February 02, 2018
1 min read

Replacing sitting with standing may aid in long-term weight loss

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Patients who substituted sitting with standing had an increased energy expenditure, which may prevent long-term weight gain, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

“Standing for long periods of time for many adults may seem unmanageable, especially those who have desk jobs, but for the person who sits for 12 hours a day, cutting sitting time to half would give great benefits,” Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, chair of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic, said in a press release.

Farzane Saeidifard, MD, cardiology fellow in the cardiovascular department at Mayo Clinic, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,184 participants (mean age, 33 years; 60% men; mean BMI, 24 kg/m2) from 46 randomized and observational studies that measured the difference between standing and sitting on energy expenditure.

Data such as sex, age, weight, energy expenditure measurement method, body fat and lean body mass and BMI were extracted from each study.

Between sitting and standing, the mean difference in energy expenditure was 0.15 kcal per minute (95% CI, 0.12-0.17).

The difference in energy expenditure between sitting and standing was 0.19 kcal per minute in men (95% CI, 0.05-0.33) and 0.1 kcal per minute in women (95% CI, 0-0.21).

Randomized trials had a difference in energy expenditure of 0.18 kcal per minute (95% CI, 0.11-0.25), whereas observational trials had a difference of 0.11 kcal per minute (95% CI, 0.08-0.14).

All subgroup analyses had significant heterogeneity (I2 = 45%), which may have been a result of the study design.

Based on the results, a person weighing 65 kg who substituted 6 hours of daily sitting with standing could potentially have an additional daily energy expenditure of 54 kcal and 2.5 kg of body fat mass loss in 1 year if energy intake does not increase.

“If applicable to long periods of time (most days of a year), this difference in [energy expenditure] theoretically could be used as a potential solution to ameliorate a sedentary lifestyle so as to prevent weight gain and obesity in the long term,” Saeidifard and colleagues wrote. – by Darlene Dobkowski

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.