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Calories Burned Sitting vs. Standing: A Hypothetical Case Study

When you stand, you burn anywhere from 100 to 200 calories an hour. It all depends on your sex, age, height, and weight. Sitting, by comparison, only burns 60 to 130 calories an hour.

Think about how fast that adds up! You could burn anywhere from 120 to 210 more calories just by swapping three hours of sitting for standing.

While this may not help you lose a significant amount of weight, it can certainly help you maintain your current weight and reduce certain health risks.

It's been all over the media lately that sitting for extended periods of time can increase your risk for some of the deadliest chronic diseases out there. However, when it comes to preventing chronic disease, many of us have the "out of sight" out of mind mentality. In other words, if we're going to take action, we want it to be about something that will benefit us in the immediate or near immediate future.

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, then you know the most effective way is to be at a slight calorie deficit every day and not to starve yourself or go too extreme with your exercise. This leads to a sustainable situation where you’re not starving yourself or walking around sore and burnt out all day. Being in a severe calorie deficit or pushing yourself too hard during exercise will only lead to yo-yoing and frustration.

While it can vary from person to person, losing around one pound requires that you cut around 3,500 calories over a certain period of time. Now let’s think about this in terms of sitting versus standing. Today, the average office worker sits around 10 hours a day as most of our work tasks are based around using the computer and most of our leisure time is spent watching TV or playing video games, not to mention the commute to and from work.

Now, for the sake of example, let’s say that you’re a 160-pound person who is working an 8-hour day in an office:

Values-based on Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) from the Compendium of Physical Activities for comparable tasks.

One Work Day

One Day

Pounds Lost

Calories Burned Sitting



Calories Burned Standing



Extra Calories Burned from Standing



So over the course of one day, you would burn an extra 320 calories per day just by working at a stand-up workstation.

Now let’s calculate this over the course of a week…

One Work Week

One Week (7 Days)

Pounds Lost

Calories Burned Sitting



Calories Burned Standing



Extra Calories Burned from Standing



An Extra 2240 Calories!

One Month of Working

One Month (31 Days)

Pounds Lost

Calories Burned Sitting



Calories Burned Standing



Extra Calories Burned from Standing



That’s nearly 3 pounds, just by changing how you work!

One Year of Working

One Year (365 Days)

Pounds Lost

Calories Burned Sitting



Calories Burned Standing



Extra Calories Burned from Standing




As you can see, little changes really do go a long way. The average person would burn over 33 pounds worth of calories per year if they optimized their workspace. In addition, they would free themselves of having to do tons of rigorous exercise every day just to burn the same amount of calories. In an age where we’re all so busy, switching to a standup desk may be one of the most optimal ways to control/lose weight.

We recommend that you use the freedom of standing to move around a bit. Do some calf raises, kick/stretch your legs out a bit, anything you can do while working is awesome!

If you’re really looking to take it to the next level, you can check out one of our ergonomic leaning seats which help improve your focus, engage your core, and reduces the stress of standing.

Why do you burn more calories standing?

Your body burns more calories when you’re moving. Sitting or lying down burns the fewest number of calories.

When you’re on your feet, you activate your muscle mass. This muscle mass helps you burn more calories.

Plus, when you stand, you’re moving your body more. All of those foot taps and stretches can add up over time.

We are authorized dealers of the top standing desk brands online and promise to beat any competitor's price. Check out our complete list of desks by visiting

Please consult a physician before beginning any sort of weight loss or disease prevention program. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and they aren't intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease.

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