My workout includes exercises to increase muscle strength. I am trying to gain weight by following a specified diet and working out as instructed.

My muscles are growing slowly but I don't have any issue with that. The problem is I am a Computer Engineer and I have to sit all through the day programming. Probably, due to this, I have a slight increase in belly size at the end of the day. Why is it so?

To maintain a flat belly through out the day in the case where I have to sit in a single place for a long time, is there any way I can achieve that?

Also I want to know, what causes the increase in belly size temporarily and what are ways to keep a flattened belly throughout the day (the way it looks after workout)?

  • I don't understand the concern really, even if you have a flat stomach the skin still folds over when you sit. Are you sure you didn't just gain weight in your torso? Mar 25, 2014 at 13:51
  • Yeah. a bit, but I don't think I have gained enough weight for the waistline to show.
    – aash
    Mar 25, 2014 at 15:43

1 Answer 1



If you sit all day, you'll develop a big waistline (sources: Live Science, NPR, and US National Library of Medicine). The main way to prevent that is to move around often, even if it's just for a few mins .

Many of us are in similar situation as you (sitting for an extended period); so, we have an idea what you are going through.

To keep a flattened belly all day, try the following tricks:

  • Sit straight in your seat all day. Try not to rest your back on the chair's seat or pull it forward. By doing this, you naturally engage your abs muscles. If you're sitting straight, you should feel the muscles contracting. Rest whenever you can, but try to get back in that position as much as you can. Whatever you do, resist the urge to slouch your back. It's bad for your back and waist line.
  • Every hour or two, take a break and stretch your legs and back. If possible, perform at least 10 knee jumps to keep your juice flowing and work your abs muscles (at least once a day).
  • Also, you can do sitting crunches on your chair. Rest your back on the chair (make sure your back doesn't actually touch the seat's back), stretch your legs (ensuring they don't touch the ground), put your hands behind your head, and do about 10 or more crunches. Do this as often as you can.
  • When you get up (during break, rest, or lunch), perform (at least 20) standing crunches.
  • If you're strong enough and not tired, you can perform some crunches, planks, or reverse crunches.

Do all those exercises intermittently during the day and your stomach will feel tight all day.

Tidbit: if you can add bodyweight exercises (planks, pull-ups, chin-ups, knee-ups, push-ups, reverse crunches,) to your weightlifting sessions, you should feel your abs muscles tightening more and more.


  • 2
    Sorry, but that's not true. I was a programmer, and now manage a programming group. I sit for 8+ hours a day in front of a computer, and my waistline doesn't grow. If that were true, your waist would also grow while you slept, because that's 8 hours of not moving around either.
    – JohnP
    Mar 25, 2014 at 15:21
  • This, this, and this articles basically prove my point. Maybe your genetics is different or you took breaks. And sleeping is different from sitting, especially in the affected muscles. Lastly, observe people who sit too much and you'll see they'll have bigger waistlines over time :). Mar 25, 2014 at 15:29
  • @Kneel-Before-ZOD...I used to have a flat stomach before. I had the same routine but no workout. But I was quite thin at that time.
    – aash
    Mar 25, 2014 at 15:46
  • @geeky_sh check out the articles I linked; they basically conclude that you shouldn't sit all day without any movement. Did you say you perform those exercises I recommended and you still grew a bigger waistline? Mar 25, 2014 at 15:53
  • 2
    @Kneel-Before-ZOD Your comment about observing people who sit too much and implying they'll have bigger waistlines over time is a classic fallacy of confusing cause and effect. It might be better to present your position from the perspective such as "it is my observation that people who sit too much also tend to have sedentary lifestyles, which means they are more prone to having bigger waistlines due to inactivity leading to weight gain" or something like that. Mar 25, 2014 at 16:00

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