Professor David Dunstan and Dr Genevieve Healy at The University of Queensland have done some preliminary researchlooking at just that. They took 168 people and used an accelerometer to track how much these people were moving and how often they took breaks from sitting / being sedentary. These breaks could have been as little as standing up or taking a single step. They also did some body measurements and blood tests.
The results were striking. People who took more breaks from sedentary time were more likely to have a lower body mass index and waist circumference. They also performed better in the blood tests which looked at plasma triglycerides and plasma glucose after eating. These tests indicate the level of risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes respectively.
So can standing up regularly make you lose weight? This research implies that it would, but, a current trial by Stand up Victoria is seeking to prove it once and for all by investigating the impact of breaking up prolonged sitting time at work on measurements of body and metabolic risk.
I believe that it will make a difference. I think that all too often, we think that we need to do something grand – like walk up a mountain, run a marathon – to improve our health, when actually it is the little things that we do every day that make a difference. In the words (almost) of Tesco – ‘every little movement helps’!