Don’t exercise regularly? Try standing more often. It could save your life. That’s the gist of a May 2014 study that points to the health benefits of standing for sedentary individuals.

In the past, standing has held an ambiguous reputation in the physical activity world. It isn’t exactly a hazardous “sedentary” behavior, even though it certainly qualifies as a low energy-expenditure activity. On the other hand, standing doesn’t fit the “physically active” profile either because it isn’t movement-oriented—though it does require modest engagement of lower body and core muscles that sitting or reclining doesn’t demand. So in our world of categories, standing has eluded classification as either a “risky” or “positive” lifestyle behavior.

The results of the study may nudge standing in the direction of positive behaviors.Researchers analyzed data from the Canada Fitness Survey to determine the association between daily standing time and mortality. They found that more time spent standing was linked with lower mortality from cardiovascular disease and death from “other causes” in a linear fashion. In other words, mortality rates decreased roughly in proportion to the amount that standing time increased. Mortality also decreased for cancer, but this decrease only manifested itself when comparing those who stood the least to those who reported standing the most.

Interestingly, among people who exercised regularly, the study found no benefit for increased standing time in terms of mortality. The benefits only came to sedentary individuals.So if you or someone you know is sedentary and cannot or does not exercise, stand whenever possible, preferably intermittently throughout the day to avoid fatigue or circulation issues. Break up your seated work or leisure time with frequent standing. While exercise is certainly best, standing is still a positive and holds significant health benefits.