Reduced Sitting Time & Weight Management

Author: Calgary Weight Management Centre |

Trying to lose weight? Try cutting out this much time sitting at work.

Countless studies have pointed to “sitting disease” affecting your health and waistline, but new research suggests that getting out of your chair for 71 minutes a day during your workday could make a difference long-term.

Australian and Danish doctors studied 317 office workers in 19 offices in Denmark — a country that’s implemented sit-stand desks to get employees out of their seats. Half of the group was randomly assigned to an intervention that encouraged them to use sit-stand desks, while the other half didn’t receive any workshops or lectures about improving their health by standing.

Both groups wore a device that measured their movement during a five-day workweek.

At the one-month mark, the group that received the intervention sat for about 71 minutes less during an eight-hour workday compared to their peers. At the three-month mark, it was about 48 minutes less sitting. The number of steps they took during the workday climbed by seven percent within a month and eight percent by three months. They didn’t complain about back pain or any changes from standing more either.

Within 30 days, they saw a dip in their body fat percentage by 0.61 percentage points. It isn’t much, but considering it was the only change the workers made in their lifestyle over the course of four weeks, the researchers say it’s notable.

Takeaway Gem

Don't think 71 minutes (i.e. 1 hour, 11 minutes) in one time-block chunk. Rather think about how you can work in smaller amounts of active time within your day.

Try these ideas to work in 50-70 minutes of walking time each day:

  • Walking to/from your parking spot... park a little further so you walk 10 minutes before and after work = 20 minutes
  • Walking before or after you eat lunch = 15-20 minutes
  • Walking after supper or playing with your kids = 15-30 minutes

Read the study abstract.

Dietitians of Canada DOC Newsflash



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