Are you curious about this question – does sitting make your hips wider?
Sitting for extended hours is associated with a cluster of physical changes that are not so pleasant. It leads to weight gain, rounded shoulders, a craned-out neck, increased visceral fat, and a flat butt.
In 2014, Tel Aviv University researchers claimed that sitting made hips wider, a finding that expanded the list of issues associated with sitting.
While the Israeli scientists backed their research with lab studies, some people remained doubtful.
They felt that sitting couldn’t widen hips, an issue that stands debated to date.
But, who is right?
If you’ve been thinking if sitting does make your hips wider, here is the information you need to make up your mind.
How does Sitting Make Your Hips Wider?
In line with the researchers from Tel Aviv University, sitting widens hips in one significant way.
The excessive pressure exerted on the hips when seated prompts fat cells to produce higher amounts of body fat.
Afterward, the excess amounts of fats produced by the fat cells get deposited on the hips, a reason why the hips appear wider if you are one of those who spend several hours a day seated.
The Israeli researchers conducted the study after realizing that people immobilized by spinal injuries accumulated fat on the body parts that received the most pressure while sleeping or sitting.
A confirmatory test conducted in a lab turned out positive.
The scientists applied significant pressure on fat cells for two weeks.
After the period, the cells produced 50% more fat than those that received no or minimal physical stress.
While you can think that wide hips are not as dangerous as bad posture and weight gain resulting from sitting, researchers claim that the fat stored at the hips is as detrimental as that stored in other body parts.
Is the Hip Fat From Sitting Healthy?
The fat on your belly, waist, and other body parts deposited on your hips is dangerous to your well-being.
It will increase your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and hypertension.
Also, the hip fat generated from the pressure of sitting can increase the risk of cancer, increased blood cholesterol, cancer, heart disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and many more chronic ailments.
Besides increasing your disease risk, the hip-widening resulting from sitting is cosmetically disadvantageous.
It will cause cellulite, a condition where your hips and thighs have dimpled and lumpy flesh.
Since the fat cells on your butt and hips will keep producing more triglycerides, your hips will keep widening, and the effects of the fat buildup will keep magnifying until you alter the process.
Ways to Minimize the Unhealthy Fat Deposits on Hips
Countering the impact of prolonged sitting on your hips is relatively easy.
You will need to minimize the pressure exerted on your hips and butt and keep the muscles in these areas active throughout the day.
So, if you have been feeling concerned about your ever-increasing hip size, the following ideas will help you counter the effects.
Get an ergonomic office chair
An ergonomic office chair is designed to give the most support to your body.
The chair has a backrest to support your back, alongside aligning the spine naturally.
Ergonomic chairs also have a headrest to support the head, padded armrests to keep the arms, and a footrest for your legs.
With these features, an ergonomic chair will distribute your body weight evenly, thereby minimizing excessive pressure on your hips, butt, lower back, knees, neck, and other pressure points.
Your hips will experience reduced compression pressure even when you spend several hours seated doing office chores.
Fat cells on your butt and hips will not be triggered to produce excessive amounts of triglycerides.
Correct Sitting posture
The seating position dictates the amount of stress subjected to your butt and hips.
So, how do you sit properly on your ergonomic chair?
It is simple.
Push your butt as far as it can on the chair’s seat.
Rest your back on the chair’s backrest and your head on the headrest.
Avoid slouching and crossing legs so as every part of your body receives equal weight.
Before using your chair, adjust its seat height, armrests, recline, and headrest according to your most comfortable settings.
A properly adjusted chair should let you place your feet flat on the floor and your knees slightly lower than your hips.
Recline your chair to 100 degrees, and adjust the armrests to let you rest your arms at an L-shape angle.
Take breaks several times a day
If your work entails sitting for several hours a day, make a 1-2 minute break after every 30 minutes of sitting.
The breather will help relieve your hips and butt from the excessive pressure they get when sitting.
Besides the short break, experts recommend one long break in the first half of your day.
The break will give you time to stretch and relieve all your body muscles from the strain of sitting for long hours.
You can spice up the breaks with exercises that activate your hips and butt.
For instance, you can do standard squats, one-legged squats, squat jumps, standing kickbacks, and fire hydrants.
Use a standing desk
Sitting is not the only way to stay comfortable when doing various office chores.
But, you can complete those office chores, computing tasks, or even games while standing, a move that is supposedly healthier than sitting.
Therefore, instead of using ordinary office desks, invest in a suitable standing desk.
This type of desk comes in varying heights to help you get one that would keep you comfortable when standing.
Unlike sitting, standing will burn the excess calories that could have been stored as body fat. Health experts argue that using a standing desk can help you burn over 1000 calories each week.
Standing will also eliminate the compression pressure exerted on your hips when seated.
That way, the fat cells on your butt and hips will not be triggered to produce more fat which will end up on your hips.
Do various strength and flexibility exercises
You have often heard that exercise should be an essential part of your daily routine if you spend several hours seated.
Regular workouts will help burn the excess triglycerides that could have been stored as fat on your waist and hips.
Regular exercise will also help strengthen the spine, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and other muscles involved in sitting.
The strong muscles will share your body weight, thereby protecting your hips and butt from taking the most beating. Fat cells will not produce excess fat.
When it comes to workouts to undo the impact of sitting, you will be spoilt for choice.
You can do single-leg deadlifts, kickbacks, lateral lunges, walking lunges, step-ups, sumo squats, single-leg hip thrusts, and Bulgarian split squats.
So we hope we were able to answer this question – Does sitting make your hips wider?
Yes, sitting can make your hips wider.
Research from Tel Aviv University claims that sitting puts pressure on your buttocks and hips. In response, the fat cells in your butt and hips produce more fat which ends at your hips.