At risk of sounding obnoxious, I am going to tell you about one of my greatest fears: Office Butt.
When I first starting working in a professional office (The Tallahassee Democrat newspaper!) at the age of 19, I noticed that among the workers of a certain age, there seemed to be a common physical phenomenon going on.
I called it "Office Butt."
Through the years, as I saw more and more cases, I became convinced that Office Butt was an inevitable result of having a desk job. As long as I was a reporter -- meaning, I was always on my feet, running around -- I didn't worry myself about acquiring one.
But about four years ago, I stopped being a reporter and found myself spending as long as 12 hours a day planted in a chair. I have been worried about my butt ever since.
Then last week, I came across this article on MSN.com from a Men's Health reporter. My worst fears have been confirmed. OFFICE BUTT IS REAL!!!! It's not a figment of my vain imagination after all.
According to the article, we are, in general, working out more than we did 30 years ago. But we are also spending more time sitting. Unfortunately, the working out does not cancel out our sitting, the article says.
OK, OK, the article is really about all the negative effects that sitting for so many hours has on our entire body. People who sit all day are more likely to suffer from heart disease, and other medical problems.
But this is the part of the story that caught MY attention:
"If you spend too much time in a chair, your glute muscles will actually 'forget' how to fire," says Hartman. This phenomenon is aptly nicknamed "gluteal amnesia."
Or, Office Butt.
Whatever alarms you about this article, the message is clear. We need to sit less and move more. I'm gonna stand up right now.