We’ve already talked a lot about how sitting all day is killing us, but what you might not know is just how good simply standing for a few hours a day can be. A new study found remarkable health benefits of standing versus sitting.
Photo by massdistraction.
The BBC and the University of Chester conducted a simple experiment with a small group of 10 volunteers. The volunteers were instructed to stand for at least three hours and wore an accelerometer (to measure movement) throughout the day, as well as heart rate monitors and glucose monitors. The researchers took measurements on days when the volunteers stood and compared them to days when they sat.
- On standing days, the volunteers’ blood glucose levels went back to normal much more quickly after eating a meal compared to on the days when volunteers sat. High glucose levels have been linked with increased risks of heart disease and diabetes.
- Standing caused the volunteers to have a much higher heart rate (around 10 beats per minute higher), which adds up to burning about 50 calories more per hour versus sitting. Over a year, that adds up to about 30,000 more calories or 3.6kg of fat.
“If you want to put that into activity levels,” Dr Buckley says, “then that would be the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year. Just by standing up three or four hours in your day at work.”
This was just a small, simple study, of course, but it’s just another indication that getting up out of your chair is good for you, particularly if you want to lose or maintain weight. (And, yes, of course, this isn’t an excuse not to regularly exercise.) Ready to get started? Check out our standing desk resources, and consider a treadmill desk or do yoga at your standing desk.