Studies indicate that sitting at work all day carries certain risks– including that of an earlier death– regardless of how much time you spend exercising, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. What’s more, researchers from the Mayo Clinic published a study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that found substituting standing for sitting could help people lose weight. In the latter study, researchers looked at 46 studies with just under 1,200 participants, who were 60 percent men, had an average age of 33 and an average weight of 143 pounds.
The study found that if someone who weighed 143 pounds decided to stand for six hours a day instead of sitting for that period — and didn’t increase the amount of food they ate — they would lose an average of 5.5 pounds a year and 22 pounds in four years.
That’s because you burn .015 more calories each minute when standing rather than sitting, the researchers found. That means a person at that weight would burn an additional 54 calories a day if they stood for six hours they would usually sit.
If you have a desk job, standing for long periods of time may not seem feasible. but, “for the person who sits for 12 hours a day, cutting sitting time to half would provide great benefits,” Dr Francisco Lopez-Jiminez of the Mayo Clinic says.
Researchers also found that men burn more calories than women when they stand, because of their higher muscle mass.
And, there are other health benefits from standing, Lopez-Jimenez said. “Standing not only burns more calories. The additional muscle activity is linked to lower rates of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.”