Bleacher Butt Syndrome

Wait… What? Is this a real thing? Seriously?  

Well yes, according to the Free Dictionary by Farlex, not only is this a real thing, chances are if you have teenage athletes you’ve had Bleacher Butt Syndrome! Bleacher Butt Syndrome is described as the following:

A condition caused by prolonged sitting on the hard wood or metal seats of bleachers for sport events, which compress of the gluteal muscles between the pelvic bones and the flat wooden surface, resulting in pain and paraesthesias. It is more common in older adults and worse in cold weather. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Bleacher+Butt+Syndrome

There ya have it!

We (parents of athletes) must understand that bleachers are first off, not made for comfort! They just aren’t. No matter how new the school, how good the team or how much money a program may have, the design, material and functionality of the standard bleachers are poor at best. Second, as American tend to have more of a sedentary lifestyle, it may be our own posture that is making the ‘syndrome’ worse!  

If this is you…pay attention. These next tips will not only help you enjoy the game from start to finish, they just may help save your butt 😉

First: Practice good posture. Slouching is no good for anyone, especially parents and grandparents! Slouching increases pressure on your spine and does not keep your body in a line. Practice sitting up straight and keep your chin up and shoulders back.

Second: Reduce the time of sitting. Obviously little Sally’s volleyball game or Johnny’s band concert restrict the amount of movement you can actually do, but try to get up and move around anyways. Go to the bathroom, head to the snack shack periodically, or even get up and head outside for a bit of sunshine and blood flow! The less time you spend sitting on your rear-end, the better off you’ll be! If you are outside at a track meet or baseball game, try walking around the ball field with a partner or find a vacant section of stands are walk the stairs. You may look crazy, but you will feel better and you won’t get Bleacher Butt Syndrome!

Third: Reduce the gut and strengthen the core. By being overweight and not have a good core strength we tend to fatigue easier and then Wammy!, there goes our posture. My favorite core exercise is Yoga (of course),  Planks, Butterfly sit ups, Side bends, etc. The internet is full of exercise you can do to get that washboard tummy or at least increase your core strength.

Fourth: Add the pad! Bring the Pillow! Seriously though… If you do spend endless hours at the ball game or track meet or concert, plan ahead and bring a bleacher seat or something similar. We use The Game Bag at every event, inside or out, rain or shine. Any padding that you can use will reduce the stress on your back and butt and will allow you to sit for longer periods of time. Make sure that if grandma or grandpa are at the game, take care of them too.