Sleeping backside syndrome -- wake up from gluteal amnesia


In 1987, the “Buns of Steel” workout video was all the rage. It sold more than a million copies on VHS tape. The program of 50 separate exercises was developed by Greg Smithey, owner of the Hip Hop Aerobics Club in Anchorage, Alaska.

Since then, backsides from Alaska to Florida have not fared as well. A 2018 JAMA Network Research Letter that looked at almost 6,000 U.S. adults found that 25.7% report sitting for more than eight hours a day.

Sitting on your tuchis day after day causes what’s called gluteal amnesia (the muscles forget how to work). And that has a ripple effect on more than your cellulite. It destroys core strength and balance, damages cardiovascular health and increases your risk for obesity, diabetes and some cancers. A study in JAMA Oncology even found that cancer survivors with prolonged daily sitting and little to no physical activity had a far higher chance of death, whether from their cancer or other causes.

Suffering gluteal amnesia also can cause lower back and hip distress, says Andrew Bang, a chiropractor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. “Muscle weakness can compress, pull or pinch the nerves, leading to numbness.” No wonder a more popular term for the condition is Dead Butt Syndrome!

The solution: Stand up every 30 to 60 minutes -- walk, take stairs, jump up and down, take a spin on the stationary bike. Consider getting a standing desk or get a treadmill desk, like mine! I often do 12,500 steps a day.

When it comes to the flu vaccine, have you flown the coop?

William Randolph Hearst’s mother Phoebe, President Benjamin Harrison and Allen Dulles, director of the CIA, all died from the flu. The list of famous flu fatalities goes on and on.

Yet the ravages of influenza are often ignored. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 2010 and 2020, the flu killed 12,000 to 52,000 Americans annually. Around 75% to 80% of those who die from the flu are 65 or older.

The CDC says this flu season, when it’s all said and done, only around 65% of seniors and 57% of all eligible Americans will have gotten their flu shot. That’s a shame.

The benefits of vaccination are cumulative -- getting one year after year helps protect you from influenza even in years that the flu produces mutations that aren’t covered by that year’s shot. And when you do get infected, the vaccine protects you from hospitalization and death. One study found that repeating the vaccination yearly is 74% effective in preventing intensive care unit admissions and 70% effective in preventing deaths. Vaccination also helps prevent heart attack, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and dementia, which can develop as a result of the increased inflammation throughout your body that happens if you contract the flu and are unvaccinated.

The bottom line: The chance that the flu vaccine will provide a benefit compared to the chance that it will cause a serious problem is more than 1,000 to 1. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone (without contraindications) ages 6 months or older. Check out VaccineFinder ( to find a location near you.