It’s well documented that moderate exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, various cancers, and other age-related chronic diseases. According to new research from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, even light physical activity—including something as simple as standing still—can improve your health and add years to your life.
The study examined the habits of more than 6,000 American women, ages 63 to 97, who wore accelerometers that monitored their activity levels. Individuals who spent the most time standing had a 37 percent lower risk of death compared to those who spent the least time on their feet. While the most active group spent almost 90 minutes per day standing still, even those who stood for as little as 30 minutes per day showed a reduced risk of death.
“This is the first study of its kind where we were able to decipher between the benefits of standing still versus standing and moving around,” says Andrea LaCroix, PhD, the senior author of the study. “We were able to provide rigorous evidence that even standing still results in positive health benefits.”
That’s good news in a country where many adults—especially seniors—spend up to 11 hours a day sitting. If you’re not able to engage in moderate exercise, spend as much time upright as you can every day.
NOT ABLE TO STAND COMFORTABLY?