An exercise scientist at the University of Chester in England says we could shed pounds by standing up more instead of sitting.
A simple thing like standing up more at work instead of sitting could help in your New Year’s weight management plan. An exercise scientist at the University of Chester in England says that standing at your desk instead of sitting can help you lose weight.
Dr. John Buckley, who works in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Nutrition at the university, calculates that by working at his stand up desk for three hours of his day instead of sitting he will burn an extra 144 calories per day, with no change to his other job or leisure time activities. In a year, he would have burned off a total of 30,000 calories and 8 pounds (3.6 kg) of fat.
Sitting is bad for health
Recent studies have been consistently pointing to the negative effects of being sedentary. And this doesn’t just include those people we commonly think of as couch potatoes. All of us who do our daily work sitting at a desk are also considered sedentary.
The bad news is that even if we’re all very active outside of the office, those eight hours of sitting on our duffs in front of a computer (and the extra sitting time during the commute to and from the office) might be contributing to some long-term health effects. These include obesity, diabetes, and certain types of cancer as well as cardiovascular disease.
“People are sitting down at work, then sitting in the car, and then sitting down in front of the television,” says Buckley. “Your metabolic rate crashes to an absolute minimum. It isn't natural. Humans are designed to stand up and keep moving.”
If you’re office-bound, Buckley recommends doing as much as possible to keep active, including such things as taking the stairs, walking on your break, and getting up from your desk to stretch and move around. As Buckley says, “It’s little changes in behaviour such as this, or standing at your desk, that can add up to make quite a big difference to your health.”
Stand up while you work
If you’re committed to the idea of standing while you work, there are plenty of options available, from standing desks that are adjustable so that you can either stand or sit, to units that can just be bolted to your existing desk to raise the height of your computer.
As Buckley says, “This is the perfect way for any office-bound worker to achieve the typical New Year’s resolution of wanting to lose half a stone [8 pounds/3.6 kg] without changing anything else—how easy is that?”