Being healthier may be found in something as simple as standing more and sitting less at work, says a recent study.
Replacing sitting time with standing time appeared to improve sugar, fat and cholesterol levels in the blood, researchers wrote in the European Heart Journal. The findings suggest that making small changes to a sedentary lifestyle can have a big impact on health, and that you don’t need to go as far as taking up marathon running. A study of near 800 men and women in Australia revealed a clear association between less sitting and better health.
“An extra two hours per day spent standing rather than sitting was associated with approximately two percent lower average fasting blood sugar levels and 11% lower average triglycerides (fats in the blood)” said a press statement.
Replacing two hours of sitting time with actual activity in the form of stepping was even better, with lower blood fat and sugar scores as well as an 11% lower average Body Mass Index and 7.5 centimeter smaller average waist circumference. Adults in today’s world are highly sedentary, with average self-reported sitting time ranging from 3.2 to 6.8 hours per day in Europe. Said the study. But there has been little research into the potential benefits of standing, as opposed to moving, to replace sitting.
In an editorial published with the study, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez of the Mayo College of Medicine in Minnesota said it showed that “the fight against sedentary behavior cannot be won based only on the promotion of regular exercise.”