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More standing, less sitting may benefit your blood

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KANSAS CITY, Mo -- Do you feel like you're chained to your desk and chair at work? You can get up. New research shows what happens in your blood when you do.

Jim Gately is really a stand-up guy. Since May, the electrical designer has purposely stood four to six hours a day at his desk.

"I feel more energized when I go home," said Gately.

He could be getting other benefits in his blood. Australian researchers found an extra two hours a day of standing instead of sitting was associated with lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The findings add to evidence that standing more may lower heart disease and diabetes risk.

Employers are taking notice. Gately's employer, Burns & McDonnell, will open a new headquarters building in Kansas City next year.

"We have added fourteen hundred new adjustable work stations, so that will allow people to move from a sitting position to a standing position throughout the day," said Lauren Dunn, a benefits administrator.

The new research found standing didn't result in a smaller waistline or body mass index. You had to replace two hours of sitting with stepping to get those benefits.

Julia Bartak, a Burns & McDonnell employee, walks or runs over her lunch hour. She and co-workers also sometimes have "moving meetings." They talk and walk.

"It helps us kinda focus and gives us some energy and helps us stay, I guess, productive during the day," said Bartak.

Dunn added, "Any way that you can incorporate that into your daily life, not necessarily in a workout, but in walking movement, that's great."

Researchers say the message is to stand up, sit less, and move more for your heart and overall health. The study is published in the European Heart Journal.