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Burn Calories While Working With a Standing Desk

Are you looking to support your health while you work? Consider these tips for standing work desks and how they create a healthier you.

For most working days, most of us might spend the entire time sitting. But what if your workspace could become an active part of your daily health goals? What if you could work and burn calories at the same time?

Standing desks have been around for some time, but there benefits have become more pronounced the more time we've spent learning about how they can help us make strides towards a healthier working lifestyle. Let’s explore how to make the most of your standing desk and boost your calorie burn while getting the job done.

The Science of Standing Desks and Calorie Burn

Contrary to a common misconception, standing is not just the absence of sitting — it's a form of light physical activity that keeps your body moving and your metabolism active. Several studies show that standing at your desk for a portion of your day can lead to a higher calorie burn than sitting.

One study published found that standing burned 0.15 more calories per minute than sitting. While this difference may seem small, it adds up over time. Consider this: if you stood for three hours during an eight-hour workday, you could burn an additional 130 calories compared to if you had spent that time sitting.

The act of switching between sitting and standing can further increase your calorie expenditure. The simple act of transitioning from sitting to standing and vice versa helps keep your muscles engaged and your metabolism more active than sitting alone.

Let's be clear, though: standing desks aren't a solution aimed at weight loss or fitness — they are a tool that can help contribute to an overall active lifestyle. In the next sections, we will delve into simple yet effective strategies to make your standing desk work harder for your health.

Can I Burn Calories at Work?

The saying “every little helps” rings true when we talk about burning calories at work. It's not about striving for an intense workout session at your desk but making subtle changes that can bring significant health benefits over time.

Beyond weight management, additional calorie burn can help maintain energy levels, support concentration, and even bolster mood, contributing to overall well-being. Embracing a standing desk lifestyle can become an essential component of a healthier work environment.

What Exercises Can I Do at a Standing Desk?

One of the hidden benefits of standing while working is that it makes it easier to stretch out when you need to, or even get your muscles working in a light manner every now and then.

Here are a few straightforward exercises that you can integrate into your workday with the help of a standing desk:

Standing Leg Lifts: Stand straight and lift one leg to the side, keeping your leg straight. Repeat this ten times before switching to the other leg. It's a simple exercise that can strengthen your core and leg muscles.

Standing Desk Squats: Position yourself as if you were about to sit, but instead of reaching your chair, hold the pose as a squat for a few seconds before standing back up. Do a set of 10 whenever you feel like shaking things up a bit.

Calf Raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly raise your heels until you're standing on your toes. Lower your heels back down and repeat. Aim for two sets of 15 during your workday. It’s a great way to keep your lower leg muscles active.

These activities are designed to be done in small sets or even just a couple at a time, allowing you to stretch your legs while also helping you burn a few calories.

Again, these exercises are simply suggestions. Always listen to your body and modify the exercises as needed.

How To Incorporate Standing and Mini Workouts Into Your Workday

Integrating standing and mini "activitations" into your work routine doesn't have to be daunting.

Here are a few tips to help:

Set a Timer: Use a desktop or phone timer to remind you to stand up or sit down every 30 minutes or so. You could even do a mini-exercise every time you transition.

Use Breaks Wisely: Instead of browsing social media during short breaks, use that time to stand up and stretch or do one of the exercises mentioned above.

Meet on Your Feet: Make meetings a time to stand. If it's a phone call, walk around your workspace. If it's a video call, adjust your standing desk accordingly.

The goal isn't to stand all day but to find a balance between sitting, standing, and moving that works for you.

The Health Dangers of Sitting All Day

While our modern work culture often demands long hours at the desk, numerous studies suggest that prolonged sitting can have detrimental effects on our health. This sedentary behavior sometimes referred to as “sitting disease,” is becoming increasingly recognized as a serious health concern.

Weight Gain: When we sit, our bodies burn fewer calories than when we're standing or moving. Over time, these unburned calories can start to influence a more sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to unwanted weight gain and other health issues.

Poor Posture and Back Problems: Sitting all day, especially when not maintaining proper posture, can lead to back pain and musculoskeletal problems. Over time, this can result in chronic discomfort and potential issues with spinal alignment.

Mental Well-Being: Sitting for extended periods has also been linked to mental health struggles. On the other hand, movement and physical activity are known to positively affect mood and mental well-being.

Given these potential health issues, it's clear why breaking up long periods of sitting with standing or moving around has gained importance in recent years. A standing desk can be a valuable tool in this endeavor, helping to reduce the time spent sitting and promote a more active and health-conscious work environment.

Balance is key — alternating between sitting and standing, along with regular breaks for movement, will provide the most health benefits.

The Importance of Taking Care of Your Body

In our fast-paced, modern world, getting caught up in the whirlwind of work, family, and other commitments is easy. Amidst all this, the body's need for care and attention can often fall by the wayside.

Taking care of your body is essential, not only for your physical well-being but for your mental and emotional health as well.

Supports Physical Health: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate rest, and periodic health check-ups are all parts of a healthy lifestyle. These practices help maintain energy levels and overall physical well-being.

Bolsters Mental Health: Physical health and mental health are closely linked. Regular physical activity can support your mood and cognitive function. Similarly, a healthy diet can significantly influence brain health and mood.

Maintains Productivity: A healthy body can lead to a healthy mind. When you take care of your physical health, you're likely to see improvements in other areas of life as well. Regular physical activity and good nutrition support concentration, memory, and productivity.

Supports Quality of Life: Taking care of your body makes daily activities easier and supports physical stamina and longevity. Regular self-care practices can enhance your resilience to stress.

Committing to taking care of your body through regular physical activity, balanced nutrition, adequate rest, and proper ergonomics at work is an investment in your current and future well-being.

A standing desk is just one of many tools that can help you to create a healthier workspace and contribute to overall body care.

Choosing the Right Standing Desk

Standing desks come in various shapes and sizes, and choosing the right one for you is crucial to maximizing the benefits.

Here are some considerations when selecting your standing desk:

Adjustability: Look for a desk that allows easy height adjustment to switch between sitting and standing positions. Ideally, the desk has pre-sets that enable you to transition between the same heights every time to eliminate the guesswork. The goal is to ensure you can maintain a comfortable and ergonomic posture both while standing and sitting.

Desk Size: Depending on your workspace, make sure the desk fits comfortably and offers sufficient space for your computer, keyboard, mouse, and any other essential items.

Stability: You don't want a desk that wobbles or shakes as you type or write (especially when it's in a standing position). A stable desk ensures you can work efficiently and safely.

Quality: Durability is essential. Your standing desk should be built to last, offering you years of flexible workspaces.

We designed our own standing desks to meet all these needs. Our aim is to combine functionality, comfort, and style, providing you with a product that enhances your work and health.

Stand Tall

Incorporating a standing desk into your workspace can revolutionize the way you work and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

Simple exercises and small changes to your routine can increase calorie burn, ultimately leading to overall well-being and productivity. By making your standing desk a dynamic tool in your workday, you can make strides toward achieving your health goals without losing focus on your professional tasks.



What to Know About Standing to Burn Calories | WebMD

How small micro-workouts can have a big impact | Society of Behavioral Medicine

The importance of stretching | Harvard Health

Breaks During the Workday | Michigan State

What is Sitting Disease? | ASC Blog

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