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Health Benefits of Standing vs. Sitting

Get moving. That's what doctors will tell you. But getting up and standing, instead of sitting, can do more than help you stay fit or lose weight.
Get moving. That's what doctors will tell you.  But getting up and standing, instead of sitting, can do more than help you stay fit or lose weight. 

Although we're always on the go, a lot of times we don't go anywhere. Many jobs require sitting at our desks, which causes many of us to be sedentary 55% of our day. And that's not good.

"Most of our back pain in this country is in our lower back, around lumbar 4, lumbar 5 and S1.  And that's where most of the pressure goes when we sit in a chair," explains Dr. Anup  Kanodia of the OSU Wexner Medical Center.

Doctors are also finding that standing can decrease your chances of developing some cancers, diabetes, even obesity.

"When we are standing our muscles are working.  When we do that, our  insulin works 40% better," Kanodia says.

Scientists believe that a lipo-protein that converts bad cholesterol into good, diminishes by 95 percent when you sit too long.  They say that factor alone, can increase the risk of heart disease by 30 percent. 

"You might live a couple years of a shorter life span compared from people who sit too much to people who sit too little."

So how can you stand more, if you work all day at a desk?

-in an office setting?  Organize a standing meeting.

-use a timer on your computer that can let you know when to get up and move

-make it a practice every time the phones rings, to stand up and answer it.

-and take a five minute walk every hour in the office.

"If you went from a job of  8 hours of sitting to a five hour job of sitting, you can burn off probably a pound a month,"  Kanodia claims.


(Susan Hendricks for CNN's Health Minute)


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