Do you want to know how many calories a standing desk burns? A lot of people are curious about this and for good reason! Standing desks are becoming more and more popular, as people realize the health benefits of standing instead of sitting.
But for those of us who want to use a standing desk for weight loss, we need to know if calories are burned from using a standing desk and if so, how many?
In a nutshell, researchers at Harvard University found that standing burns 88 calories per hour compared to sitting for one hour which only burns 80 calories per hour.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I take my standing desk one step further by having a DIY treadmill desk which burns a ton of calories, but even just using a standing desk will burn more calories in a day than sitting at a regular desk while you work.
But you’re here because you want to know how many calories does a standing desk burn, so I won’t keep you waiting any longer to deep dive into this!
What is a standing desk?
A standing desk is a desk that sits at around elbow or waist height so that rather than using a chair to sit and work at your desk, you can stand and work instead.
These have become increasingly popular in recent years as people look to combat the negative effects sitting all day can have on your physical and mental health.
How does standing help burn calories?
You are using more muscles when standing than when you are sitting. It’s as simple as that.
You are also more likely to make small movements, like adjusting your weight to your left or right foot, or maybe even stretching, than you would if you were sitting at a desk.
Standing vs. sitting to burn calories
I’m going to take it to the medical experts for this one. Harvard recently conducted a study on calories burned from sitting and standing. Their research found that found individuals typically burn around 80 calories per hour while sitting and doing light activities like typing at a computer or watching TV.
In comparison, while standing and carrying out the same activities, individuals burned around 88 calories per hour. Which isn’t a whole lot more extra calories to be honest.
Even though the calories burned per hour are only slightly higher when standing, you should consider the length of your working day if you’re planning on using a standing desk to increase your calories burned in a day.
If you work for 8 hours per day then you will burn an extra 64 calories each day from using a standing desk rather than a normal, sitting desk. That means that using a standing desk burns more calories than using a normal desk because more calories are burned by standing. That being said, I don’t feel standing burns enough calories to make this a worthwhile adjustment to your working day.
How to burn more calories at a standing desk
I’m adding this because I want to share that in the Harvard study they found that one hour of walking burned 210 calories per hour. That means that in just one hour of your working day you can increase your calorie deficit by 210 calories.
This burns more calories than just using a standing desk by a TON!
Now imagine if you walked for the whole 8 hours! I wouldn’t recommend it because this is a really extreme approach to exercise (I usually manage 2-3 hours per day which is helping me lose weight right now) but if you did, you’re looking at a calorie burn of 1,680 calories per day.
So if you’re interested in increasing your calorie burn by a significant amount, you may want to consider adding a treadmill to your standing desk! With this approach, you can choose how many calories you want to burn in an average working day and just ensure you walk for the length of time you need to achieve that calorie burn.
Taking everything we’ve learned here into account, I’m not sure that switching from a sitting desk to a standing desk is going to be the change you need for dramatic weight loss. Calories burned by standing just don’t create a high enough burn for the cost of a standing desk in my opinion.
When all is said and done, there are many other benefits to a standing desk for things like your posture and how often you move around in your working day. As a result, you may find you lose more weight because standing all day encourages you to be more active in your working day.