Making Time Stand Still: How Standing Prevents Aging

by Chris Martin on October 1, 2014

Here’s the definition of irony.

Sixteenth-century Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon wanted to find the legendary “Fountain of Youth.” So he traveled to what is now Florida – which today has a higher percentage of elderly people than any other state in the country.

anti-fatigue mats
Who needs a silly fountain of youth, anyway?

The point is, people have been searching for ways to retard the aging process for centuries. Popular approaches include everything from altering your diet or adopting a healthier lifestyle to using special face creams or taking “magic” pills. But now, there’s new research which suggests an easy way to prevent aging – and it’s something you always do before you sing the National Anthem.

The Science Surrounding Standing

A Swedish study sheds new light on the correlation between standing and living a longer life, especially in seniors. And get this: it may be even more important to slowing the aging process than exercise.

The study focused on human chromosomes, the collection of molecules that contains DNA – which, of course, are responsible for encoding the genetic instructions for every living being. Every chromosome has protective caps at each end called telomeres, which are designed to keep chromosomes from fraying and messing up the genetic code found in DNA. (A good analogy are the aglets on the ends of shoelaces, which perform much the same purpose.) Previous science has linked shorter-than-normal telomeres to disease, premature aging, and early death.

Anti-fatigue mats
“Mama, don’t take my chromosome! Mama don’t take my chromosome a-waaa-ay-ay!”

Swedes Study Standing

At the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, researchers took 49 people who were 60 years of age or older, overweight, and sedentary in their lifestyle. Scientists measured the telomeres in the chromosomes of the subjects, then put half of the participants on a six-month exercise regimen. During the study, the people kept daily diaries documenting not only how much time they spent exercising, but also how often they remained in a seated position.

The results were a bit surprising. Predictably, the test subjects who exercised were healthier than those who did not. But scientists discovered something amazing: the biggest determining factor regarding the length of a person’s telomeres was the amount of time spent standing up. In other words, the less time that the people spent sitting down, the longer their telomeres were – which means that they were less likely to experience premature aging.

Anti-fatigue mats
It’s great to find an activity that you love which lets you stand while you do it.

So Standing Seniors See Stunted Senescence?

So what does this mean for senior citizens?

One takeaway is that elderly folks don’t necessarily have to start a new exercise routine in order to fight off the effects of aging. Instead, they may gain significant benefits from simply reducing the amount of sitting they do during a day. Perhaps they might stand instead of sit while talking with others, watching TV, or even reading the newspaper or a book.

For older people who may have joint or muscle issues (or for anyone who stands for hours at a time), an anti-fatigue mat might be helpful. These mats are specially-designed to facilitate blood flow through the feet, legs, and trunk; thereby preventing fatigue and the stiffness, soreness, or pain that often accompanies it.

Anti-fatigue mats
Check out how young this person looks!

Ultimate Mats has a full line of anti-fatigue mats that are suitable for just about any residential or business application. So if you want to improve your health by changing your sedentary lifestyle, get an Ultimate Mats anti-fatigue mat on which you can stand. Because anything that helps you live longer is a worthwhile investment!

Image credit #4: Ultimate Mats

Written by Chris Martin

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