, delivering a document by hand adds a personal touch.
9. Walk to your colleague’s desk instead of calling
Things are often resolved quickly when you talk face-to-face.
10. Sneak in 50 squats every day
During lunch or tea break, get off the chair to do squats. It will help you break out of any food coma or sluggishness instantly.
This article was first published at Shape August 2017.