A new research offers compelling reason to stay standing for at least one-quarter of the day: doing so can lead to a lowered chance of getting overweight or obese in one’s lifetime.

A team from the American Cancer Society, University of Texas, and other organizations – writing in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings – linked standing for at least six hours a day to a lower risk for obesity.

Led by Dr. Kerem Shuval, the researchers studied the standing habits in relation to obesity and metabolic risk measures of over 7,000 adults attending the Cooper Clinic in Texas from 2010 to 2015.

The study found that men standing a quarter of the time had a 32 percent less risk of obesity, while those standing half the period had a 59 percent reduced risk. In women, standing a quarter, half, and three-quarters of the given time was connected with 35, 47, and 57 percent reduced abdominal obesity or waist circumference.

However, there was no link found between standing and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In men, too, standing more than three-fourths of the time did not result in a lower obesity risk.

In addition, researchers saw that for those having 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a day, additional standing time incrementally reduced obesity and metabolic syndrome risks in both genders. Qualified men, for instance, had a 57 percent less risk for abdominal obesity.

Despite the positive effects of standing that manifested in their study, the team noted that previous research have also pinpointed the adverse impact of prolonged standing, including increased likelihood of varicose veins.

“[There’s still] insufficient evidence specifically focusing on the public health and medical implications of increasing daily standing time as a potential tool for health promotion,” warned Shuval, emphasizing the need for further research.

The scientific community has not arrived at a consensus when it comes to the effects of standing versus sitting.

In 2010, research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reflected findings supported by Shuval’s study: individuals who sat more than six hours daily had a much higher mortality risk than those who did for less than three hours. A separate report earlier in 2015 recommended people to stand, wiggle, and move for at least two hours, or a quarter of the usual eight-hour work day.

Last month, however, another study from the Journal of Epidemiology broke the link between sitting and an increased risk of dying, prompting a number of office workers to announce on Twitter that they are ditching their standing desks.

Photo: Per Gosche | Flickr

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