Washington DC: It is time to get up and start walking, as a new study reveals that replacing time spent sitting with time walking around could have additional benefits for your waistline and body mass index (BMI).
According to the research, being on your toes could improve your blood sugar, fats in the blood and cholesterol levels.
In the research, participants were given activity monitors, which included 782 men and women, aged 36-80 years. The monitors were capable of determining, very accurately, how long each participant spent sleeping, sitting or lying down, standing and stepping.
Lead author Dr Genevieve Healy of University of Queensland said that they found that time spent standing rather than sitting was significantly associated with lower levels of blood sugar and blood fats.
Dr Healy added that replacing sitting time with stepping was also associated with a significant reduction in waistline and BMI. An extra two hours per day spent standing rather than sitting was associated with approximately 2 percent lower average fasting blood sugar levels and 11 percent lower average triglycerides
Replacing two hours a day of sitting time with stepping was associated with an approximately 11 percent lower average BMI and a 7.5 cm smaller average waist circumference.
In addition, average blood sugar levels fell by approximately 11 percent and average triglycerides by 14 percent for every two hours spent walking rather than sitting.
Dr Healy said that these findings provided an important preliminary evidence that strategised to increase the amount of time spent standing or walking rather than sitting may benefit the heart and metabolism of many people.
She added that this had important public health implications, given that standing is a common behaviour that usually replaces sitting, and could be encouraged in the workplace with interventions such as sit-stand desks.
Dr Healy message was to 'stand up, sit less, move more'.
The study is published in the European Heart Journal.