All in Favor of Slimness, Please Stand Up

Want to lose weight? Get up out of that chair! The scientific evidence is piling up that sitting is linked to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. People who stand more tend to be leaner and healthier. Obviously, if you sit around a lot you probably aren’t exercising much, but exercise is not the only factor.

Apparently, the mere act of sitting shuts down circulation of an enzyme called lipase, which helps muscles absorb fat. Physiologists have found that standing up engages muscles and promotes the distribution of lipase, which helps the body process fat and cholesterol. Standing up also uses blood glucose and may help prevent the development of diabetes.

Sitting down, on the other hand, shuts off lipase. According to researchers quoted by Science Daily, sitting around too much can double or even triple the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. This is true even without factoring in actual exercise. Merely standing instead of sitting can burn an extra 60 calories per hour.

And all this time, I’ve been nagging my son to snack at the kitchen table instead of wolfing down food while standing at the counter. Who knew?