• woman standing

woman standing (Photo : Reuters)

Making minor changes to a sedentary lifestyle can have a big effect on improving one's health. A study reported on July 31, Friday that simply standing up more often and sitting down less frequently in the workplace can make employees healthier, improving their blood levels of sugar, cholesterol, and fat. This is especially true for workers with desk jobs.  

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The findings were published in the European Heart Journal.

Using standing time to replace sitting time provided several health benefits. They included improved levels of fat, cholesterol, and sugar in the blood.

The study included almost 800 men and women in Australia. It showed a clear link between less sitting and improved health markers.

Researchers collected height, weight, and blood measurements from the volunteers. They were given an activity monitor for one week. Afterwards the scientists cross-referenced the health data with how active the volunteers were.

Researchers noted in a statement that spending two extra hours per day standing instead of sitting is linked to two percent lower blood sugar levels and 11 percent lower triglycerides (fat in blood) on average, according to New York Daily News. More standing also boosted levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol.

An even better replacement for sitting was "stepping." It lowered sugar and fat levels in blood. On average it also resulted in an 11 percent reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI) and a 3-inch (7.6 cm) smaller waistline.

In the modern world many adults live a sedentary lifestyle. European workers reported to the researchers sitting times ranging from 3.6 to 6.8 hours per day, with around 55 to 69 percent of adults' waking hours spent seated.

The study included ways that employers can make their employees healthier. They include standing desks.

Francisco Lopez-Jiminez of the Mayo College of Medicine (Minnesota) wrote the study's editorial. He noted that standing at work for four hours, walking for two hours, and doing house chores for one hour will burn more calories than running or jogging for one hour.  

Other studies have also revealed that standing can benefit people's health. This includes reductions in diabetes, heart disease, types of cancers, and the likelihood of an early death, according to Inquisitr.