What is more interesting is that we get a big jump in calorie burn just by standing up: more than an 80% increase in calories burned over sitting down. Now that is significant. If we can't stand up all day, we should at least stand up and walk around when we talk on the phone. And stand up every other chance we get.
If we walk 10,000 steps per day and follow a vegan diet centered on these low calorie foods, our weight will gradually normalize at a healthy level. However, even if we exercise daily and maintain normal weight, sitting in chairs can still cause health problems for us.
The physiology of inactivity
Inactivity and lack of exercise are two different things. A sedentary person is someone who has prolongued periods of inactivity. Even if you exercise, too much sitting is harmful. Marc Hamilton, from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, says "I think sitting is very dangerous."
Studies show that people who sit for more than six hours a day are 18% to 37% more likely to die of diabetes, heart disease, or other causes than those who sit for less than three hours a day. This is true even for people who exercise daily and are of normal weight. How can this be?
We have an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in the endothelial cells that line our capillaries. This enzyme is important because it grabs fats out of the bloodstream and moves them to the muscles or to fat cells for storage.
After just a few hours of not standing, LPL basically turns off. With LPL suppressed by sitting, harmful triglycerides (fats) build up in our bloodstream, and good HDL cholesterol levels drop.
Take a break from sitting in chairs
When we learned about this research, we were concerned. While we worked for the airlines, we stood up most of the day. Once we retired and started building this website, we spent many hours sitting at the computer. But we learned there are many ways to keep our LPL working normally. Here are some ideas: