Sitting for six hours or many hours is linked to conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. On the other hand, the results of the new study indicate that standing instead of sitting for several hours could prevent weight gain and help you lose weight. Moreover, standing could lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
The findings of the study were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology on January 31. The study was led by Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., the chair of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic and other colleagues.
It is reported that in the United States, adults sit more than seven hours a day. Meanwhile, in European countries, the average sitting hours is about 3.2 to 6.8 hours a day. Dr. Lopez-Jimenez said that prolonged sitting and sedentary behavior had been blamed for the obesity epidemic and other conditions, as noted by Medical Express.
In the new study, the researchers examined the results from 46 studies that involve about 1,184 participants. Some of the participants were 33 years old and about 60 percent of them were men. Their average body mass index and weight were about 24 kg/m2 and 65 kg, respectively. The researchers want to know if standing still could burn more calories than sitting.
The results showed that standing could burn 0.15 kcal per minute more than sitting. They found that a 65 kg person could lose an extra 54 kcal each day by standing rather than sitting for six hours a day, according to European Society of Cardiology.
Dr. Lopez-Jimenez said that standing not only burns more calories, but the additional muscle activity is also linked to lower rates of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. Therefore, the benefits of standing could go beyond weight control.
Likewise, in the past study, it indicates that moderate to vigorous physical activities each day could maintain and lose weight as well as reduce the risk of heart disease. However, there are barriers to motivation, time or access to facilities.
A concept such as NEAT or the Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis that is developed by Mayo Clinic endocrinologists and obesity researchers could also contribute to weight loss and lower the risk of the said conditions. This concept aims at calories that are burned each day by an individual while doing normal daily activities.
Dr. Lopez-Jimenez said that standing is one component of NEAT and their study supports this concept. He further noted that the idea is to work into the daily routines some lower-impact activities that could enhance the long-term health.