A recent study from Tel Aviv University in Israel showed that thick layers of fat develop deep inside muscle tissue of people who lead sedentary lifestyles.
This is because fat cells thrive particularly well when muscles are under-used. Fat cells that receive regular compression (i.e. being sat on all day) were found to accumulate twice as fast as normal fat cells.
Of course, we’re not about to stage an uprising and stop working – many of us have jobs that mean we have to sit at our desks all day – but that doesn’t mean we should all be condemned to a lifetime spent tracking down the perfect pair of supportive pants.
According to Anna Raymond of the British Dietetic Association, the best answer to a dainty derriere is to cut down on sugar, drink plenty of water and get two portions of oily fish every week.
“Those sitting at desks all day often forget to drink enough. Dehydration may cause you to reach for sugary snacks,” she warned.
Eating sugary snacks triggers the release of insulin, which increases the body’s ability to store fat. Sugar also drains the body of energy, making you feel less like exercising when 5pm eventually rolls around and the usual battle of ‘do I go home, slob out on the sofa and have dinner, or slog away on the treadmill for an hour’ commences.
Oily fish is thought to improve skin elasticity on the buttocks, keeping it sag-free and peachy.
As well as maintaining a good balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise is also a great way of preventing ‘desk derriere’. You can incorporate exercise into the working day by opting to use the toilet furthest away from your own desk, running up and down the stairs, and walking or cycling to work wherever possible.
Instead of snacking on chocolate and crisps, stock your desk draw with healthy snacks that release energy slowly, such as a banana, a packet of nuts, or whole-wheat crackers and hummus.
Consulting a nutritionist could help you stay on track (and maybe even achieve the derriere you always dreamed of!) To find out more, please visit our Healthy Eating page.
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