Standing for at least one-quarter of the day can reduce the odds of obesity.
A study by researchers from the American Cancer Society, in cooperation with the Cooper Institute, the University of Texas, and the University of Georgia, showed that standing can reduce the negative health effects gained from sedentary behaviours like watching television and spending time on the computer or laptop.
The researchers conducted an experiment on 7000 adult patients, who went to the Cooper Clinic in Texas for preventive medicine visits from 2010 to 2015. They examined standing habits in association to independently measured obesity and metabolic risks.
The association between standing habits and obesity risks was established through three types of measures: body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and waist circumference. On the other hand, the association to metabolic risks was established via four measures: metabolic syndrome, an accumulation of risk factors that raises the risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
The examination noted 32% decrease of obesity risk factors among men, who stood for a quarter of the time, and 59% decrease among those who stood half of the time. However, standing for more than three-quarters of the time didn't show any connection to reduced obesity risk factors.
Women standing quarter of the time, showed 35% decrease in risk factors. Those standing while half and three-quarters of the time showed 47% and 57% reduction, respectively.
For men, the impact of standing irrespective of the time was on the body fat percentage, in women, the odds of abdominal obesity (waist circumference) was reduced.
However, no association between standing and metabolic risk factors was observed either in men or women.
Furthermore, the research team also looked into the possible connection between physical activities along with standing with extra reduction in risk factors.
They discovered that men and women, who did both physical activities (150 minutes of moderate activities and/or 75 minutes of vigorous activities each day), and standing, saw additional reduction in their obesity and metabolic syndrome risk factors.
For instance, men who did physical activities and stood quarter to half of the time saw 57% decrease in abdominal obesity risk factors; while those who combined physical activities with standing for three-quarters time of the day or more saw 64% of reduction.
The research team, led by Kerem Shuval, Director of Physical Activity & Nutrition Research at the American Cancer Society, emphasised that further studies need to be done in order to positively establish the impact of standing on reducing obesity and metabolic syndrome risk factors.
The study has been published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity has seen a two-fold increase since 1980. In 2014, over 1.9 billion (39%) adults were reported to be overweight, of these 600 million (13%) were obese.