Candace Karu

The Bottom Line: Dormant Butt Syndrome - The Enemy Behind You

Lifestyle, Health, FitnessCandace Karu6 Comments
 DBS: A bad sit-uation.

DBS: A bad sit-uation.

The news is not good, friends. Last week, while listening to NPR I learned that Dormant Butt Syndrome is a thing. A bona fide medical situation. My assignment for today? Get to the bottom of this disturbing trend. 

As explained by Chris Kolba of The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, Dormant Butt Syndrome (DBS) can strike athletes, like runners, who do not stretch or cross train properly. 

Reader, the news gets worse. DBS can also be the curse of the couch potato. People who spend much of their day sitting can also be at risk for the dreaded DBS. The culprit in both instances has been identified as weak glute muscles. With certain repetitive movements or with prolonged sitting, the giant muscle in your butt becomes weakened.

Here's how Chris Kolba explains it: "The rear end should act as support for the entire body and as a shock absorber for stress during exercise. But if it's too weak, other parts of the body take up the slack and often results in injury."

For overachieving runners or sedentary office dwellers there is hope. Banish the very thought of DBS with a few simple strategies that will halt the decline of your debilitated derriere.

"The key to a perky posterior and healthy glutes is simple - keep moving and strengthen your butt."

Is sitting the new smoking? In a world where most people spend more hours per day sitting than they do sleeping, is our sedentary lifestyle ruining our health? Worry not, friends. Banishing DBS and improving all-around heart and muscle health can be as simple as a walk in the park.


In the past several years, I've become an advocate for walking meetings. Instead of meeting colleagues in an office or a coffee shop, we head outside and talk while we walk. There is no desk or table between us, no chatter around us or ringing phones for distraction. I have no scientific proof that the walking meeting has improved my ability to communicate clearly or solve problems more effectively, but I'm not alone in my enthusiasm for the "walk and talk." Stanford lecturer and best selling author Nilofer Merchant has written a brilliant blog post on the subject. The walking meeting is even the topic of her 2013 Ted Talk.

 The Walking Meeting - An idea whose time has come.

The Walking Meeting - An idea whose time has come.


I'm also a fan of the phone ramble. If I'm on the phone, I'm on my feet. Even if I just walk in circles around my desk, phone calls give me the opportunity to get off my seat and on my feet.

In addition to regular activity throughout the day, keeping your glutes strong is key to banishing DBS. Any exercise that activates and strengthens the glutes will help. Squats, lunges, and box step ups are all good for a strong, bodacious booty. Check out these 10 moves to sculpt a better butt.

 Protecting your posterior. 

Protecting your posterior. 

Here are my favorite tips for avoiding DBS and improving overall health, even if you are desk-bound for much of your day.

  • Take as many "walk and talk" meetings as possible.
  • Never take a phone call sitting down. 
  • Never take an elevator when you can use the stairs.
  • Take a "stand and stretch break" every hour.
  • Take a walk at lunchtime.
  • Do body weight work - squats and lunges - while watching TV at night.