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Stand Up! Sitting Down Can Make You Fat

Did you know that standing up might be just as important for weight loss as exercise? In fact, recent research suggests that exercise alone is not enough to shed those unwanted kilos. Sitting down too much promotes weight gain as the vital fat-burning enzyme lipase is suppressed. Most people sit down too much, so get up and move, if you want to lose that body fat faster. Read on to find out how sitting a lot might affect you.

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How Does Sitting Promote Weight Gain?

Your body’s ability to burn fat nearly shuts down when you sit down. The fat-splitting enzyme, called lipase, is vital for the body to break-down fat. If you sit down for a few hours, the enzyme works at only 10 per cent of its usual level.

How Can Standing Help with Weight Loss?

The average person can burn an extra 60 calories an hour (that’s about 250 kilojoules) just by standing!

Standing up engages muscles and promotes the distribution of lipase. This prompts the body to process fat and cholesterol, regardless of the amount of time you exercise.

Standing up uses blood glucose and might also discourage the development of diabetes. Standing up also improves your HDL (or ‘good’) cholesterol levels.

How Can You Stand Up More?

Stand up whenever you can
Now if you’re thinking, “I sit down a lot, but I don’t know what to do,” then try the following.
  • If you have a “sit-down” job, take frequent breaks at work to get up and walk around.
  • Stand up when you’re on the phone, when watching TV and watching your child play sport.
  • Get up and talk to people in-person in the office instead of emailing them.
  • Have a ‘standing desk’, meaning you put the computer on a desk and you need to stand up to type on it.

How Can Sitting Affect Other Aspects of Your Health?

Research suggests that too much sitting can cause metabolic syndrome or ‘syndrome X’. This is a collection of conditions including excess fat around the abdomen, high blood pressure, high "bad" cholesterol levels, low "good" cholesterol levels, high blood fats and abnormal blood sugar metabolism.

Many studies show that the rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity are doubled or tripled in people who sit a lot.

So stand up often and move around more to help prevent developing a range of diseases and help shed those unwanted kilos. 

References :

This article was compiled in consultation with experts and in reference to the following sources:

Science Daily, 'Stand Up for Your Health - Physiologists and Microbiologists Find Link Between Sitting and Poor Health',

Last updated: October 31st, 2008

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