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Increasing Physical Activity by Just Standing!

Michelle Alencar | September 9, 2019

Increasing Physical Activity by Just Standing...

Fitness and more specifically, exercise, has been given a negative reputation amongst the many factors of weight loss. Many people’s mindset around exercise has become negative as they use it as punishment for overeating or gaining weight. Others may view it as a strenuous activity they don’t want to participate in because it exhausts them. The simple fact is that you do not have to always do high intensity workouts to lose weight. Losing weight and getting fit can start in small steps such as choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or just standing instead of sitting or lying down. This newsletter will elaborate on replacing sitting with standing activities. The average Western individual spends more than half of their waking hours on sedentary and inactive activities. These activities can comprise of watching TV or sitting with a mobile device. With moderns jobs shifting more to sedentary environments instead of active ones, people are increasingly sitting for three to seven hours a day. 

Experiments have shown that standing up increases energy expenditure (.15kcal/minute) compared to sitting or lying down. Standing up is even encouraged as a substitute for sitting as it may have health benefits. Standing instead of sitting was even associated with smaller waist circumference and lower BMI.

 As a reminder, increased physical activity, can substantially reduce risks of many chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, and breast and colon cancers. It is never too late to start physical activity so find gaps in your schedule to switch out sitting for standing! Sources: Bjarnason-Wehrens, B. (2018, March 1). ‘Stand up’ for a healthy lifestyle. Retrieved from: Nelson, MC. (2015, March 1). The Effectiveness of Standing on a Balance Board for Increasing Energy Expenditure.  Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29494476