1. Stand Up Instead of Sitting, and Thus Lose Weight

A recent study by Professor Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Chief of Preventive Cardiology Mayo Clinic, USA, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that standing instead of sitting for six hours a day could prevent weight gain and help people to actually lose weight.

The paper examined whether standing burns more calories than sitting. The researchers analyzed results from a total of 46 studies with 1,184 participants. Participants on average, were 33 years old, 60% were men, and the average body mass index and weight were 24 kg/m2  and 65 kg, respectively.

The researchers found that standing burned 0.15 kcal per minute more than sitting. By substituting standing for sitting for six hours a day, a 65 kg person would expend an extra 54 kcal a day. Assuming no increase in food intake, this would have a long-term effect on weight loss which would equate to 2.5 kg in one year and 10 kg in four years.

Lopez-Jimenez says: "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. It's important 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. 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".

The authors thus conclude that replacing standing for sitting could be yet another behaviour change to help reduce the risk of long-term weight gain.They also suggest that more research is needed to see whether such a strategy is effective and practical. Data is also needed, they say, on the long long-term health implications of standing for extended periods.

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