While it’s normal for many people to be stuck at their desks for hours upon hours during the day, this trend isn’t good for body composition or health. In fact, it has been shown that individuals who lead more sedentary lifestyles that aren’t physically active are more prone to being overweight and having other health risks. A study that was conducted in Europe may have found a feasible and easy antidote to this problem. The study examined if the simple act of standing is conducive to weight loss and improved health.
The study first reviewed many prior studies with data points that took into consideration overall health, weight, amount of time standing and sitting as well as other factors. The average age of the participants was 33. Researchers found that standing burned 0.15 calories per minute more than sitting. By that math, standing for even a fraction of the day would lead to expending more calories per day. This is obviously assuming there is no additional calories being added to the person’s diet. Just three hours standing would account for nearly three pounds a year.
N.E. A. T.
“Overall, our study shows that, when you put all the available scientific evidence together, standing accounts for more calories burned than sitting,” says senior author Francisco Lopez-Jimenez. “Standing for long periods of time for many adults may seem unmanageable, especially those who have desk jobs, but for the person who sits for 12 hours a day, cutting sitting time to half would give great benefits. Standing is one of the components of N.E.A.T. (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), and the results of our study support this theory. The idea is to work into our daily routines some lower-impact activities that can improve our long-term health.”
This is excellent news because the difference between sitting and standing for most people that have desk jobs isn’t necessarily that difficult. Getting a standing desk or an insert that allows you to put your keyboard or laptop at waist height while you stand is incredibly simple to do. It’s not always possible to be away from your computer for long periods of the day but you can change how often you’re sitting throughout the day.
Constantly standing may take a bit of getting used to, especially if you’re used to sitting, but you can increase the amount gradually. Start on your feet for an hour, and then try two – slowly increasing the amount each week. Standing desks also help your posture and your alignment. Standing also forces your body to work harder than if you are just sitting, or worse, lying down.
Food Choices And Concerns
There are so many health concerns and risks associated with being overweight. Excess weight has been proven to be linked to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. There is also something to be said for the choices people may make at desk jobs when it comes to food. There is often a preponderance of greasy, carb-laden foods and sweet treats in office settings. Combined with little caloric output, this is a tough combination on the body which can lead to packing on the pounds.