This is the scariest thing I’ve read in a while. It’s enough to make you run screaming every time you see a chair. It turns out that sitting doesn’t just cause back, neck and shoulder pain. It doesn’t just increase your chances of dying.
It makes your bum bigger.
Now, I know that J-Lo and Kim Kardashian have inspired a whole new industry which involves inserting silicone implants in the rear ends of people with bums like ironing boards, but I have no such problem.
As it turns out that it would help if I sat less. Sitting really does make your bum bigger. This article (by the unfortunately named, in the context, Alice Smellie) lists the various ways in which sitting causes something known as Desk Derriere (also known as Business Bum or Office Arse. The latter is a little too ambiguous; I’ve known lots of office arses.)
Apparently, the hip flexor muscles at the front of the hip, become overactive and tight if you sit all day. As a result, the muscles that give your bum its shape become less responsive and more underactive, leading to poor muscle tone and a hideous expanse of flabby flesh.
Something called Lower Crossed Syndrome can also develop as a result of too much sitting. This is a chronic muscle imbalance which causes lower back, knee and ankle pain.
Researchers at the University of Tel Aviv found that if they were sat on, preadipocyte cells – essentially fat cells in training – then developed into fat cells and accumulated fat twice as quickly as normal fat cells. If you sit for a long time, you’re more likely to store fat in your bum.
All the more reason to use the stairs, stand around the microwave and go and talk to people instead of sending an email.
As for me, I work from home – so I need to bounce on my Voltaren ball. And invest in a standing desk, stat.