Standing for at least 25% of each day may reduce the risk of obesity, a new study conducted by the American Cancer Society and The Cooper Institute and published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings has shown.1

According to the American Cancer Society, being overweight or obese is clearly associated with an increased risk of many cancers, including breast in postmenopausal women, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, kidney, and pancreatic cancers. Being overweight or obese may also elevate the risk for gallbladder, liver, cervical, and ovarian cancers; aggressive forms of prostate cancer; multiple myeloma; and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.2

For the study, researchers evaluated reported standing habits in relation to objectively measured obesity and metabolic risk among more than 7000 adult patients receiving preventive medicine care at Cooper Clinic in Texas.

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Results showed that among men, standing for a quarter of the day was linked to a 32% reduction in the likelihood of obesity, while standing half the day was linked with a 59% reduced likelihood of obesity. Among women, standing one-quarter, half, and three-quarters of the day was associated with a 35%, 47%, and 57% reduced likelihood of obesity, respectively.

Researchers also found that 150 minutes of moderate exercise and/or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per day in combination with standing further reduced the risk for obesity.

The authors note that additional prospective studies are necessary to determine whether standing has protective health benefits, and acknowledge that standing is also associated with adverse health effects, such as an increased risk for varicose veins.


1. Standing and exercise linked to lower odds of obesity. EurekAlert! website. November 3, 2015. Accessed November 3, 2015.

2. Does body weight affect cancer risk? American Cancer Society website. April 24, 2015. Accessed November 3, 2015.