Study: Standing Can Be As Good As Exercise
The secret to better health could be as simple as standing up. That's according to a new research study published in the journal Diabetologia, which found that simply standing for an additional 90 minutes a day can significantly lower your chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer. The study looked at a group of adults at risk of developing diabetes and monitored those who sat as little as three hours per day against others who sat as much as 16 hours a day. Those who spent the most time sitting had a greater risk of developing blood fats and sugars that can lead to disease.
Dr. Nick Solomos from the Kelsey-Seybold clinic in Houston says the research suggests a changing attitude toward what is considered exercise. "In the past we defined sedentary behavior as people who don't exercise, now sedentary is not only people who don't exercise, but people who just don't move," he tells KTRH. The research found that the average person spends about 9 to 10 hours a day sitting, whether at work, in the car, or at home in front of the television. Dr. Solomos says there's a good reason why standing is better for your blood stream. "Standing requires muscle contraction to keep somebody upright, whereas sitting requires very little." That muscle contraction alone raises metabolism and helps burn off fats and sugars that would otherwise build up.
For those who work at a job that requires long periods of sitting, Dr. Solomos has some advice. "If they can take even five minute breaks during their sedentary work to stand and walk around," he says. "Walking places, especially short distances, rather than taking the car also helps." He also recommends using stairs instead of elevators or escalators, and just being more active in general. While these behaviors can't replace full physical exercise, they can make a big difference in the amount of fat and sugar your body burns off in an average day.
Check out the full study here.