Could Simply Standing Be A Good Exercise? New Research Suggests Merely Staying Upright Has Health Benefits

Exercise is advised for anyone who wishes to be healthy. However, new research suggests the simple act of standing too, could benefit mankind.

People who have sedentary life styles are often advised to get off their chairs more often and start exercising. For those who feel awkward stretching in the office or do not want to opt for those standing desks can find solace in a new research that suggests merely getting up and staying upright for at least two hours a day can have substantial health benefits.

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have determined that even 2 hours a day of standing instead of sitting, could offer health benefits. Translated it means, those concerned about the ill-effects of a sedentary lifestyle need not go about making drastic changes to their lifestyle to counter some of the adverse effects of sitting too much. Some of the suggestions doing the rounds of the internet include working while standing:

It is a known fact that sitting for prolonged periods of time is not just bad for our physical health, but even our mental and emotional wellbeing. However, scientists wanted to test if doing anything apart from just sitting has some health benefits. To test their hypothesis, more than 780 men and women aged between 36 and 80 were given health monitors, shared co-author of the study, Genevieve Healy,

“Participants wore the monitors for 24 hours a day for one week, and from this data we were able to accurately determine how long each participant spent sleeping, sitting or lying down, standing and stepping, which included walking and running. We also took blood samples and measured blood pressure, height, weight and waist circumference.”

The researchers realized that merely standing for two hours instead of sitting for that amount of time, offered an approximate 2 percent average reduction in fasting blood sugar levels and 11 percent lower average triglycerides,

“Extra standing time was also associated with higher average levels of the good type of cholesterol known as HDL, and replacing 2 hours a day of sitting time with stepping was associated with about an 11 percent lower average BMI and a 7.5cm smaller average waist circumference. These findings provide important preliminary evidence that strategies to increase the amount of time spent standing or walking rather than sitting may benefit the heart and metabolism.”

While this study shouldn’t be misconstrued to mean that merely standing will accord better health, it does mean that anything we do besides sitting or lying down is responsible to offer overall better fitness. But it is by no means an excuse to skip regular cardio-vascular exercises to maintain good health.

[Image Credit | Paul Bradbury / Getty Images]