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Stand up for health - study

Friday July 31st, 2015

Standing rather than sitting during idle moments could help burn up fat and blood sugar, researchers report today.

The Australian study is the latest to investigate the perils of spending too much time sitting.

One recent analysis suggested employers find ways to ensure their staff spend part of the day working from a standing position.

For the latest study, the researchers monitored nearly 800 adults, up to the age of 80, using activity monitors.

They found that the more time people spent standing, the lower their levels of blood sugar and blood fats.

They found that people who spent that two hours extra a day of standing rather than sitting was linked to an 11% reduction in weight and a 7.5cm - three inches - reduction in waist circumference.

The findings are reported in the European Heart Journal.

Julie Ward, of the British Heart Foundation, backed the findings.

She said: “We know that people who spend long periods of time sitting down have been found to have higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“We are not saying you mustn’t sit down, but when you are break up sitting down for long periods of time. A common sense rule of thumb is to get up for five minutes every half an hour.

“You can also reduce your sitting time at work by holding walking meetings, getting outside at lunchtime and simply taking five minutes to stand up and stretch."

Researcher Dr Genevieve Healey, of the University of Queensland, Australia, said: “Standing takes up nearly a third of waking hours, and among this group of participants who could choose when they sat, stood or walked, the standing had health benefits.

"Notably, we did not measure upper body movement, so someone could be standing up doing the dishes, which involves some extra physical activity.”

Genevieve N. Healy et al. Replacing sitting by standing or stepping: associations with cardio-metabolic risk biomarkers European Heart Journal 31 July 2015; doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehv308

Tags: Australia | Europe | Fitness | Heart Health | UK News

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