Many studies focus on the importance of engaging in physical activity for reducing risk factors leading to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. However, researchers from the University of Queensland evaluated the benefits of replacing sitting with either standing or moving.
According to the study, published in the European Heart Journal, more time standing rather than sitting could improve your blood sugar, fats in the blood and cholesterol levels.
The study monitored activity levels of 782 men and women between the ages of 36 and 80 for 24 hours over a seven-day period. The amount of time spent sleeping, sitting, lying down, standing, walking and running were tracked. Researchers evaluated blood samples and measurements of their blood pressure, height, weight and waist circumference.
Findings revealed that replacing at least two hours of sitting with standing resulted in a 2% decrease in blood sugar levels, an 11% decrease in blood fats and a 6% decrease in cholesterol ratio. There was also an increase in good cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, standing did not result in improving the BMI score or reducing the waist circumference. However, when replacing stepping with sitting for at least two hours, the BMI scores were reduced by 11% and their waist circumference reduced by 7.5 cm. There was also a significant reduction in blood fat levels by 11%, when walking instead of sitting.
“These findings provide important preliminary evidence that strategies to increase the amount of time spent standing or walking rather than sitting may benefit the heart and metabolism of many people,” stated senior research fellow, Dr. Healy. “Get up for your heart health and move for your waistline.”
“This has important public health implications, given that standing is a common behaviour that usually replaces sitting. If people can incorporate alternatives to sitting wherever possible, it may benefit their heart and metabolic health.”
Sources for Today’s Article:
European Society of Cardiology, “Get up for your heart health, move for your waistline,” ScienceDaily web site July 30, 2015; www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150730220021.htm.
Healy G.N., et al., “Replacing sitting by standing or stepping: associations with cardio-metabolic risk biomarkers,” European Heart Journal July 2015; DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv308