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Office employees could lose nearly half a stone a year by standing instead of sitting at work, finds study

That's more than a stone and half in four years

Sarah Young
Thursday 01 February 2018 13:14 GMT
Employers may need to consider more internal training to offset skills shortage problems
Employers may need to consider more internal training to offset skills shortage problems (Getty)

Substituting time spent sitting for standing for six hours a day could help you shed nearly half a stone, new research suggests.

Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the study found that the switch saw participants burn an extra 54 calories a day, which resulted in significant weight loss.

The international research examined data of more than 1,000 men and women who had previously taken part in 46 different studies.

Participants were, on average, 33-years-old with an average weight of 65kg (10 stone).

Interestingly, the average difference in energy expenditure between sitting and standing was 0.15 calories a minute and the effects were more pronounced in men than women, due to their higher muscle mass.

Over the course of a year, researchers say that by standing instead of sitting, people could lose 2.5kg (5.5lbs) without changing their eating habits – a figure that amounts to more than a stone and half in four years.

Similarly, previous work has described how a different number and volume of muscles are involved in sitting compared to standing.

As such, researchers suggest that office workers could achieve significant weight loss if they were to spend more time on their feet and less time spent perched at their desks.

“Standing not only burns more calories, the additional muscle activity is linked to lower rates of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes, so the benefits of standing could go beyond weight control,” said senior author Professor Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, chief of preventive cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, US.

“It's important to avoid sitting for hours at a time. Standing is a very good first step, no pun intended, to avoid this mind-set of sitting interminably without moving.

“Who knows, it may also prompt some people to do a little more and take up some mild physical activity, which would be even more beneficial.”

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