ADVERTISEMENT

Can You Get Fit By Just Standing?

Doctors say being active is the miracle cure we’ve been waiting for to reduce cancer and heart diseases

Published
Fit
3 min read
Can You Get Fit By Just Standing?
Snapshot
  • Sitting is as bad as smoking. 70% of us are sedentary for 20 hours a day
  • The Lancet: If you sit 11 hours or more in a day, you have a 40% increased risk of death in the next 3 years as compared to people who sit 4 hours or less
  • Standing for around 2 hours a day will improve blood sugar and cholesterol

Something as innocent as sitting down is actually doing irreparable damage to your health. Believe it or not, sitting is the modern health equivalent of smoking. A study published in medical journal The Lancet found that if you sit 11 hours or more in a day, you have a 40% increased risk of death in the next 3 years as compared to people who sit 4 hours or less!

We sit more than ever today. According to the study, 70% of us are off our feet, either seated or lying down, for an astonishing 20 hours a day. We’re watching more TV than ever, sitting in offices, sitting in cars and then sitting down for meals. And yet we kid ourselves that we lead busy, active lives.

And the scary part is, research shows just as exercise does not necessarily counteract the effects of smoking, it doesn’t counteract the negative effects of too much sitting.

So just how long do you need to spend standing up to see the health benefits?

ADVERTISEMENT

Ready, Steady, Stand

Doctors say that being active is the ‘miracle cure we’ve been waiting for’ to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and improving mental health (Photo: iStock)

Doctors say that replacing two hours of sitting a day with standing may improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and that walking instead of sitting may have additional benefits for people’s waistlines.

Scientists in Australia researched 700 men and women between the ages of 35 to 80 and made them wear an activity monitor for 24 hours a day for a week.

Convenience is the enemy of calories. And every second counts. The study suggests that spending an extra 2 hours a day standing instead of sitting is linked with a 2% lower fasting blood sugar level, and an 11% lower level of triglycerides, or fats in the blood.

In addition, replacing 2 hours of sitting a day with walking is linked with an 11% lower BMI and a 3-inch smaller waistline.

Stand More

Standing up increases the heart rate by about ten beats a minute, which in turn burns an extra calories a minute, or 60 an hour (Photo: iStock)

Doctors say that by simply standing and walking for five minutes in every one hour of an eight-hour working day - an average adult could burn over 2,500 calories over one month. That’s a third of a kilo.

So water the garden using a watering can rather than a hosepipe. If there are just a few dirty plates after dinner, stand and wash them instead of dishwashing. It will feel odd but watch TV standing, don’t take a seat in the bus or train to work, and instead of flopping down on a couch at a party, stay standing.

Get a standing desk? Everyone’s talking about it and they are really cool. These desks can be adjusted to suit your height and when you get tired, pull your chair and sit down. 10 minutes in an hour of standing is all you need.

The adjustable standing desk. Stuff that dream workstations are made up of (Photo: iStock)

Drink more water. Not only is it good for your overall health but you will be getting up more from your seat to pee.

Talk to colleagues instead of emailing all the time. Move your ass. Be more human and talk when you can avoid emails.

Stand up for phone calls. Or better still walk the talk.

Park at the end of the parking lot. Not only will you find a parking space easily but that extra walking will prove to be very healthy in the long run.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

ADVERTISEMENT
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Quint Insider
25
100
200

or more

PREMIUM

3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Insider Benefits
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT
×
×