Office workers could lose almost 6 pounds a year simply by standing at their desks, new research suggests. An international study of more than 1,000 men and women found standing instead of sitting for six hours a day burned an extra 54 calories each day, leading to significant weight loss. The research found standing burned almost twice as many calories in men compared with women, because they have higher muscle mass.
The study, which examined data from 1,184 people taking part in 46 previous studies, found the average difference in energy expenditure between sitting and standing was 0.15 calories a minute. It means those who spent six hours of the day standing rather than sitting could expect to lose almost six pounds in a year if they did not change their diet.
Many office workers could achieve significant weight loss if they spent regular periods standing at their desks, especially if it encouraged them to move about more. Standing for long periods of time for many adults may seem unmanageable, especially those who have desk jobs, but, for the person who sits for 12 hours a day, cutting sitting time to half would give great benefits.
Effects were most pronounced among men, which they said was likely to reflect the fact those with greater muscle mass burn calories more quickly. The results might even be an underestimate, and standing could also boost overall health. Standing not only burns more calories, the additional muscle activity is linked to lower rates of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes, so the benefits of standing could go beyond weight control.