Standing for six hours daily may cut obesity risk

Wednesday, Nov 4, 2015,13:42 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Houston | People who stand for at least one-quarter of their day may have a significantly lower likelihood of obesity, a new study has claimed. While sedentary behaviour such as watching television and commuting time has been linked to negative health effects, it is unclear whether more time spent standing has protective health benefits.

A research team led by Dr Kerem Shuval, Director of Physical Activity & Nutrition Research at the American Cancer Society, examined reported standing habits in relation to objectively measured obesity and metabolic risk among more than 7,000 adult patients attending the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas for preventive medicine visits from 2010 to 2015.

Specifically, the association between standing time and obesity was determined through three measures: body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and waist circumference. The association between standing and metabolic risk was assessed via metabolic syndrome, a clustering of risk factors that increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The study carried in collaboration with The Cooper Institute, the University of Texas and the University of Georgia found that among men, standing a quarter of the time was linked to a 32 per cent reduced likelihood of obesity body fat percentage. Standing half the time was associated with a 59 per cent reduced likelihood of obesity. But standing more than three-quarters of the time was not associated with a lower risk of obesity.

In women, standing a quarter, half and three quarters of the time was associated with 35 per cent, 47 per cent, and 57 per cent respective reductions in the likelihood of abdominal obesity waist circumference. No relationship between standing and metabolic syndrome was found among women or men.

Researchers also investigated whether physical activity in conjunction with standing provided additional reduction in risk. They found that among those meeting physical activity guidelines (150 minutes of moderate activity and/or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per day) the addition of standing time was associated with incremental drops in the likelihood of all obesity measures and metabolic syndrome in both women and men.
For example, men meeting physical activity guidelines and standing a quarter to half of the time had a 57 per cent reduced likelihood for abdominal obesity, whereas those meeting guidelines and standing three quarters of the time or more had a 64 per cent lower odds for abdominal obesity.