Normally, it's wise to sit down when you're about to hear bad news. In this case, you might want to stand up. New research from Tel Aviv University suggests that spending too much time seated can make your rear-end grow larger. Here, a brief guide to the disturbing findings:
Sitting makes your butt big?
Yes, according to the study, which was recently published in the journal Cell Physiology. The researchers concluded that the pressure placed on the buttocks and hips from too much sitting or lying down can generate significant fat build-up in those areas. "Obesity is more than just an imbalance of calories," professor Amit Gefen of Tel Aviv University tells Britain's Telegraph.
How did the researchers figure this out?
They examined MRI images of muscles in people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, and noticed that fat had built up in the spots taking the most pressure from sitting or lying down. Next, researchers tried to mimic the process in the lab, stretching and pressing fat cells over extended periods. After two weeks, they measured the liquid fat produced by the cells, and found they generated nearly 50 percent more than fat cells that aren't being smashed and stretched. Cells respond to their environment, Gefen says, and when fat cells are squished they "produce more triglycerides (the major form of fat stored in the body), and at a faster rate."
So should I stop sitting down?
It might be wise to get up from the desk or couch every now and then. Because "even those who eat well and exercise can suffer the consequences of a bigger butt and waistline," says Lara Salahi at ABC News, "if they stay seated for longer periods of time."
Sources: ABC News, Gawker, Huffington Post, Telegraph
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Blame Obama and U.S. evangelicals for the persecution of Iraqi Christians
- Face it, ladies: We can't all be beautiful
- Don't hate the 'poor door'
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Are there too many good shows on television?
Subscribe to the Week