One of the most significant advantages of using a standing desk is that it is significantly better for one's health to stand all day as opposed to sitting for eight hours straight. A standing desk is a fantastic alternative for most individuals since it allows them to burn calories without requiring them to be on their feet all day. However, does the loss of weight actually correspond to the amount of calories burned? Do calories are burned when you work at a standing desk?
The researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have some discouraging information for people who use standing desks in the hopes of burning more calories.
The researchers determined how many calories participants burned by sitting or standing for fifteen minutes and compared the results. According to the findings of the latest study, standing instead of sitting burns an astounding two more calories on average.
This means that you will burn an additional 8 to 10 calories for every hour that you are on your feet. However, the difference did not meet the criteria for statistical significance, and the author of the study, Seth Creasy, PhD, believes that it is unlikely to be enough to influence a person's weight.
It does have an appealing sound. Simply standing up will cause the weight you've been working so hard to lose to fall off of you like water off a duck's back. Nevertheless, how many calories spent at a standing desk are equivalent to a noticeable increase in weight? Is it true that standing desks contribute significantly more to weight loss than sitting desks?
According to the findings of certain studies, standing causes a greater expenditure of calories than sitting does. This finding may help to explain why more people are using standing desks in today's offices. On the other hand, the majority of those studies focused only on one activity at a time (either sitting or standing). The current study team reasoned that the majority of people were engaging in many tasks at once or performing the activities in a different order, and they came to the conclusion that this was an important topic to investigate.
In order to achieve this goal, they solicited the help of seventy-four young and physically fit individuals to take part in a series of trials that had been meticulously planned out. First, the participants were split up into four groups and given instructions to either sit, stand, or walk in a variety of different patterns.
The members of the first group took a seat in front of a computer, typed for fifteen minutes, and then got up. The second participant walked on treadmills after sitting and watching television for fifteen minutes. The third group strolled around before sitting down, whereas the fourth group stood before sitting down. According to Creasy, between each exercise there was a three-minute "transition" period in which the participant "was seated at rest, not fidgeting, and just relaxing."
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a number of negative health consequences, including coronary heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and death at an earlier age.
A recent study indicated that sitting for long periods of time may be responsible for the deaths of nearly 430,000 people. The body's ability to metabolise fat, as well as to control blood pressure and blood sugar levels, might be negatively impacted by sitting for an extended period of time.
According to the findings of several research, simply standing rather than sitting could help mitigate some of the negative consequences of sitting for long periods of time.
According to the findings of other studies, sit-stand desks, in particular, encourage people to move about more and, as a consequence, burn more calories. Because of this, a lot of people think that this cutting-edge kind of furniture, which is now standard in most contemporary workplaces, can assist in the process of losing weight.
But a recent analysis of previous research calls these conclusions into question. A scoping assessment of 53 research that explored the benefits of sit-stand workstations was headed by April Chambers, who is an assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Find here.
Sit-Stand Desks Do Not Aid In Weight Loss
The study incorporated a total of 53 studies, with 47 of them being experimental trials. In total, the studies conducted a follow-up assessment on anywhere from six to two hundred thirty one participants for a time span of up to one year.
The impacts of sit-stand desks were evaluated by Chambers using the following six criteria: "behaviour (for example, time sitting and standing), physiological, work performance, psychological, discomfort, and posture."
According to research co-author Nancy A. Baker, who is an associate professor of occupational therapy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, "the study found relatively moderate affects on any of [the six characteristics], the biggest being changes in behaviour and discomfort."
To put it another way, persons who used sit-stand workstations spent significantly less time sitting and significantly more time standing as compared to those who used standard desks.
Additionally, users of sit-stand desks reported feeling more comfortable while they were working. On the other hand, sit-stand desks were found to be "least beneficial for productivity."
In terms of the physiological impacts, the reviewers found that sit-stand desks did not have a substantial impact on obesity. Despite the fact that the bulk of the research that were included in the study concentrated specifically on these effects, the reviewers came to this conclusion.
The researchers emphasise the fact that weight loss was not one of the benefits that were shown to be associated with using sit-stand workstations. The evaluation however find some minor benefits associated with using sit-stand desks.
Why do people disagree about the calories burned by standing desks?
The number of calories that can be expended by standing as opposed to sitting has been the subject of hundreds of different research. The findings, on the other hand, have been quite inconsistent due to the great variety of research subjects and scientific approaches utilised in the many investigations.
There is one finding that is consistent throughout all of the research: spending hours upon hours of our lives sedentary is one of the very worst things that we can do to our bodies. Sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to our health and should be avoided whenever possible.
How Does Standing Help Us?
At first look, it may not appear like standing does anything to aid in our efforts to lose weight. After all, you are only standing there still, with perhaps some slight movement in your arms or legs. However, if we consider the calories burned by standing desks, we find that they burn anywhere from 100 to 200 calories per hour, but sitting at an L-shaped standing desk often only burns 60 calories.
When you are on your feet, you are using more muscle mass than when you are sitting, and even doing something as insignificant as stretching your legs or tapping your foot uses up some of your available energy. Therefore, all of those tiny motions, in addition to the active muscle mass, can result in a greater number of calories burned while using standing workstations as opposed to sitting desks.
But is that enough to get rid of the extra weight? Even though standing won't necessarily take the place of going to the gym, it's still something, right?
Standing Up Is Very Minor
Even if you sit at a desk all day to burn calories, you probably won't see any significant changes in your body composition for quite some time. The additional 100 to 200 calories expended may seem like a lot, but when compared to the total number of calories that need to be lost, it is a drop in the bucket at best.
It's the same as saying that if you eat one carrot stick for dinner, you've fulfilled all of the nutritional requirements for a balanced meal. It is insufficient to create a significant impact on a day-to-day basis and must be supplemented by another factor. If you want to lose weight while standing, you need to incorporate more activity into your routine.
For instance, you might host a dance party during your breaks while working at your standing desk in your home office. This is one technique to burn calories while working at standing desks. You could also go for a brisk walk, stretch out with some yoga or do some yoga poses, or head to the gym for an hour and get in a good exercise there. These are the types of activities that have the potential to raise your heart rate and should really get the ball rolling on transforming some of that body fat into muscle.
How many calories are really burned by standing?
The most accurate and up-to-date estimate of the number of calories burned as a result of standing is provided by a study that was conducted in 2017 and published in the journal Circulation.
The researchers in that study looked at close to seven hundred previous studies on energy expenditure, narrowed their selection down to the 44 that included the most credible findings, and then calculated an average of the results. Instead of depending on studies that could be considered anomalous, we have found that compiling the findings of a large number of reliable investigations yields the most precise and comprehensive findings.
It has come to my attention that you probably should not immediately terminate your membership at the fitness centre.
Although standing rather than sitting at your desk can undoubtedly increase the blood flow in your body, stimulate the muscles in your legs, and cause you to burn more calories than sitting, standing still will not push those muscles to burn that many more calories than sitting does.
According to the findings of a study that was published in Circulation, standing for fifteen minutes instead of sitting at a computer for the same amount of time results in the burning of approximately two additional calories.
When compared to sitting at our workstations for an hour, standing for that same amount of time results in an additional caloric expenditure of eight calories on average. In the meantime, sitting and watching television burns even fewer calories per hour than sitting while working; in fact, passive sitting burns four less calories per hour than active sitting does.
Of course, every study has its own set of limitations and critics (some studies "prove" that standing desks boost all forms of productivity, whereas other studies "prove" that standing desks mainly boost productivity for tasks related to creative thinking), and new research that contradicts previous findings is constantly being published.
Why Standing Desks Burn Calories
People sit for an average of 7.7 hours per day, which, when added to the amount of time we spend sleeping, means that we don't spend very much time standing or walking around. It should come as no surprise that obesity rates have continued to climb, with one in every five persons in the United States being classed as morbidly obese. This sedentary lifestyle, when combined with unhealthy eating habits, contributes to the epidemic of obesity that plagues both our young people and our adult population.
Do you burn more calories standing than sitting? Yes. Does standing burn more calories than sitting for an equivalent amount of time? Absolutely! You will burn more "passive" calories if you stand for longer periods of time and remain more active. This is true even though standing may not always feel like exercise. So, how many more calories do you burn while you work at a standing desk? If you stand for an additional three hours each workday, you can burn up to 30,000 calories over the course of a year. This is a staggering number, but it's true. That is the same as having eight pounds of fat, to put it in terms that are easier to understand. If you wanted to burn as many calories through exercise, you would have to run ten marathons; instead, you could just stand up.
How do the calories burned by sitting and standing at desks compare to those burned by other activities?
According to the findings of a study that was published in Circulation, burning approximately 20 calories in fifteen minutes when sitting at a desk is equivalent to burning approximately 22 calories in fifteen minutes while standing at a desk. More standing desk ideas over here.
When compared to other hobbies, such as sleeping, active sitting, or passive sitting, sitting and standing while working burn more calories, but how do these activities stack up against others, such as gardening, cooking, or playing hopscotch with your children?
The following is a rundown of the average number of calories that can be burned in fifteen minutes by participating in a variety of different physical activities:
- Sleeping: 11.5 calories
- Sitting and watching TV: 18.66 calories
- Sitting and working: 19.63 calories
- Standing and working: 21.92 calories
- Walking: 55.9 calories
- Downhill skiing or waterskiing: 111.5 calories
- Basketball: 149 calories
- Running: roughly 200 calories, depending on your speed
The findings presented above for walking, sitting, and standing were taken from an investigation that was published in Circulation. The other totals, which were provided by the Harvard Medical School and represented the typical amount of calories burned by an individual weighing 155 pounds, were also provided.
Bear in mind that these are simply averages, and that the rate at which we burn calories varies greatly depending not only on our individual size but also on our metabolism and gender. For instance, as a result of the differential in muscle mass, men standing still burn approximately two times as many calories as women standing still do.
Other Benefits of Using a Standing Desk
Reduce Back Pain
Back pain is something that 80 percent of adults will feel at some point in their lives. It is also one of the most common complaints of those who work in offices and spend their days sitting for long periods of time.
Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of using a standing desk on office workers who suffer from chronic back pain. For instance, the "Take-a-Stand Project" 1 conducted in 2011 discovered that participants who spent an average of 66 minutes of their workday standing saw a reduction of upper back and neck pain that was 54% less severe than those who sat the entire time.
Lower your Risk of Heart Disease
More than 60 years' worth of research has been devoted to examining the health advantages of standing. The results of a research that was done on bus conductors in 1953 indicated that those who stood all day had a risk of death from heart disease that was one-half that of seated bus drivers. 2
A comparison of 18 research including approximately 800,000 individuals was done sixty years after the initial study on bus conductors, and it came to the same conclusions as the original study. In comparison to those who led active lifestyles, those who led sedentary lifestyles had a 90 percent higher risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 147 percent higher risk of cardiovascular events. These findings were based on the observation that a sedentary lifestyle is linked to an increase in risk.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
It is normal for blood sugar levels to rise after eating, however people who have significant spikes in their blood sugar levels have a considerably greater likelihood of developing diabetes in the future. In addition, an increase in blood sugar has been associated with an overall feeling of being unwell.
The blood sugar levels of 10 office workers were measured before and after lunch in a study that was conducted in 2013 and found that standing for 185 minutes after lunch lowered blood sugar levels by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time. In addition, the participants wore pedometers, which were then evaluated. The results showed that there were no significant differences in the participants' physical motions between the two groups. This suggests that standing, as opposed to sitting, was responsible for the drop in blood sugar levels that was seen.
Another study indicated that switching positions every 30 minutes between standing and sitting helped minimise blood sugar rises by an average of 11.1 percent. The participants in this study were overweight office employees. During the course of the experiment, both the subjects' diets and their levels of physical activity were tracked.
Simply switching to a standing desk can lower your risk of developing diabetes and prevent dangerous increases in your blood sugar, as the research presented above demonstrates. There is no need to make any further efforts! You made your way to this website by navigating.
Boost Your Productivity
The capacity to perform routine chores while standing, such as typing or taking phone calls, is a worry that frequently arises among individuals who are considering purchasing a standing desk. In addition, working in an upright position may require some adjustment time at first. Those that work at standing desks, on the other hand, have not experienced any negative effects on their day-to-day operations.
Productivity and mental alertness are likely to improve as a result of the improvement in mood and energy, as well as the reduction in pain experienced in the back, shoulders, and neck. When the individual parts of the body are in better shape, the body as a whole is able to work more effectively, and it is reasonable to anticipate that this will, in turn, lead to increased productivity.
Frequently Asked Questions About Standing Desk
To achieve the benefits of a standing desk, it is important to adjust the platform to your height. While knowing your height and health conditions are required for best results, the rule of thumb is to raise your standing desk to elbows' height with the screen at eye level and your wrists equal to the desk surface. For in-depth instructions, follow our standing desk height guide.
When using a standing desk, an individual burns about 88 calories an hour compared to the 80 calories burned while sitting. While these additional eight calories may not seem like much, adjustable desks offer many additional health benefits.
Standing desks won't make you lose weight, and they also don't make you significantly healthier or more productive, according to a new analysis of 53 sit-stand desk studies.
Sitting behind your desk all day is bad for your health, and experts have long been advising people to stand at their workstations for about 15 minutes an hour. But a University of Waterloo professor says his research shows that people should be standing for at least 30 minutes per hour to get health benefits.
Although a standing desk might improve back pain, it's likely not a cure-all. For example, a standing desk might help improve your posture and take the pressure off your neck and lower back; however, it's not enough to correct more serious problems, such as scoliosis or a bulging disc.