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The Bulletin

Work standing up, lose weight

Posting in Architecture

Besides standing, Hemingway and Churchill also liked drinking. That's the American author above with his wife Mary, actor Spencer Tracy and a few glasses and other companions in 1955, Havana.

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The author Ernest Hemingway did it, and I don't think of him as a particularly slender man, at least not in his latter years.

But a British exercise scientist insists that if desk-bound office workers stand afoot while churning through their daily toil, they will burn a lot more calories and stay physically fitter than if they labor away in the customary seated manner.

"There is no need to sit down so much,"  says the University of Chester expert, John Buckley, in a story on the BBC website.

Three upright hours will burn 144 calories a day, which translates to eight pounds of fat loss in a year according to Buckley, who himself works at a desk fashioned for the vertical. Erectness also aids the circulation, he says (stop sniggering). If it doesn't shed tonnage, it might at least abet vitality.

A Forbes article notes that the human body is designed to stand for long periods of time.

"We automatically shift our weight and move around while standing," the story points out. "Standing prevents both the repetitive stress and muscle atrophy that's caused by sitting."

Furniture designers have caught on to the health benefits, and are crafting modern ergonomic office gear such as Focal Upright Furniture's Locus seat of which SmartPlanet's Reena Jana wrote earlier this year. The Stand-Up Desk Company in Maryland has been making classic varieties for three decades.

Hemingway simply used a tall conventional model (The Old Man and the Locus Seat just doesn't have the right ring, does it?).

He also drank like a fish. So did another devotee of straight up scribbling, Winston Churchill. I'll leave it to you whether that practice too is conducive to health and productivity.

Photo: Wikimedia

A small sampling of other health tips and standing orders, on SmartPlanet:

— By on January 10, 2013, 8:45 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure