I first heard this term from Sue Hitzmann, the creator of the MELT Method. I want to ensure you understand the impact of these words regarding your own wellbeing.

The most powerful muscles in your body are your glutes (gluteus maximus to be exact) and when you sit on them all day, they become weak and ineffective. By ineffective I mean they do not function the way they were designed to function. You see, you need to be on your feet for everything to work optimally. That is why I rarely instruct my patients in exercises done in any other position than standing.

When your glutes are weak, you will have trouble with many tasks; such as rising from a chair, getting out of a car, climbing stairs, etc. You may even have pain when bending forward if you have weak glutes. I had a patient once who could bend forward with no pain if he was supporting himself with his hands on a table. He had back pain if he was not supporting himself with his hands. I had him do ‘posterior’ squats, foot slides, and step ups for ~10 minutes. He could then bend forward, unsupported, with no pain. His glutes needed to begin firing again to support him when he bent forward. Sort of like the reins on a horse.

Of course, there are many other muscles and joints adversely affected by prolonged sitting. Much of this can be avoided by standing, briefly, every 10 minutes or so. You only need to stand for a second or two to alleviate the compression and resulting dehydration to your neurofascial system. There is a specific MELT Map for the Desk Sentence.

Doing 10-15 reps of posterior squats 2-3 times a day is another good idea if you sit all day at work. Stand with the back of your knees against a chair (one that won’t move) and bend forward with your shoulders as you stick your bottom out backwards lowering into a sitting position. Don’t let your knees come forward, keep them against the chair. You will almost feel like you are going to lose your balance and your weight will be focused on your heels. if your balance is less than optimal, it’s a good idea to have your hands on a counter or the kitchen sink while you do this. This exercise zeroes in on your glutes quite effectively without annoying your knees (as long as you keep the knees from going forward). If you have a ‘bad’ knee simply place that foot forward slightly; keeping the opposite knee against the chair. It will take the weight off that leg.

~ Eileen Kopsaftis, PT, CMI, NE