Fancy losing almost half a stone a year? Then it’s time to get up from your chair and stand at your desk instead.
A new study, of 1,184, men and women found that standing instead of sitting for six hours a day burned an extra 54 calories, which added up to roughly 6 lbs a year.
Or more than a stone and a half in four years, assuming there were no major changes in diet.
The research, published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, examined data from more than a thousand participants taking part in 46 previous studies and found that staying on your feet used up 0.15 more calories every minute.
Scientists also discovered that the potential weight loss effects were most pronounced among men, which they said was likely to reflect the fact those with greater muscle mass burn calories more quickly.
Commenting on the findings senior author Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, chairman of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota, 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.”
Prof Lopez-Jimenez went on to say that as well as burning calories, standing for longer periods could also improve overall health.
“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.
And there’s a chance the findings could actually be an underestimation of the benefits.
“Our results might be an underestimate because when people stand they tend to make spontaneous movements like shifting weight or swaying from one foot to another, taking small steps forward and back. People may even be more likely to walk to the filing cabinet or bin.”
The research team believe the results of the study suggest how important it is to avoid sitting for hours at a time.
“Standing is a very good first step, no pun intended, to avoid this mindset of sitting interminably without moving,” Prof Lopez-Jimenez continued.
“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.”
*Googles standing desks*
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