Why Prolonged Sitting Could Make Your Butt Flatter: Doctor Explains
It’s evident that most people sit down for the majority of the day in today’s society. With office and home-based work environments at an all-time high, a question that regularly appears online is why prolonged sitting could make your butt flatter? Needless to say, you’ll undoubtedly be surprised by the answer.
Although many people believe that the force of sitting on a chair flattens your buttocks, it doesn’t. The reason you may be losing butt shape is because of your hip flexors tightening up. If these tighten up, your gluteus maximums (your buttocks) will encounter movement difficulties making them grow weaker and less toned.
Here’s why you should read this post. I’ve been a chiropractor for almost 30 years. I am also a trained ergonomist, published a book on posture, spoke on it on national tv, and launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for a posture-correcting device. In summary, I’m confident that I can provide you with some helpful advice and practice!
Does Sitting Make Your Butt Flatter?
After reading the above explanation, you should be able to understand why sitting can cause you to have a flatter butt. However, although a flatter butt may seem like the worst thing to occur while sitting, you’re wrong.
When your hip flexors tighten up, and you reduce the available movement in your glutes, your buttocks muscles are less activated. When this occurs, they’re used much less in daily exercises and activities. Over some time, your butt will appear to become more petite or less perky than it once was.
However, including the above, it can also have many more repercussions that you may not be aware of. From experiencing the above, you also start developing compression in the lower back. This is because your back is trying to initiate itself because your glutes cannot as they’re tight. Over time this can result in severe back pain and even more flat or saggy buttocks.
However, your butt may be temporarily atrophied due to years of inactivity and sitting. It can be much harder to obtain the rounded and toned glutes you once had if nothing is done. So, if it’s a personal issue that you don’t want a flat butt, you need to act on the situation quickly. A good way of regaining your non-flat butt is by executing daily exercises and various other practices.
How to Reduce Your Butt from Becoming Flat When Sitting
If you believe having a flat butt is a personal issue, then there are ways in which you can prevent/act on it. But remember, these prevention and fixture methods don’t just result in your old-shaped butt overnight. Depending on various other factors like your daily life, diet, and commitment, will also determine how quickly or effectively you can achieve a non-flat butt. Here’s what I recommend:
Set a Timer
It’s clear that sitting down for long periods of time can offer extremely negative health issues. Whether it’s your butt becoming flat, lower back, or shoulder pain, sitting just isn’t natural for the human body.
Nevertheless, it’s only recommended to stay seated for only 20 to 30 minutes at a single time. Therefore, if you implement a timer in your work schedule, you can time 20 or 30 minutes, stand for 2 to 3 minutes and continue working. Trust me, your buttocks will appreciate it and various other joints in your hips, knees, and back.
Now, I understand that most people cannot have a break every 20 to 30 minutes. Luckily with innovative technology, you’re able to purchase height changeable desks. If this is you, you may want to consider investing in one.
Fix Your Posture
Including the above, you should also fix your posture. Hands down, the reason for discomfort or your buttocks becoming flat while sitting is because of your posture. This is because correct posture helps promote healthy and proper muscle alignment. From achieving this, you’ll have much less pressure on your hip flexors which will help reduce the threat of your butt becoming flat.
An excellent way to achieve a better posture is by implementing a chair wedge in your seating area. The chair wedge is specially designed to align your body and reduce the stress on your lower back and hips. From this, you’ll radically reduce the chances of sitting, causing your butt to become flat.
Best Seat Cushion to Engage Your Butt Muscles
Many seat cushions do not seem to be designed to make you comfortable or healthy. A person suffering from weak gluts may cause your butt to look flatter. As a result, choosing the right seat cushion can make a huge difference in your life.
I’ve written a complete hands-on review of why memory foam seat cushions don’t work and here are some of the shocking issues that I ran into in this post!
There’s no need to worry, I’ve got your back! My 30 years of treating back pain patients and analyzing almost every seat cushion ever made allow me to share my opinion about the benefits of the best seat cushion for engaging your butt muscles. I wanted to address this issue by providing some evidence-based research in regard to pressure management and cushions.
Also, if you are into inexpensive alternatives to office chairs, I wrote a fascinating article on how and why you should consider these options for weak buttocks muscles and I encourage you to read it!
For My Patients Who Have Weak Buttocks Muscles, I Have Designed This Seat Cushion (below):
In response to my research, I decided to create my own seat cushion and test it out on my patients. I eventually created a seat cushion that worked well after trying different materials and designs. My patients liked it! The secret to the success of my seat cushion is in the design. I wanted to design something that may provide comfort and support, so I incorporated an ergonomic design with that intention. If you’re looking for a seat cushion, I highly recommend giving mine a try. Trust me, it’s worth it!
Workout: Start Exercising Butt Muscles
Including the above, having a small office or home workout routine targeting your butt will hugely enhance the chances of it becoming more toned and rounder. Here are some weight-free exercises you can undergo to make your buttocks less flat.
Without a doubt, squats are the best way of achieving a non-flat butt and also combat a sedentary lifestyle. The only downside to this exercise though is the amount of balance and stability required to complete a repetition. If you’re unable to balance yourself while performing this exercise, consider placing yourself near a wall or railing. Here’s how you can squat anywhere without weights.
- Stand with your hips shoulder-width apart. Keep your hands by your side and raise your chest towards the sky.
- As you bend your knees to perform a squat, pretend like you’re sitting on a chair. Although this isn’t possible for some, you’ll ideally want your glutes to touch your calves. Always remember to keep your core tight.
- To come back up to your standing position, push up from your heels while keeping a good posture and squeeze your butt.
Another exercise you should try is donkey lifts. These require much less balance and may be more beneficial for those that struggle with squats.
- You’ll first want to get on all fours with your head directly in line with your shoulders and knees under the hips.
- Without rounding your spine, engage your abdominals and raise one leg, so it’s straight with your entire body. Remember to keep one knee on the floor.
- Squeeze for a second until returning your leg to its original position.
- Repeat around 15 to 20 times (including both legs).
After reading, you should now be knowledgeable on whether or not sitting causes a flat butt. As you can see, the force from sitting on a chair doesn’t cause this. However, it does make your hip flexors much less mobile, meaning your glutes are less activated in day-to-day activities, indicating they become weaker and flatter.
Although this can seem daunting for some, you don’t have to worry about it. Just implement the above in your daily lives, and your butt will become less flat over time. But, when undergoing the suggested prevention methods, remember sleep, diet, and your overall health play a vital role in how your body reacts to these changes.
- Thorp, Alicia A., et al. “Breaking up workplace sitting time with intermittent standing bouts improves fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort in overweight/obese office workers.” Occupational and environmental medicine 71.11 (2014): 765-771.
- Raichlen, David A., et al. “Sitting, squatting, and the evolutionary biology of human inactivity.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117.13 (2020): 7115-7121.
- Suris, Joan-Carles, et al. “Towards a sedentary society: trends in adolescent sport practice in Switzerland (1993–2002).” Journal of adolescent health 39.1 (2006): 132-134.