Standing up as often as possible can help give you a smaller waistline, according to a study conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia earlier this year. It doesn’t matter how long you stand; the study found that the frequency of standing up can make a huge difference in your diameter – as much as two pants sizes between people who took the most “standing” breaks from those who took the least.
The researchers went on to address that a smaller waistline means less abdominal fat and better heart health. If you’re going to carry some extra weight, it’s better to have it from your hips down, as abdominal fat is considered to be linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
The simple explanation researchers gave is that when we stand, more muscles are working than when we sit.
The study included 4,757 people in the United States, ages 20 and older, who participated in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All participants wore an accelerometer on their right hips for seven days during their waking hours.
Participants ranged from 1.8 hours of sedentary time a day to 21.2 hours a day, according to the study. The average length of a break from sitting was 4.12 minutes. The 25% of people who took the most breaks from sitting had waistlines that were, on average, 1.61 inches smaller than the 25% of people who took the fewest breaks, according to the study.
A report on the study was published in the online version of the European Heart Journal, available here.