Standing up for longer periods throughout your day will increase the amount of calories you burn and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Simply going to the gym for 45 mins 3 times a week (although we encourage it wholeheartedly) may not be enough to counter balance the ill-effects sitting all day can have on your health. (Dr. Genevieve Healy, of the University of Queensland)
The term “the sitting disease” is commonly used by researchers and refers to the metabolic syndrome and ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle. We have become drastically more sedentary in the last twenty years, especially among the workforce who sit at their desks during the day, commute by car (or even trains and buses where they remain seated for most of the journey), and relax on the couch watching TV or on their computers in the evenings.
“Reducing the amount of time you sit – by even an hour or two a day – could have a significant and positive impact on your future,” says Dr Jacquelyn Kulinski, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine and a lead researcher in a recent study from the Medical College of Wisconsin which revealed that the health risks from sitting down cannot be entirely counteracted by exercise. Even if you do planned regular exercise you can still sit for many hours in a day.
Try this calculator to see how many extra calories you could burn in a day if you just swapped a few hours of standing for a few hours of sitting
We are almost conditioned to spend a lot of our day sitting, if a seat is available we take it – even if we don’t really want it or need it. I encourage everyone to try and spend a bit more time on their feet this week… and let us know how you go.
Ways to Stand More
From the Heart Foundation, Sitting Less for Adults: this document gives you even more ideas about how to stand more throughout your day and reasons you should be doing it.
What are you doing right now? Get your butt off that chair!