Galveston County Daily News, January 28, 2013
By Umesh C.S. Yadav
If you are health conscious and wish to shed some weight, please stand up while you read this column. In fact, I guarantee you will burn some easy calories.
Dr. John Buckley from the University of Chester, UK, recently calculated how many calories he spent working in his office on a standing desk.
He discovered that by working for three hours at his standing desk, he burned nearly 144 calories in one day, which translates into 8 pounds in one year.
This practice might especially help those who work in offices for long hours. If they work while standing, not sitting, at their desk, they may burn a significant amount of calories per day with no other changes in their lifestyle, eating habits or leisure activities.
Buckley suggests that this easy practice may become an achievable New Year’s resolution for those office-bound workers who want to shed some pounds without changing anything else.
If you are willing, you’ll have good company. The famous American author, journalist and Nobel Prize winner in literature Ernest Hemingway used to write while standing.
Another famous novelist, Vladimir Nabokov, author of “Lolita,” also used to write in similar fashion.
Al Roker, NBC’s weatherman and recipient of 13 Emmy Awards, has gone even further and uses a treadmill desk while working in his office.
Buckley, a physical activity and exercise science leader, believes there has been no change in participation in sports and exercise, thus our sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition habits are the main causes for the increase in people’s waistlines.
Last fall, there was a study that suggested a link between diabetes and prolonged sitting. And a sedentary lifestyle has been shown to be associated with increased mortality — as much so as cigarette smoking.
If you come to think of it, we all do a remarkable amount of sitting. If we work in an office, we sit; when we drive, we sit; when we watch TV, we sit; when we eat, we sit; and when we chat, we sit.
It’s time to take a stand.
Umesh C.S. Yadav is an instructor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Texas Medical Branch.