Standercizing: The New Workout Craze

Heed the sage words of Brian!I’m writing this standing up. That’s right, standing up. Why the heck am I doing that, you ask? Well the latest word from the ever changing, constantly surprising medical research community is that standing up may be every bit as important in determining the size of your waist line as regular exercise. Seriously! But don’t take my word for it, here’s an except of the stunning revelation:

“In most cases, exercise alone, according to a team of scientists at the University of Missouri, isn’t enough to take off those added pounds. The problem, they say, is that all the stuff we’ve heard the last few years about weight control left one key factor out of the equation. When we sit, the researchers found, the enzymes that are responsible for burning fat just shut down… [In tests] After the animals remained seated for several hours, ‘the enzyme was suppressed down to 10 percent of normal,’ Hamilton said. ‘It’s just virtually shut off.’

That’s right, sitting on your posterior may be why that jelly donut you had in the break room is now taking out a mortgage on a lovely little 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom cellulite ripple on your thighs. (The thighs is one place the subprime mortgage crisis hasn’t reached yet.)

But could losing pounds be as simple as standing around like an angst-filled, high schooler in the mall? I’ve decided to check it out in the days since I read the article. Instead of vegging out in the evening on the couch wasting my time watching crummy television programming, I’ve been standing up, wasting my time watching crummy television programming. And you know what? I have noticed a few subtle differences. To begin with, there’s no convenient place to stand and watch the boob tube in my living room.

After the end of first evening, I noticed my lower back and my neck were aching. That wasn’t terribly surprising. Part of my IT geek union membership involves an aptitude for endurance slouching. (The union better not find out about all this standing and good posture, they may revoke my membership.) More importantly, I slept like a log that night. Petrified wood. We’re talking some seriously awesome sleep. The kind of sleep that makes waking feel like crawling out of a warm, deep, fuzzy hole. The only problem with sleep like that is you gotta wake up sometime. If it weren’t for work, I think I had another four hours in me.

In the following days, I also notice the scale seemed to be reading slightly lower figures than normal. However, I don’t know if I can attribute it to standing or to lack of exercise. Due to a recent case of illness, my work out regimen was temporarily put on hold. And as you probably know with muscles, if you don’t use ‘em you lose ‘em. So it’s a toss up. And it probably doesn’t matter anyway, because a boozy weekend virtually erased any losses in the weight department. In either case, my sleep continued to be great.

Another interesting thing happens when you exercise the erectus ability we inherited from homo erectus. You tend to move around a lot. Before you know it, you be absentmindedly doing little chores that you would normally ignore whilst crashed on the couch. Even if you’re in the zombie-coma state that often accompanies a day spent in front of a computer screen swigging coffee, I noticed that after about 10 or 15 minutes, you kinda wake up and feel a bit more energetic. This also makes sense. I noticed when putting together the stats for my post on the exercise prospects of the Nintendo Wii that my heart rate sitting down was as much as 20 BPM less than it was while standing.

So is standing up the new Atkins Diet? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say no. Though I am trying to come up with an entire line of gimmicky products to sell to gullible people who slavishly follow fad diets. (Got any ideas?) I’m calling these people “Standercizers”. (I’m willing to license the term “Standercize” for a small fee! Hell, I’ll even throw in some neon 80′s leg warmers!) Seriously though, while I don’t see standing up a realistic way of losing weight or gaining fitness, I’m going to keep doing it as long as I keep getting the awesome sleep.

The more important issue here is not whether or not standing will actually make you lose weight. It’s about how incredibly fat and lazy have people have to be to not spend any time standing up during the day. When doctors have to advise you to stand up, much less work out, there’s a problem. (I’m envisioning a gym full of large sweaty people on recumbent exercise bikes here, and it isn’t pleasant!) Stand up people! Wait, don’t just stand, Standercize!

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6 Comments

  1. Cigar Jack said,

    December 5, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Hmmm, I need to find a way to elevate my laptop at home to usable height while standing.

  2. Brian said,

    December 5, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Hey CJ,
    As an IT whor… er, consultant, I get around. And one of my favorite set ups was the place I worked that had desks set up with a switch that would elevate the desk top to a point where you could stand and work. I used to do this from time to time when I was feeling distracted. Something about standing while working seemed to focus my mind on the task at hand. Not entirely sure why, but it was very cool. While I’m working at home, I just grab my laptop and move over to the breakfast bar.

  3. babychaos said,

    December 6, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Bloody brilliant! Where do you dig up this stuff? I reckon if you get a swiss ball (I promise this isn’t a medical condition) and use it instead of a desk chair, it probably does the same thing only, if you have knackered knees, without any unpleasant consequences!

    Cheers

    BC

  4. Cigar Jack said,

    December 7, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    Ever since I saw Dwight Schrut using one on The Office I just can’t bring myself to do it. Even though it sounds like a good idea.

  5. Brian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Hi BC,
    As you know, I revel in randomness! These weird things just seem to find me! I guess I should quit hanging out in the offbeat news sections… Nah. Normal news? Where’s the fun in that?

    Those big inflatable balls seem to be another workout trend. I seem to see those in every gym I wander into. (Usually just to use the bathroom… I just can’t seem to get into the whole gym experience anymore.)

    I know what you’re saying CJ. Anything the Dwight character has the ability to ruin anything he comes in contact with. Both on the show, and in real life. I didn’t see that episode, but just knowing that he used one is enough to put me off the idea! (That, and where the heck do you keep a giant inflated ball? Those things are huge! I’m not getting rid of my cozy leather executive chair for one of those!)

    Cheers!
    Brian

  6. January 6, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    [...] Stand up. Get off your butt. As I discussed in a previous post, simply standing up had a dramatic impact on our bodies ability to burn fat. (See original article [...]


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