Diet study: If you stand more, you lose more weight

The calorie consumption increases when standing

In today's world, people often move far too little and spend too much time sitting. This is mostly due to their work and habits at home, for example when they spend the evening there watching TV. Researchers have now found that when people stand six hours a day instead of sitting, it leads to weight loss in the long run.

In their current study, the Mayo Clinic scientists found that standing longer a day helps to reduce weight. The problems with back pain also decrease. The experts published their results in the English-language journal "European Journal of Preventive Cardiology".

Office workers sometimes sit for ten to eleven hours a day

When people work in the office, they usually spend their time sitting there. After the end of the day, this behavior continues. A German office worker can spend ten or eleven hours a day sitting there. This not only has a negative impact on the back, but also has an impact on the weight of those affected.

46 percent of the workforce in Germany is mostly at work

In recent years, constant sitting has been identified as an important factor in the epidemic of obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, explains study author Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez. For example, research shows that many adults in the United States sit more than seven hours a day. The range in European countries is between 3.2 hours and 6.8 hours a day. In 2016, the DKV health report on this topic showed that 46 percent of the working population were mostly at work.

The data from 1,184 participants were evaluated for the study

The Mayo Clinic study is the first systematic review that uses a meta-analysis (combination of data from several studies) to assess whether standing burns more calories than sitting in adults. To this end, the researchers analyzed a total of 46 studies with 1,184 participants. The participants in the study were on average 33 years old, with an average weight of 65 kg.

Standing could make people lose about ten kilograms in four years

If all available scientific evidence is gathered and evaluated, the results show that more calories are burned when standing than when sitting, explains author Dr. Farzane Saeidifard of the Mayo Clinic. The researchers calculated that the body burns 0.15 more calories (Kcal) per minute when standing than when sitting. So if a person with a weight of around 65 kg stood six hours a day instead of sitting, he could burn 54 more calories (Kcal). Without an additional increase in food intake, this would result in those affected losing almost 2.5 kilograms of weight in a year. Seen over a period of four years, this would mean that the person would lose about ten kilograms.

Standing burns more calories and increases muscle activity

So standing up not only burns a larger amount of calories, it also means that additional muscle activity is required in the body. Such increased muscle activity reduces the likelihood of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes, says Dr. Lopez-Jimenez. Standing strong back and this could reduce back pain. So the positive effects of standing go well beyond weight loss, the expert adds.

Physical activity protects against heart disease

Working for a long time standing may seem uncomfortable to most adults, especially when they are doing desk work. But halving sitting time would bring great health benefits, the authors say. A redesign of the workplaces in the direction of standing could therefore bring considerable advantages. In recent years, the integration of physical activities into daily working life to maintain health and lose weight has been encouraged. This should also reduce the risk of a heart attack and other heart diseases, explains Dr. Lopez-Jimenez.

More research is needed

More studies are needed to further explore the long-term health effects of replacing sitting with standing, the doctors say. So-called non-physical activity thermogenesis, known as NEAT, focuses on the daily calories that a person burns during normal activities, i.e. not during sports. Standing is one of the components of the NEAT. If we integrate an additional activity into our daily routine, this could improve our health in the long term, explains author Dr. Lopez-Jimenez.

Men burned about twice as many calories

The researchers also found that the additional calories burned by standing were about twice as high in men as in women. This is probably due to the effect of the larger muscle mass in men. The burning of calories is proportional to the muscle mass that is activated when standing, the scientists explain. (as)

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