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Walking, standing long, better than hitting gym for keeping healthy


08:13, February 17, 2013

(File Photo)

Walking or standing for long stretches of time is more effective than working up a sweat for keeping healthy, media reports quoted a new study as saying Saturday.

The study published in journal PLOS One said low-intensity workouts, such as walking, taking the stairs and standing, can improve insulin sensitivity and blood lipid levels whose levels are indicators of diabetes and obesity.

The findings were based on a research conducted by researchers from Maastricht University in Holland.

The research team split 18 young people aged from 19 to 24 into three groups: One group sat for 14 hours a day with no exercise; the second was instructed to sit for 13 hours each day, but exercised vigorously for one hour; in the third, participants were told to spend six hours sitting, four walking and two standing.

The research proved that calories expended during long, low-intensity exercise was the same as those burned in short, intense activities.

In addition, cholesterol and blood lipid levels were better improved in the third group than the other two groups.

“One hour of daily physical exercise cannot compensate for the negative effects of inactivity on insulin sensitivity and plasma lipids if the rest of the day is spent sitting,” said Dr. Hans Savelberg from Maastricht University.

“Our study suggests that in addition to health interventions that stress the importance of spending enough energy to maintain a neutral energy balance, a minimal daily amount of non-sitting time should also be promoted,” Savelberg added.

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