Reasons Why You Should Stand More - Grace Ngo Foundation

Health, Knowledge, Natural Food Matters

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Reasons Why You Should Stand More

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I love sitting down, while eating, reading, writing, blogging, resting, poohing, discussing, at meetings and even in the place of worship, when the instruction comes again and again for the congregation to stand, I occasionally preferred sitting. Sitting to me is more convenient and it feels good to stay relaxed all the time. The essence of this post  is to help us as much as possible eat well, live well and be in harmony with nature in order to enjoy wellness.

Based on my experience being a good “Sitter” and some other practical findings from my experience including constipation. I decided to search this matter out and guess what, It was actually what I was thinking. Read on to see the findings and what researchers also have to say about standing as compared to sitting. It may interest you to know that I am standing writing  this post for you.  This has come as a result of the overwhelming evidence that, it is actually healthful to stand.

A recent survey found that many of us spend up to 12 hours a day sitting on our bottoms looking at computers or watching television. If you throw in the seven hours we spend sleeping then that adds up to a remarkable 19 hours a day being sedentary.

Sitting down as much as this is clearly bad for us and some studies suggest that those who sit all day live around two years less than those who are more active. Most of us are guilty of excess sitting. We sit at work, in the car and at home, moving only to shift from one seat to another.

Even if you exercise on a regular basis that may not be enough. There is mounting evidence that exercise will not undo the damage done by prolonged sitting. Our technology has made us the most sedentary humans in history.


The evidence that standing up is good for you goes back to at least the 1950s when a study was done comparing bus conductors (who stand) with bus drivers (who don’t). This study, published in the Lancet, showed that the bus conductors had around half the risk of developing heart disease of the bus drivers.
Since then prolonged sitting has not only been linked to problems with blood glucose control, but also a sharp reduction in the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which breaks down blood fats and makes them available as a fuel to the muscles. This reduction in enzyme activity leads to raised levels of triglycerides and fats in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease

So why is sitting so damaging? One thing it does is change the way our bodies deal with sugar. When you eat, your body breaks down the food into glucose, which is then transported in the blood to other cells.
Glucose is an essential fuel but persistently high levels increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Your pancreas produces the hormone insulin to help get your glucose levels back down to normal, but how efficiently your body does that is affected by how physically active you are

We wanted to see what would happen if we took a group of people who normally spend their day sitting in an office and ask them to spend a few hours a day on their feet instead.  Standing while you are working may seem rather odd, but it is a practice with a long tradition. Winston Churchill wrote while working at a special standing desk, as did Ernest Hemingway and Benjamin Franklin.


A group of researchers also confirmed the positive effect of standing as compared to sitting.  They 
concluded “We had good reason to believe that standing would make a difference to our volunteers, but we were also a little anxious as to how they would get on. This was the first time an experiment like this had been conducted in the UK. Would our volunteers stick to it”? They did. One woman with arthritis even found that standing actually improved her symptoms.

The Chester researchers took measurements on days when the volunteers stood, and when they sat around. When they looked at the data there were some striking differences. As we had hoped, blood glucose levels fell back to normal levels after a meal far more quickly on the days when the volunteers stood than when they sat. There was also evidence, from the heart rate monitors that they were wearing, that by standing they were burning more calories.

“If we look at the heart rates,” John Buckley explains, “we can see they are quite a lot higher actually – on average around 10 beats per minute higher and that makes a difference of about 0.7 of a calorie per minute.”
Now that doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up to about 50 calories an hour. If you stand for three hours a day for five days that’s around 750 calories burnt. Over the course of a year it would add up to about 30,000 extra calories, or around 8lb of fat.

“If you want to put that into activity levels,” Dr Buckley says, “then that would be the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year. Just by standing up three or four hours in your day at work.” Dr Buckley thinks that although going out and doing exercise offers many proven benefits, our bodies also need the constant, almost imperceptible increase in muscle activity that standing provides. Simple movement helps us to keep our all-important blood sugar under control.
We can’t all stand up at work but the researchers believe that even small adjustments, like standing while talking on the phone, going over to talk to a colleague rather than sending an email, or simply taking the stairs, will help It seems the world is finally coming to terms with the fact that humans evolved to stand, not to sit

The evidence is mounting to show that spending too much sitting at work, during your commute and for leisure increases your risk of diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and early death. This isn’t a new revelation. Bernardino Ramazzini first described the ill effects of too much sitting at work in the 1700s and advised people to break up sitting and stimulate blood flow. But technological advances and ergonomic experts have made sitting more comfortable and more enticing. Australian adults now sit for an average of nearly nine hours a day. This is longer than the time that most people spend sleeping. So, is it time to buy a standing desk? Let’s examine the evidence. Many people know when they’ve been sitting too long because their back or neck gets sore. These are effects many can relate to because we can actually feel them.

But it’s what you can’t feel or see that you may need to be concerned about.

 Canadian researcher Dr Peter Katzmarzyk, for instance, found that those who sat almost all of the time had nearly a one-third higher risk of early death than those who stood almost all of the time. University College London researcher Dr Emmanuel Stamatakis found similar results among women in the United Kingdom: those whose work involved mostly standing/walking about had a 32% lower risk of early death than those who worked in sitting jobs. For the average adult, standing burns more calories and involves more muscular contraction than sitting.

 One study reported 2.5 times higher average muscular activity of the thigh when standing compared to sitting. This is important for improving blood sugar profiles and vascular health, reducing the risk of early death. But it’s important to note prolonged standing can also have adverse health effects. Compared to sitting, when we stand, our hearts and circulatory systems work harder to maintain blood flow to the brain, because they are countering the effects of gravity. Standing still for long periods of time can lead to swelling, heaviness or cramping of the legs. If standing still for too long is potentially risky, what should you do?
To obtain the health benefits of standing and reduce the potential adverse effects, the best option is to alternate between sitting and standing. Our message is to stand up, sit less and move more.

Alternating between sitting and standing will increase muscular contractions, stimulating blood flow and resulting in more calories burnt and healthier blood sugar levels. Recent findings from our lab show that alternating between 30 minutes of sitting and standing can improve blood sugar levels after a meal.
Now, if you’re leaning towards getting a standing desk but are concerned about your concentration and productivity, there’s some good news. Research shows task performance such as typing, reading and performing cognitive tests is largely unaffected by standing desks. Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway fought off the urge to sit with the aid of standing desks. It might be time for you to do the same, and alternate between sitting and standing.

If you’re still not ready for a stand-up desk, these tips might help get you moving:
take regular breaks during long drives in the car stand up on public transport
choose more active ways to hang out with friends (swap the cafe for a walk)
stand at the bar instead of sitting on the comfy couches have standing meetings (they usually end faster)
stand up while on the phone stand while eating if you can it is better and then sit thereafter. You may try it and see the feeling.

Are you ready to start doing more of standing than before?



Source:http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/08/the-health-benefits-of-standing-versus-sitting/
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24532996


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