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It’s safe to say that the more you move around, the more calories you’ll burn, right?

Quick answer: with a standing desk, users can potentially burn up to 114 calories a day, which could lead to 5.85 lbs a year.* Read the short explanation below to learn more.

The Study

O2 use + CO2 output + energy = calories burned

In a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 10 females and 10 males were randomly assigned to either sit at a traditional desk or stand at a standing desk. Researchers measured values like oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and energy expenditure. They did some fancy calculations on these variables from the test subjects to get a total value of Caloric expenditure (kcal/min).

The Results

the more you move, the more you burn

The study demonstrated a significant increase in calories burned from using a standing desk. For example, a U.S. middle school student spends, on average, 1003 hours per year learning in a classroom.

* Therefore, a student would expend approximately an additional 114 calories a day by using a standing desk. This translates to an extra weight loss of approximately 5.85 pounds each year when enrolled in a classroom utilizing a standing desk.


A significant amount more calories are expended by working at standing desks than conventional desks.

Again, it’s safe to say that if you move around more, you’ll burn more calories, right? This is the premise of the study – to quantify something we already likely know. Yes, we want you to buy our standing desk systems for your offices: that’s why we take the time to write about the subject. But, on the other hand, we are also advocates for and users of the products we sell. This post is being written at one of our electric (fastest in the industry) standing desks right now.

Is 114 calories a day a big deal?

short answer: yeah it could be

The data above is important because some dieticians suggest that obesity can occur from a positive energy balance (more food) of as little as 100 calories per day. So yeah, 114 calories burned each day could make a difference for some people. Others may not see any changes other than productivity, relief in back pain, the ability to stretch your legs, and other benefits of just moving around.

Read the full study - Difference in Caloric Expenditure in Sitting Versus Standing Desks

Study Authors: Christopher Reiff, Kara Marlatt, Donald R. Dengel

Publication: Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2012, 9, 1009-1011
© 2012 Human Kinetics, Inc.