Research found that more time spent standing rather than sitting is associated with improved blood sugar, fats in the blood and cholesterol levels, and replacing time spent sitting with time walking is associated with a smaller waistline and body mass index (BMI). The researchers' motto: Stand Up, Sit Less, Move More.
Activity adds up over the course of a day as Dr.Lopez-Jimenez of the Mayo Clinic points out: "A person walking while at work for two hours, standing for another four hours, and performing some daily chores at home for another hour will burn more calories than jogging or running for 60 minutes. From Medical Xpress:
More time spent standing rather than sitting could improve your blood sugar, fats in the blood and cholesterol levels, according to a new study published today (Friday) in the European Heart Journal. The study also shows that replacing time spent sitting with time walking could have additional benefits for your waistline and body mass index (BMI).
Researchers in Australia gave activity monitors to 782 men and women, aged 36-80 years, who were taking part in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. The monitors were capable of determining, very accurately, how long each participant spent sleeping, sitting or lying down, standing and stepping (which includes walking and running)....participants each wore an activity monitor on their thigh for 24 hours a day over a seven-day period. .
An extra two hours per day spent standing rather than sitting was associated with approximately 2% lower average fasting blood sugar levels and 11% lower average triglycerides (fats in the blood). Extra standing time was also associated with 0.06 mmol/L higher average levels of the "good" type of cholesterol, HDL, and a 6% lower average total/HDL cholesterol ratio, which indicates an improvement in the total amount of HDL cholesterol in relation to "bad" LDL cholesterol.
Replacing two hours a day of sitting time with stepping was associated with an approximately 11% lower average BMI and a 7.5cm smaller average waist circumference. In addition, average blood sugar levels fell by approximately 11% and average triglycerides by 14% for every two hours spent walking rather than sitting, while HDL cholesterol was 0.10 mmol/L higher. There was no significant effect on BMI or waistline of replacing sitting time with standing.
"However, it is important to say that not all sitting is bad; but if people can incorporate alternatives to sitting wherever possible, it may benefit their heart and metabolic health. Our message is to 'Stand Up, Sit Less, Move More'."She said the study had also produced evidence of how common standing is during the waking day. "Standing takes up nearly a third of waking hours, and among this group of participants who could choose when they sat, stood or walked, the standing had health benefits.