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Stand Up for Good Health

Stand Up for Good Health

When walking isn’t an option

We are a sedentary society.  Just think about how much time you spend at the table eating, on the sofa watching TV, driving the car or handling emails by your desk. It all adds up!  Most of us are sitting about 12 hours a day on average which makes reaching step goals a major challenge!  While the act of sitting is generally considered safe, over time sitting for more than 4 hours a day can have negative effects such as lowered metabolic rate, increased insulin and blood pressure, and disrupted blood sugar levels.  And if you’re thinking – “Well, I work out every day”, unfortunately, you are not off the hook!  Whether you are physically active or not, sitting for long periods of time can result in increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia, and depression.   

For diabetes in particular, one study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, found that simply standing more could benefit those with metabolic syndrome (MS) and those at risk for type 2 diabetes.  The benefit in this case was observed when sedentary people replaced sitting time with standing time.  Investigators saw that insulin sensitivity improved!  Which means that the body was able to use that blood sugar more effectively (rather than let it float around in the blood stream), thus decreasing their risk for diabetes.     

We aren’t suggesting that you replace your afternoon walk with more stand time – but standing more frequently throughout the day wouldn’t hurt!  Especially if you find reaching physical activity minimums a challenge then standing more may be the first step towards better health. 

**Remember MS is a combination of conditions which include elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides with excess body fat around the waist. 

Published November 1, 2021

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