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April 20, 2013, last updated May 21, 2015

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Registered Nurses,
Certified fitness trainers and other members of our Editorial Board.]






Stand up and pay attention – your office chair is your enemy, and
so is your couch. If you spend most of your day sitting down
then it doesn’t matter if you spend an hour at the gym every day,
according to some experts. Just sitting down can ruin your
health.  Sitting down brings health dangers while regularly
standing up lowers your risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer
and even an early death.

Experts from Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 2012, say
we can increase our life expectancy by two years when we
reduce the time we spend sitting down to less than three hours a
day. You can also add 1.4 years to your life by curtailing your TV-
watching to less than two hours a day (or installing an exercise
bike in front of the set and actually using it.) Why is standing up
potentially so beneficial? Why is standing, as opposed to lying
down or sitting, so important for your health?

What’s Up With Sitting Down?

Why is sitting so damaging to your health? Beginning in 2009,
scientists started looking at how sitting affects your health. What
they discovered is that those who sit fewer than 3 hours a day
have lower rates of heart failure, diabetes and insulin resistance
and live longer than those who sit for longer periods each day.
Surveys and studies found that, on average, Americans sit for 4
to 6 hours a day.

In the UK, a study of 800,000 people found that many Britons sit
up to  7 hours a day. This study, conducted by researchers from
Loughborough University and the University of Leicester found
that prolonged sitting increases your risk

•of diabetes by 112%
•of cardiovascular problems by 147%  and death from these
problems by 90%  
•of death from any cause by 49%



Compared to sitting, which is one of the most passive activities
you can do, standing up is hard work and burns energy. You
need to use your leg muscles as well as your back and your
shoulders, and you are almost constantly shifting from leg to leg,
even if the movements are tiny.

Because gaining weight is a slow creep for most people, anything
that burns energy slowly helps prevent this weight gain. When
you spend time on your feet instead of sitting or lying down, you
are helping reverse the process of slow and steady weight
gain.    

And standing up can also help prevent your body turning against
you, according to many experts. For example, standing and
flexing your muscles produces a protein called "lipoprotein
lipase", which helps you process fats.

If you sit and lie for extended periods you don’t produce much of
this protein, thus  slowing down your metabolism and bringing a
variety of health problems, like heart disease, to your door.

Don’t Take it Sitting down – How to Stand Up for Yourself

Scientists have developed some interesting solutions to keep us
standing for longer periods of time each day. Standing desks
replace regular office desks, keeping you on your feet while you
answer the phone, send emails and do the filing. You can even
use desks with built-in treadmills so you can walk while you
work, or watch TV. You could rig up your TV or home PC to an
exercise bike so you can only log in while you are pedaling, or try
a simpler solution – rock in a rocking chair while you are catching
up with your favorite TV series. Or, replace the couch with an
exercise ball, which uses more energy than a regular chair.

Or simply take regular breaks from the screen where you get up
and walk around. Simple solutions that have you on your feet
more often include always visiting the desk of a person in the
next room rather than sending them an email, walking to work or
standing up when on the train, or eating while standing at a
counter.

We looked at the scientific evidence for the health benefits of
standing up in order to bring you the top 10 reasons why you
should avoid your office chair and minimize the time you spend
sitting on the couch.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Simply Standing




























1. You Burn More Calories Standing Up

It takes more energy to stand than sit or lie down, no matter
whether you are standing while watching TV or standing in line
for the bus.

The problem is we have developed so many ways to sit down
while completing tasks and running errands (chairs in the doctor’
s waiting room and at the bus stop, couches in the reception
area) that it seems hard on us when we need to stand and wait.  

But if obese people could increase their standing time by just 2.5
hours a day they could burn 350 more calories a day, according
to a 2006 study by the Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo Clinic,
Rochester. That’s calories burnt when doing nothing, all thanks
to the concept of non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) -
the energy expenditure of all physical activities other than
deliberately exercising.

2.
Lose Weight by Simply Standing

So if you burn more calories when standing, it stands to reason
that you can also lose weight if you stand instead of sitting.
Burning an extra 350 calories a day would equate to a weight
loss of 36.5 pounds (16.5 kilos) a year ---
simply by standing.

You have a choice when it comes to standing more often, even if
you do not want to install a treadmill at your desk. For example, a
2009 study from Department of Medicine, Kantonsspital Baden,
Switzerland looked at junior doctors who had the same job and
found that some doctors on identical wards walked four times
further than others every day. The doctors who walked further
were thinner than those who walked the least.

3.
Avoid Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes by Standing Up

Brief but frequent muscle contractions during the day are
essential to short-circuit the molecular signals that cause
metabolic syndrome, according to a 2007 report  from the
University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia.

Remember lipoprotein lipase is needed to process fat in your
body. The scientists found evidence that maintaining high levels
of low-intensity activity had an impact on lipoprotein lipase
regulation that was greater than adding vigorous exercise on top
of a sedentary day.

In other words, we need to stand up frequently and sit down
less frequently in order to reduce the risk of metabolic disease –
going to the gym after spending all day sitting down doesn’t
have the same benefits.

This would also explain why being a "weekend warrior" doesn't
really make up for being sedentary all week. Going full-out crazy
on exercise during the weekend simply will not help you reverse
weight gain.

Increasing standing time by 90 minutes a day reduces the risk of
developing
type-2 diabetes, according to a 2013 study from the
University of Leicester, UK.

The scientists looked at data from Project STAND and the
Walking Away from Diabetes study. Sitting down time was linked
to a number of markers including HDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerol,
and glucose levels.  Conclusion? Patients at risk of diabetes
should be told to sit down less and move more.

More confirmation was found in a recent study from Australia.
And a 2013 study from the University of Western Sydney,
Australia showed men who reported sitting down for between six
and eight hours a day were significantly more likely to report
having diabetes than those sitting for less than four hours. (Read
more about
natural remedies to prevent or to manage Type 2
diabetes.)

4.
Reduce Your Waist Size by Standing Up

Continue reading  page 1   page 2




































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7 Odd But True Connections Between Your Height and Your
Health

Fast Walkers Live Longer

Bad Posture -10 Ways It Can Ruin Your Health

Why Europeans Are Thinner Than Americans

The Only Type of Exercise That Reduces Your Waist

Ideal Breakfast to Lose Weight

Foods That Shrink Your Waist

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