Human beings come in all different shapes and sizes, but medical experts have managed to outline the most common body shapes that people inhabit. This information helps doctors and patients understand certain health risks and pursue strategies related to body shape that help minimise said risks.
The four most common body types are known as Pear, Apple, Stick and Hourglass. Let’s take a look at each of these body types and how they are best taken care of.
Keep in mind; while you may not perfectly conform to one of these body types, you will likely have more traits in common with one than the rest.
People with apple shaped bodies usually have thin legs and slim hips but are thicker around their bellies, back and chest areas. Excess fat in and around the stomach and vital organs such as the liver, kidneys and heart (also known as visceral fat) increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other life threatening conditions.
Those with pear shapes normally have the widest hips. When these people gain weight, most of it always goes to their hips, thigh and buttocks. From the waist up, pears appear to be very healthy and well proportioned.
When losing weight, pears shed it quickly from their stomach areas which leave them with a very flat and toned abdominal area. The fat that builds up around the hips is not as prone to disease as fat in the stomach, but can also be more difficult to shed.
Hourglass body shapes are typically the most widely desired and healthiest looking. An hourglass figure has their hips and shoulders in proportion with each other as well as having a narrow waistline.
When someone with an hourglass body shape puts on weight it is usually distributed evenly across their entire body.
Someone with a stick body type usually has very thin hips, shoulders and waist all at around the same width. These types of people are usually the tallest, with long arms, legs and a flat chest.
These people usually don’t put on weight very quickly and are least likely to develop any weight related health issues. These people are often underweight if anything and very rarely have excess fat.
Which type of shape are you?
Pear, apple and stick shaped people are usually the easiest to point out. If you look in the mirror in only your underwear, check for the parts of your body that have the most excess fat.
If you have a lot of excess fat around your stomach, chest and back; then you are likely apple shaped. If most of your fat is around the hips and buttocks, you most likely have a pear shape.
The majority of people with stick or hourglass figures typically can tell without needing to look in the mirror. Sometimes people will have multiple characteristics from several different body types, making them feel like a bit of an oddball.
David Smith was born and raised in Calgary Alberta and loves to share his passion for health and fitness with others. Apart from running his own podcast, which uploads weekly shows that covers current health trends, he spends his time canoeing and backpacking. David recently spent a summer working at the CFIA as a health supplement reviewer. In regards to academics, David studied kinesiology at Guelph University.