Scientists Find An Astonishing Fat Burning Exercise Perfect For Desk Workers

The average American spends close to 10 hours sitting every day, and with the pandemic fueling work from home culture, the sedentary lifestyle has only made that more pronounced. There is no dearth of research claiming that an execessively sedentary lifestyle, especially one that involves sitting for long hours on a stretch, is harmful for the heart and an open invitation to conditions like diabetes, metabolic issues, and severe back problems for folks already struggling with back issues. The solution is exercise, plain and simple, in any form possible. 

Therefore, it doesn't come as a surpise that the demand for standing desks, or those attached to a treadmill, has gone up significantly. But it appears that there's a way to turbocharge the body's metabolic activities, all while sitting. The technique, from experts at the University of Houston, is essentially about hacking the calf muslces and tapping into their impressive metabolic potential, which has remained hidden so far. At the heart of the latest research is a technique called Soleus Pushup (SPU), which involves activating the soleus muscle in the calf region to ramp up metabolism with minimal physical effort. 

Tapping into the hidden calf potential

The biggest takeaway here is that the soleus muscle can keep its metabolism activity up and running for hours without tiring, even while the human subject sits in a chair. The core guiding principle is that in resting muscle fibers like the soleus, energy demand is minimal. The soleus pushup involves rising the heel to its peak height while keeping the front foot stuck to the ground, and then slowly putting down the heel. While conducting the tests, the team discovered that the soleus region became the most active spot in the body for breakdown of carbohydrates like glucose. 

The study — conducted on volunteers with varied levels of body activity from sedentary to endurance athlete types — found that no known drug can match the magnitude of whole-body oxidative metabolism that can be achieved by the Soleus Pushup process. The findings, which have been published in the journal iScience, claim that the PSU technique is more effective at regulating blood glucose than workouts like running on a treadmill, a curated weight loss regimen, and fasting.

A boon for at-home remote computer warriors

During the SPU tests, it was found that the method led to a 52% higher blood sugar driveout while insulin requirement was lowered by 60% simultaneously after ingesting a glucose drink (via University of Houston). Notably, it also doubled the rate of fat metabolism in the body, reducing the overall fat level in blood. Highlighting the sheer potential of his remarkable research, professor Marc Hamilton from the Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston notes that "despite the fact that the soleus is only 1% the body weight, it is capable of raising its metabolic rate during SPU contractions to easily double, even sometimes triple, the whole-body carbohydrate oxidation."

The latest breakthrough is almost revolutionary, especially for folks that are glued to their seats for long hours on a daily basis. For people working from home, who shift from desk chair to lounge sofa, the SPU technique will bring some much needed metabolic relief for their increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

Wearables like smartwatches and fitness bands send sedentary reminders to user if they've been sitting in the same spot for a long time. SPU offers a low-reffort, high-yield alternative for burning fat and enhancing body metabolims. In a nutshell, the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle can be negated to a significant extent with regular SPU sessions.