With many Australians working more than the average 38-hour week, there is one muscle group that is often left at the bottom end of health considerations.
A lazy butt or dormant bottom syndrome is increasingly becoming an issue as we spend more time sitting down and it can lead to other injuries, physiotherapist Anna-Louise Bouvier told 702 ABC Sydney.
Ms Bouvier said 80 per cent of injuries were caused by the overuse of muscles, which often was the result of inactive bottom muscles.
“A lot of people will get Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis (heel pain) but it’s often not necessarily a problem down there — it’s because you actually have a buttock that doesn’t work.”
The bottom has three layers: gluteus maximus (the largest muscle), gluteus medias and gluteus minimus.
The medias and minimus are “the smart guys — they do all the controlling and positioning of the femur”, Ms Bouvier said.
“When they don’t work very well, your knees tend to turn in or out and you can get foot problems.”
How to test your dormant bottom
Ms Bouvier said pain in your calves when running or walking was an indication that your body was not using the bottom muscles.
One way to measure the strength of your bottom is to try and rise from a lunge position, she said.
If you are unable to do so without tensing your calves or thigh muscles, then the bottom muscles are not strong enough.
Another indicator is a saggy bottom.
“Sadly, through dormancy … they slide down,” Ms Bouvier said.