London:Sitting in office for long hours can affect the size of your bottom a problem that has been dubbed 'desk derriere', experts have warned.In a recent study, researchers from the Tel Aviv University scanned the buttocks of inactive people and found their muscles were shrinking and breaking down due to lack of exercise.
    
The study found that fat cells thrive in the buttocks of those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, causing thick layers of fat to develop deep inside muscle tissue.
Insufficient activity and a poor diet are the main causes of desk derriere but other factors also play a role.
    
"The hip flexor muscles, found at the front of the hip, become overactive and tight if an individual spends all day sitting," explained Chris Jones, professional head of physiology at Nuffield Health.
    
"In response, the three key muscles that give the buttocks their shape  the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus  become less responsive and generally underactive, leading to poor muscle tone," Jones was quoted as saying by the paper.
    
The gluteal muscles are necessary for stabilising and controlling movement of the pelvis, legs and lower back.Women especially are prone to store fat on the bottom, Jones said."This is due to an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which dictates where fat settles in the body. Females store more fat around the hips, while males tend to retain more around the waist," Jones added.
    
It is possible to determine whether your gluteal muscles are functioning properly or if you are at risk of developing desk derriere with a simple exercise, he said. "Lie flat on your tummy and bend one knee to 90 degrees so that the sole of  the foot is facing the ceiling," Jones said."Keeping the foot facing the ceiling, slowly lift the leg five inches off the ground by squeezing your buttock on that side and then hold it motionless in the air for 30 seconds," he said.
    
"You should be able to hold the leg perfectly still, with any sensation of tension being limited to the buttock itself. If the lifted leg shakes a lot with the effort or you feel tension in your hamstrings or lower back, the gluteal muscles are not correctly switching on and engaging," Jones added.

(Agencies)

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