A team of researchers found that simply replacing six hours of sitting per day with standing could help people to lose weight and prevent weight gain. Can a person really lose weight with this technique?
Stand Up For Weight Loss
Weight loss often takes the top spot of New Year's resolutions at the beginning of each year and 2018 is no different. Unfortunately, some people can't seem to push through with the resolution, so it ends up at the top of the following year's list again. Now, researchers of a new study found a simple task that could help people to actually keep their resolutions: standing.
To find out whether standing burns more calories than sitting, researchers reviewed 46 studies which examined a combined total of 1,184 participants. Interestingly, researchers found that standing evidently burns 0.15 kilocalories per minute compared to sitting.
While 0.15 kilocalories does not seem like a lot of burnt calories, should a 65 kilogram individual swap six hours of sitting with six hours of standing per day instead, that person would have burnt an additional 54 kilocalories per day. If the said individual keeps up the swap and would have no increase in food intake, the energy spent standing would equate to about 2.5 kilograms body fat mass in a year and up to 10 kilograms in four years' time.
Alternative To A Sedentary Lifestyle
The numbers are impressive, but according to researchers that could even be an underestimate given that when people stand, they do not just stand still but instead engage in activities like walking or even swaying. As such, they surmise that it's possible for the gap between standing and sitting to be even greater.
Researchers believe that their findings could provide a potential solution for a sedentary lifestyle and its potentially harmful effects. This is especially relevant as sitting for a prolonged period of time has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and the obesity epidemic. In fact, sitting time could now range from 3.2 to 6.8 hours across European countries and even up to seven hours in the United States.
"It's important to avoid sitting for hours at a time. Standing is a very good first step - no pun intended - to avoid this mindset of sitting interminably without moving. Who knows, it may also prompt some people to do a little more and take up some mild physical activity, which would be even more beneficial," said Professor Francisco Lopez-Jimenez of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, coauthor of the study.
Still, researchers state that more data is needed to understand the effectivity and practicality of the method, as well as the long-term effects of standing for long periods of time.
The study is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.