You might think your daily hour of gym time and walk to and from the station is enough to offset the dreaded ‘office bum’.
But one Gold Coast-based PE teacher and personal trainer said you might be falling victim to ‘sloppy bottom’, which has an effect on your overall posture, weight and health.
Mother-of-two Belinda Norton, 41, said that by sitting down all day, your muscles aren’t activating and this could be causing ‘sloppy bottom’.
The Gluteal muscle (butt muscle) is most important of all the skeletal muscles in your body,’ Belinda wrote on her blog.
‘When you sit for long periods of time, your hip flexors tighten up and prevent activation of the glutes.
‘Your pelvis can’t rotate forward, causing compression in the lower back which can lead to back pain.’
The 41-year-old teacher also said sitting reduces the activity of the nerves that ‘are involved in stimulating and contracting the muscles’.
‘This is very significant and detrimental to the healthy functioning of the glutes,’ Belinda said.
So what does ‘sloppy bottom’, caused by sitting down all day, do to your health?
According to Belinda – who has a wealth of knowledge about both sport and nutrition – sitting down stops your glutes from doing their rightful job.
‘When the glutes aren’t doing their job, muscle function and movements mechanics in the hips – as well as strength, power, mobility, stability, posture and athletic performance all suffer,’ she said.
Weak glutes can lead to lower back problems, as well as a curved spine, which Belinda said throws off your posture and causes back, ankle and knee pain.
‘Having strong glutes is key to being pain-free,’ she said.
To strengthen your glutes and ensure you don’t fall victim to ‘sloppy bottom’, Belinda said you should walk little and often.
‘Every time you take a step, you’re using your glute muscles,’ she said.
Exercises such as the glute bridge, deadlifts, deep squats, lunges and step-ups will all help to activate the muscle, while workouts like Pilates will also target these.
‘Remember the body is an interconnected system,’ Belinda said.
‘If the muscles do not fire in the right sequence, other muscles compensate, resulting possibly in strain or injury. Weak glutes can’t stabilise your pelvis, which causes it to tilt forward.’
Speaking previously to FEMAIL, Belinda shared the secrets behind her own body – which looks better now at age 41 than it did in her 20s.
‘Focus on how often you eat, how much you eat and then simplify the eating and preparation process,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Processed meats should never pass your lips as they are poison to the body.
‘While they are marketed as high in protein and healthy, I totally disagree and have seen dramatic health changes in myself and other women who avoid them altogether.’
Instead, Belinda focuses on nourishing her body with plenty of lean protein and green leafy vegetables.
‘I live entirely on oats, blueberries, almond milk, coffee, bananas, chicken, salmon, salad, broccoli, eggs, spinach, beetroot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, quinoa and peanut butter,’ she said.
When it comes to exercise, Belinda said there are no hard and fast rules about what you should do, but moving the body as often as possible is paramount.
‘I recommend a morning walk of 30 minutes as fast as your body can go,’ she said.
‘It increases the energy of the body and vastly improves our mood and motivation.’
The mum-of-two also does three or four of her at-home fitness program sessions per week, which include cardio and resistance training.
‘We don’t need hours to go to the gym. Just get off the phone for half an hour and it’s amazing what you can achieve,’ she said.