Replacing sitting with either standing or walking for a couple of hours a day might do wonders for your health, according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal last week.
Researchers with the University of Queensland in Australia had 782 men and women give blood samples and then wear activity trackers 24 hours a day for seven days. Each tracker looked at how much time participants spent stepping, sitting, standing, sleeping and lying down, allowing the researchers to come up with mean values for health measures among the group.
Then, the researchers used mathematical modeling to estimate how each person's health would be improved if two hours of sitting was replaced with either two hours of standing or two hours of walking. They found that spending just two extra hours standing during the day was linked with a two percent lower average blood sugar level and 11 percent lower triglyceride level.
What's more, two hours of walking instead of sitting was linked to an 11 percent lower body mass index and a reduced weight circumference by an average of 7 centimeters.
While the sample was small and the results are theoretical, they do point to the value of further research.
"This has important public health implications given that standing is a common behavior [and] the most common alternative to sitting," lead researcher Genevieve Healy wrote.
A great deal of previous research has confirmed the perils of sitting. Too much time spent sitting has been linked with higher diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression risk.
Seems like a good time to try out that standing desk -- and go for a walk in place of a seated lunch or meeting.
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