While sedentary behaviour such as watching TV 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 percent reduced likelihood of obesity (body fat percentage).

Standing half the time was associated with a 59 percent 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 percent, 47 percent, and 57 percent respective reductions in the likelihood of abdominal obesity (waist circumference).

No relationship between standing and metabolic syndrome was found among women or men.

The study appears in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Latest News from Lifestyle News Desk