Health

Weight loss: Standing instead of sitting for six hours could help you shed pounds

STANDING instead of sitting for six hours a day could help people lose weight, according to a new study. Researchers found that by substituting standing for sitting for six hours a day, a 143.3-pound adult (65 kilos) would expend an extra 54 calories (kcals) in six hours – equating to 5.5 lbs (2.5 kilos) in one year and 22 lbs (10 kilos) over four years.
The ‘couch potato’ lifestyle has been blamed for contributing in recent years to the obesity epidemic, as well as increases in cases of heart disease and diabetes.
Study senior Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, chair of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic in the United States, said that studies show that, in the U.S., adults sit more than seven hours a day while the figure ranges from 3.2 to 6.8 hours a day in Europe.
The new research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, examined whether standing burns more calories than sitting in adults. 
The researchers analysed 46 previous studies involving 1,184 participants with an average age of 33; 60 per cent were men; and the average weight was 143.3 pounds.
Study first author Doctor Farzane Saeidifard, a cardiology fellow at Mayo Clinic, said: “Overall, our study shows that, when you put all the available scientific evidence together, standing accounts for more calories burned than sitting,”
The researchers found that standing burned 0.15 calories (kcals) per minute more than sitting. 
By substituting standing for sitting for six hours a day, a 143.3-pound adult would expend an extra 54 calories (kcals) in six hours. 
Assuming no increase in food intake, the researchers said that would equate to 5.5 pounds in one year and 22 pounds over four years.
Dr. Lopez-Jimenez said: “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.” 
He said more research is needed to show if replacing standing with sitting is effective and whether there are long-term health implications of standing for long periods.
Dr. Lopez-Jimenez said, in recent years, moderate to vigorous physical activities in daily life have been encouraged in efforts to maintain and lose weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease. 
But he said many people cite barriers, such as time, motivation or access to facilities.