Sit Down and Stand Up More to Burn Calories
Don’t spend your time sitting the whole day. Stand up once in a while and you will feel better. But the fact is, according to a study conducted by the University of Glasgow, U.K., it’s not just the number of hours spent standing that matters. What matters more is the number of times you stand up.
Why Sit-to-Stand Frequency Matters
The study revealed that the male participants burned more fat and calories by standing up frequently than by standing up longer. Take note that the total hours spent standing were equal. They did the experiment in a period of 8 hours.
The result is not surprising at all. The sit-to-stand and vice versa actions require muscle work, thus consuming more energy and burning of calories. It’s good though that the researchers thought of varying the sitting-standing intervals for the study.
The first scenario of the test required the men to sit the whole day except for bathroom breaks. The second scenario required the men to sit or stand every 15 minutes. The third scenario required the men to sit or stand every 90 seconds at certain blocks of time.
The men in the second and third scenarios stood up for 4 hours. But the second scenario had 32 transitions while the third had 320 transitions. That is the major reason why the men in the last scenario burned 20.4 percent more calories or 76 calories per day than the men who sat the whole day. The men in the second scenario burned 10.7 percent more calories or 71 calories per day than the men who sat the whole day.
In just four weeks of repeating the activities of sitting and standing and sitting again in the last two scenarios, the researchers computed that it’s possible to lose 2.7 pounds and 4.9 pounds. They also mentioned that the resulting fat oxidation from standing more frequently appear to have a better preventative effect on long-term weight gain.
The finding of this study is interesting especially for those who work in the office or mostly stay at home. Just by alternating sitting and standing positions more frequently, a person can lose more weight.
Physiologist Tom Holland explains that although the study had a small sample size, it is still noteworthy news. He explains that going from a seated position to standing and lowering the body again and again require lots of effort and energy compared to just continuous standing. That is what makes it effective for losing weight.
Is it Better Than Intense Workout
The researchers did not see any substantial effect on insulin, glucose or triglyceride levels when repeatedly sitting to stand and vice versa. Unlike when doing an intense workout, all the physiological benefits including the positive effect on glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels are observed.
In view of the above, doing regular aerobic exercise like walking, jogging or running is still the best form of exercise. But, sitting to stand and vice versa is the next best thing when you can’t avoid being tied to your seat all through the day in the office or at home.
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