Stand up — it could help you lose weight

You might want to read this on your feet. A 65 kg person would lose 10 kg in 4 years by standing instead of sitting for 6 hours a day. A new study found that standing instead of sitting for six hours a day could prevent weight gain and help people to actually lose weight.

Prolonged sitting has been linked to the obesity epidemic, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Elite workers, IT professionals or techies sit for up to seven hours a day or more, and even physically active people may spend most of the day in a chair.

Results of a study showed that standing burned 0.15 kcal per minute more than sitting. By substituting standing for sitting for six hours a day, a 65 kg person would expend an extra 54 kcal a day. Assuming no increase in food intake, that would equate to 2.5 kg in one year and 10 kg in four years.

It is also said that standing not just burns more calories, the additional muscle activity is linked to lower rates of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes, so the benefits of standing could go beyond weight control.

The gap in energy expenditure between standing and sitting is even greater. People at work not just stand still, in reality they make small movements while standing. It is understood that when people stand they tend to make spontaneous movements like shifting weight or swaying from one foot to another, taking small steps forward and back.

It was understood that replacing standing for sitting could be yet another behaviour change to help reduce the risk of long term weight gain. They suggest more research is needed to see whether such a strategy is effective and practical. Data is also needed, they say, on the long term health implications of standing for extended periods.

An advice to those whose professions require them to sit for long hours – “It’s important to avoid sitting for hours at a time. Standing is a very good first step — no pun intended — to avoid this mindset of sitting interminably without moving. Who knows, it may also prompt some people to do a little more and take up some mild physical activity, which would be even more beneficial.”

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