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Stand Up Lest You Become Fat


I warn you right now this is not good news for us who sit for long sessions at the computer. Woe is me!



Need to lose weight? Try standing up! (Picture courtesy of Photodisc)


Scientists have found intriguing evidence that one major reason so many people are overweight these days may be as close as the seat of their pants. Literally. According to the researchers, most of us sit too much.

“It was hard to believe at first,” said Marc Hamilton, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia and leader of the research team. He said the team didn’t expect to find a strong signal when they began researching what happens to fat when we remain seated. But the effect, both in laboratory animals and humans, turned out to be huge.

The solution, Hamilton said, is to stand up and “putter.”

Mr. Hamilton does not want to see us stop our routine exercising, but is suggesting that we pay attention to our habits when we’re not in exercise mode. He is convinced that when we sit down, our “body’s ability to dispose of fat virtually shuts down.”

Using both laboratory animals and human volunteers, he tested the physiological effects of sitting.

The animals were injected with a small amount of fat that contained a radioactive tracer so the researchers could determine what happened to the fat.

“What’s the fate of that fat?” Hamilton asked during a telephone interview. “Is it burned up by the muscle?”

The radioactive tracer revealed that when the animals were sitting down, the fat did not remain in the blood vessels that pass through the muscles, where it could be burned. Instead, it was captured by the adipose tissue, a type of connective tissue where globules of fat are stored.

You can follow the intriguing study here–which tells us in a little different way what we already know–we need to eat less and move around more. Too much sitting here in the Buxton motorhome, I confess.


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