According to an analysis of global trends in body mass index (BMI), more than 640 million people weigh in as obese. The number of people with BMI of more than 30 is at 641 million, rising from 105 million in 1975. More than one in 10 men and one in seven women are obese. Body Mass Index is calculated by dividing a person’s weight by their height squared, and gauges whether a person is at a healthy weight. A BMI over 25 is overweight, over 30 is obese, and over 40 is morbidly obese.
A large contributing factor to the obesity epidemic is sitting. Prolonged sitting leads to many chronic diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes. This is true even for those who exercise regularly. However, standing is an easy way to combat the deadly health risks of sitting. A study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings examined the relationships between standing time, obesity, and metabolic syndrome, alongside and independent of exercise. A total of 7,075 healthy adults of both sexes between the ages of 20 and 79 were included and the results revealed that:
- Men who stood up for ¼ of the time (~6 hours) each day or more had a 32% lower risk of obesity.
- Men who stood up for roughly ½ the day had a 59% reduced likelihood of obesity.
- Women who stood for ¼ of the day had a 35% lower risk of obesity.
- Women who stood for ½ the day had a 57% reduced likelihood of obesity.
Other research from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, has found that those who sit the most have 112% increased relative risk of diabetes, and a 147% increased relative risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who sit the least. All-cause mortality is also increased by 50 percent.
Currently, there are efforts to stop obesity at young ages by bringing standing desks into classrooms. A study in the American Journal of Public Health, involving about 80 first-graders in Texas, found that those with standing desks burned 17 percent more calories than those at sitting desks. The effect was even more significant for children who were overweight or obese. They burned 32 percent more calories than the control group. Bringing about a behavior change at a young age will hopefully continue into adulthood and improve a person’s overall quality of health.
Obesity is a huge threat to the world. If there are simple behavior changes, like standing at work instead of sitting, that can help combat the risks of obesity resulting from sitting. Why wouldn’t everyone want to do it? If you care about your health, you should consider trying a sit-stand work station like the Standee Flex which allows you to move between sitting and standing throughout the day with just the click of a button. Or try out the Standee Classic which converts your existing desk into a standing desk in minutes. These affordable yet effective solutions can quickly transform your life for the better. Join us in the vertical revolution and help us fight obesity globally.