- Standing rather than sitting for six hours a day can aid in weight loss
- The calories burned while standing is two times higher in men than women
- Sitting can increase the risk of developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease
Standing six hours every day helps people burn more calories than sitting and can lead to weight loss, reveals a new study.
In the last few years, sedentary behavior (like sitting) was the cause for obesity epidemic, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, said Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., senior author and chair of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic.
‘Moderate to vigorous physical activities can help lose weight and also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.’
U.S adults sit more than seven hours per day and the range across European countries is 0.2 to 6.8 hours of daily sitting time, report population-based studies.
The new Mayo Clinic study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Standing can Burn More Calories than Sitting
In this study, the research team investigated whether standing could burn more calories than sitting in adults in the first systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the difference.
Nearly 46 studies were analyzed, where there were about 1,184 participants. On average, the participants age was 33 years old. Of which, 60 percent were men; and their average weight was 143.3 pounds.
"Overall, combining all the available scientific evidence shows that standing accounts for more calories burned than sitting, said Farzane Saeidifard, M.D., first author and cardiology fellow at Mayo Clinic.
Findings of the Study
The results revealed that standing burned about 0.15 calories (kcals) per minute more than sitting. By substituting standing for sitting for six hours a day, increased 54 calories (kcals) in a 143.3-pound adult. Assuming that there was no increase in their food intake, which would equate to 5.5 pounds in one year and about 22 pounds in four years.
"Standing for long periods of time for many adults may seem unmanageable, especially those who have desk jobs, but, for the person who sits for 12 hours a day, cutting sitting time to half would give great benefits," Dr. Lopez-Jimenez says.
The research team suggests that further study is required to show whether replacing standing with sitting can be effective and whether there are any long-term health implications.
In recent years, moderate to vigorous physical activities have been encouraged to maintain and lose weight, and lower the risk of heart disease. However, there are barriers like time, motivation or access to facilities.
Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
is a concept that was developed by James Levine, M.D., Ph.D. and Michael Jensen, M.D. Both of them are Mayo Clinic's endocrinologists and obesity researchers. Their focus was mainly on the daily calories of an individual, which can be burned while doing normal daily activities, and not by exercising.
"Standing is one of components of NEAT, and the results of our study support this theory. The idea is to work into our daily routines some lower-impact activities that can improve our long-term health," explained Dr. Lopez-Jimenez.
The calories that were burned between standing and sitting is about twice as high in men as in women and reflects on their greater muscle mass, as calories burned is proportional to the muscle mass, which is activated while standing.
Unintentional Weight Loss
Unintentional weight loss is often a consequence of physiological and psychological disorders and should be promptly investigated.
A person's weight fluctuates typically within a limited range. Changes in diet or exercise could help reduce some more weight. This weight loss is intentional, hence is not a cause for concern. On the other hand, sudden and unintentional weight loss requires immediate medical attention, as it could predict the presence severe various disease conditions.
An individual's weight is determined by the total calorie intake and the rate at which the calories are burned through metabolism or activity.
Various physiological, psychological and social factors alter these components. A decrease in appetite and therefore total calorie intake, and an increased rate of metabolism or activity level are associated with weight loss.
Weight loss more than 4.5 kg or more than 5 percent of usual body weight over a period of 6 to 12 months is considered to be clinically significant and should not be ignored. Further weight loss can affect the standard physiological functions of the body, and can even affect various organs.
Some of the health-related disorders that are associated with weight loss are cancer, hormonal diseases, infection and inflammation, neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases, kidney diseases, and psychological disorders.