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Want to Burn Calories and Reduce Risk of Heart Disease? Stand up!

By Sloan Luckie

We spend most of our day sitting. We sit during the train, bus or car ride to work. We spend most of the day at work sitting at a desk. We then sit on the train, bus or car ride home. Once we get home, we do more sitting. Excessive sitting has been associated with:

  • Increase risk of heart disease, according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine
  • Back pain due to constant pressure on vertebral disks
  • Hip, neck and shoulder pain due to poor posture while sitting
  • Weight gain and obesity

One of the best ways to counter the health risks that come with excessive sitting? Do the opposite. Stand up. Standing can:

  • Burn 20%-25% more calories versus sitting
  • Distribute your body weight over a variety of body structures (muscles, tendons, joints, etc.) to avoid excess pressure on vertebral disks
  • Improve posture
  • Assist in reducing risk of  heart disease and other chronic health problems

Here are some healthy ways to reduce excessive sitting:

  • Set your cell phone to chime every hour as a reminder to stand up for a few minutes
  • Stand up during telephone conversations and conference calls
  • Stand up during part of your train or bus ride to and from work.

Simply standing more puts you one step closer to optimal health.

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