Sitting less to lose weight, improve one’s well being and/or lessen risk for a long list of health maladies may not be as simple as, well, sitting less. Walking when taking a break from sitting expends more calories and does more good than standing still.
Research noted by New York Times reporter Gretchen Reymolds showed that those who stood up while taking a break from sitting expended only 8 or 9 calories more in an hour than they did while they were seated for an hour. When they took a break and walked, however, they expended 130 more calories than while seated.
Why would these be? Inactivity researcher Dr. Marc Hamilton found answers to such questions when he studied what happens to inactive mice. Mice whose hind legs were inactive for a day showed a change in levels of an enzyme in their bloodstreams. The levels of the enzyme were one-tenth of that for active mice. The enzyme, lipoprotein lipase, metabolizes fat and is an indicator of moving muscles. Humans share the enzyme with mice.
The less one’s movement the lower the levels of the enzyme. Lower levels are linked to a myriad of lifestyle conditions: atherosclerosis, obesity, Alzheimer’s Disease, metabolic syndrome, and a low HDL (“good fat”) / high LDL (“bad fat”) condition associated with diabetes and insulin resistance.
Next time you take a break from sitting, take full advantage of your time. Don’t just stand there. Walk.
How Many Calories We Burn When We Sit, Stand or Walk
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS date published JUNE 22, 2016 5:02 AM date updated
June 22, 2016 5:02 am