Guy Slouching on the Couch

A study was recently published that showed that belly fat, regardless of whether or not a person is of average weight or obese, can cause mortality.  For instance, a person of average weight who has more belly fat than a person who is technically obese can actually have a higher risk of dying prematurely.  With so many people sitting down to work and enjoy entertainment these days, exercise is often the last thing that comes to mind.  However, the way we sit can affect belly fat.

Posture

While people used to practice good posture as a matter of societal strictures, this is not necessarily the case any longer.  It’s fairly easy to get back into doing and it will have a positive effect on a number of things, not just the amount of belly fat you’re carrying around with you.  Slouching can cause issues with the spine, and it can even go so far as to cause headaches.

However, one of the worst things it does is cause the stomach muscles to be constantly relaxed.  When this happens, the abdominal area softens up.  The longer a person slouches each day, the more apt the stomach muscles are to become soft.  Sitting up straight forces those muscles to get a little exercise, and it helps the back muscles as well.  You may find that you can lose an inch or two just by practicing proper posture while at work, watching TV or surfing the Internet.

Easy Stomach Exercises While Sitting

The great thing about working stomach muscles while sitting is that you can do them while doing other things without even thinking about it.  The main exercises work the same muscles that crunches and sit-ups do.  Basically, all you have to do is flex your stomach muscles and hold them for 5 – 10 seconds.  Breathe in as you contract them, and let them relax as you exhale.  If you want to do a little more intense stomach exercises while sitting, you’ll need to get an exercise ball.

Don’t get a cheap one that’s made for occasional use.  The idea is to replace your office chair or the couch at home with the exercise ball, which is sometimes referred to as a yoga ball.  They are inflatable, but you can buy ones that are built to withstand a lot of wear, tear and everyday use.  Sitting on one of these balls provides a great low-key, but effective workout that targets your core abdominal muscles.  Replacing an office chair for even two or three hours out of a work day should show a difference in a very short period of time.

Go the Distance

Even though each of these tactics seems like a relatively small thing, they’re easy to implement.  Exercise balls, even the sturdier ones, don’t cost a lot of money.  Not only will using these techniques help reduce belly fat, but they will also provide a bit of a workout as the day progresses.  Because you’re doing them as you’re doing other things, it is almost the ultimate in multi-tasking - your office or living room becomes a gym without having to make extra time for the gym.

An added benefit, of course, is increased energy from your body becoming leaner.  Everyone, regardless of their weight, can benefit greatly from sitting with proper posture and throwing in the occasional or regular exercise at the same time.  All of this without getting out of your chair!

Last Updated: Sunday, March 3, 2013