We already know sitting all day can have a negative impact on your spine and circulation, but new research suggests it could also be affecting your weight.
Standing instead of sitting for six hours a day could help people lose 5.5 pounds in one year, which equates to 22 pounds (1.6 stone) over four years, the study found.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic pointed out people in Europe currently spend between 3.2 hours and 6.8 hours per day sitting, while American adults spend more than seven hours per day sitting on average.
The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, examined whether standing burns more calories than sitting in adults by combining data from 46 previous studies with 1,184 participants. On average, participants were 33 years old, 60% were men and the average weight was 143.3 pounds (10.2 stone).
The researchers found that standing burned 0.15 calories per minute more than sitting. By substituting standing for sitting over the course of six hours a day, a 143.3-pound adult would expend an extra 54 calories in six hours. Assuming they didn’t eat more later that day, it equated to 5.5 pounds lost in one year and 22 pounds over four years.
Interestingly, the study found men burned around twice the amount of calories than women when standing. Researchers said this likely reflects the effect of greater muscle mass in men on the amount of calories burned, because calories burned is proportional to the muscle mass activated while standing.
Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, senior author and chair of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic, said: “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.”
The authors acknowledged more research is needed to show for certain whether there are long-term health implications linked to standing for long periods.
:: Stand up when talking on the phone.
:: Set a timer on your phone for 30 minutes and standup from your desk and walk around for a minute or two.
:: Have standing or walking meetings.
:: Learn to improve your seating posture. “The better you sit, the less the effects on your spine, ribcage and lungs,” he explained.