Scientists have discovered a link between sitting and obesity; obese people sit for 2.5 more hours per day than non-obese people.* Conversely, experts claim standing for three hours can increase weight loss.** Isn’t it time we all stood up?
Sedentary desk jobs and TV mean we’re sitting more than ever before, but is sitting down more actually making us fat? Yes, according to new research from the US. As soon as you sit down, calorie burning drops to 1 per minute and enzymes that help break down fat drop 90%. But, there is something you can do about it – stand up instead.
Stand for three hours a day
While a lot of people find it hard to fit in trips to the gym during their working week, simply switching your position from sitting to standing can make a huge difference.
‘The message I want to try to get out there is that small amounts of physical activity…are still doing you a lot of good,’ said Dr Mike Loosemore, Lead Consultant in Exercise Medicine at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, speaking on BBC 4’s Today programme recently.**
‘I’m standing up now, I’m using all the small muscles in my legs and the rest of me, I’m keeping myself upright.
‘If I stood up like this and worked standing up, which I do, three hours a day, five days a week, that would be the equivalent of running ten marathons a year.’
This kind of activity comes with enormous health benefits, including helping to reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and lower cholesterol.
Small changes that make a big difference
It doesn’t take much to make a big difference to your health. Dr Loosemore suggests incorporating the following activities into your existing routine to help improve your health:
1. If you use a lift daily, leave a floor early and take the stairs
2. Park further away from the supermarket entrance
3. Stand up when you’re on the phone instead of sitting as it will get the small muscles in your legs working to keep you upright
4. When you take an escalator, try to walk a couple steps as every little helps
If you need support losing weight, LighterLife groups can help – our expertly-trained LighterLife Counsellors have been helping people to lose weight for over 20 years. LighterLife will help you to explore why you eat in the way you do so that you have the tools to lose weight and keep it off in the long-term. For more information, call 0800 2 988 988 or visit www.lighterlife.com
*Sitting is killing you, Medical Billing & Coding, 9 May 2011. Data showed that people who sit in front of the TV for 3 hours a day are 64% more likely to die from heart disease, and obese people sit for 2.5 more hours per day than non-obese people
** Dr Mike Loosemore, Lead Consultant in Exercise Medicine at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, spoke about this to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 20 June 2014, listen again here.