NEW YORK: Struggling to lose weight and are yet too lazy to hit a gym or follow a strict diet? Try standing instead of sitting for six hours a day as it may help you shed that extra kilos over a long term, finds a study.
The researchers found that standing burned 0.15 calories (kcals) per minute more than sitting.
By substituting standing for sitting for six hours a day, a 143.3-pound adult would expend an extra 54 calories (kcals) in six hours.
"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," said Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Professor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, a US-based non-profit.
Importantly, calories burned between standing and sitting is about twice as high in men as in women.
This likely reflects the effect of greater muscle mass in men on the amount of calories burned because calories burned is proportional to the muscle mass activated while standing, researchers noted.
"It's important to avoid sitting for hours at a time. Standing for long periods of time for many adults may seem unmanageable, especially those who have desk jobs, but, for the person who sits for 12 hours a day, cutting sitting time to half would give great benefits," Lopez-Jimenez added.
In the new study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the team analysed 46 studies with 1,184 participants. Participants, on average, were 33 years old; 60 per cent were men; and the average weight was 143.3 pounds.
Replacing standing for sitting could be yet another behaviour change to help reduce the risk of long-term weight gain.
However, more research is needed to see whether such a strategy is effective and whether there are long-term health implications of standing for long periods.