Get up, stand up: stand up for your waist!

The China Post - - LIFE -

Be­ing health­ier may be found in some­thing as sim­ple as stand­ing more and sit­ting less at work, said a study Fri­day.

Re­plac­ing sit­ting time with stand­ing time ap­peared to im­prove sugar, fat and choles­terol lev­els in the blood, re­searchers wrote in the Euro­pean Heart Jour­nal.

The find­ings sug­gest that mak­ing small changes to a seden­tary lifestyle can have a big im­pact on health — and that you don’t need to go as far as tak­ing up marathon run­ning.

A study of nearly 800 men and women in Aus­tralia re­vealed a clear as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween less sit­ting and bet­ter health mark­ers.

“An ex­tra two hours per day spent stand­ing rather than sit­ting was as­so­ci­ated with ap­prox­i­mately two per­cent lower av­er­age fast­ing blood sugar lev­els and 11 per­cent lower av­er­age triglyc­erides (fats in the blood),” said a press state­ment.

It was also as­so­ci­ated with higher lev­els of “good” choles­terol, HDL.

Re­plac­ing two hours of sit­ting time with ac­tual ac­tiv­ity in the form of “step­ping” was even bet­ter — with lower blood fat and sugar scores as well as an 11 per­cent lower av­er­age body mass in­dex (a ra­tio of height to weight) and a 7.5-cen­time­ter smaller av­er­age waist cir­cum­fer­ence.

“These find­ings pro­vide im­por­tant pre­lim­i­nary ev­i­dence on the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits of stand­ing for car­dio- meta­bolic risk biomark­ers,” said the study.

“This has im­por­tant public health im­pli­ca­tions given that stand­ing is a com­mon be­hav­ior.”

The team point to the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits of more stand­ing at the work­place, in­clud­ing through such mea­sures as “stand­ing desks.”

Adults in to­day’s world are highly seden­tary, with av­er­age self-re­ported sit­ting time rang­ing from 3.2 to 6.8 hours per day in Europe, said the study.

About 55 to 69 per­cent of adult wak­ing hours are seden­tary.

But there has been lit­tle re­search into the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits of stand­ing, as op­posed to mov­ing, to re­place sit­ting.

The study took blood, height and weight mea­sure­ments from the par­tic­i­pants, gave them an ac­tiv­ity mon­i­tor for a week, and then com­pared the health data to how much each per­son moved ... or not.

In an ed­i­to­rial pub­lished with the study, Fran­cisco LopezJimenez of the Mayo Col­lege of Medicine in Min­nesota, said it showed that “the fight against seden­tary be­hav­ior can­not be won based only on the pro­mo­tion of reg­u­lar ex­er­cise.”

“A per­son walk­ing while at work for two hours, stand­ing for another four hours, and per­form­ing some daily chores at home for another hour will burn more calo­ries than jog­ging or run­ning for 60 min­utes.”

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