Think about this for a second: how much are you sitting down each day?
You’re likely sitting on your commute or drive to work. When you get there, that’s almost a full day, depending on your profession of course. And then you commute/drive home, where you’re sitting some more. Finally you get home, probably for another round of being seated.
All of this stoic behaviour contributes to obesity, and other problems related to excess weight. The natural, common sense reaction would be to sit less. But will that really help you lose weight?
Danish and Australian researchers went to 19 offices in Denmark to answer just that. Denmark is unique in that all office workers have sit-stand desks – not that many take advantage of the ‘stand’ setting. The researches randomly had 317 people either stand more while at work, or didn’t inform the others of the upside of sitting less.
After 30 days, the results showed people using sit-stand desks sat 71 minutes less per day, and walked 7% more.
“We expected people to sit about an hour less a day, but they actually did more, which was really positive,” says Ida Hogstedt Danquah, lead author of the study from the National Institute of Public Health and University of Southern Denmark.
Better still, the research showed the people who stood up more reduced their body fat by about half a percent after three months. It sounds like a minimal gain, but remember that the weight was lost by simply standing more often – virtually zero effort towards getting healthier.
Sitting less will never be a major factor to weight loss, but every little bit helps.