Do Standing Desks Burn Calories?
If you have bought, or are considering buying, a standing desk, one of the reasons you might do so is the potential health benefits that a standing desk can offer, compared to a traditional sit-down desk. One of the supposed health benefits is that it can promote weight loss through the burning of calories. In this article, we are going to examine this and determine whether a standing desk does burn calories, and if so, how?
What Are Calories?
If you have ever tried losing weight, one of the goals that you may have set for yourself was 'to lose as many calories as I can'. This begs the question of why losing, or burning, as it is normally termed, calories helps you to lose weight. Let's start by defining what calories actually are.
Calories are the amount of energy that you anything you eat, or drink, provides you. As we need energy for everything we do, including our heart beating and our lungs breathing, it is safe to say calories are essential to staying alive. In fact, every process in our body and every movement we make uses energy so our body stores calories in order that the energy is available to us when we need it.
Your Daily Calorie Requirements
We've already seen the benefits of calories, and when you consider that we couldn't survive without them, you might think the more we have of them, the better, but you'd be wrong. Unfortunately, our calorie intake needs to be optimized so that we have just the right amount of energy we need for all our daily activities, but if we take in too many, that's when the problems can start.
Each individual has a specific calorie intake that is optimal, based on their age, gender, height, weight, body shape, their general level of health, and the amount of physical activity they participate in. This means that not everyone has the same daily requirement, but if you are looking for a ballpark figure the US Government suggests that the average man requires 2,700 kcals per day, and the average woman requires 2,200 kcal per day.
Why Too Many Calories Causes Weight Gain
When we take in too much fuel by overeating and drinking, that fuel, or more specifically the calories are not going to be used. What then happens is that our bodies store it, and it does so by turning excess calories into body fat. As we increase the amount of body fat, we not only gain weight, but it can cause a number of health problems.
Excess body fat is known to contribute to high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and even some forms of cancer. It would seem obvious that if we value our health, then we would want to reduce our body fat levels, and this can be done on two fronts.
Reduce The Calorie Intake
As obvious as it might seem, the easiest way to reduce body fat levels is to reduce the things that are creating it. Fewer calories through eating a healthier diet mean there is not an excess, and thus your body is not having to store it in the form of body fat anymore.
While reducing the amount you eat and drink will help, a more useful approach would be to become aware of the calorie levels of the foods you eat. That way, you can still eat well but can do so knowing that your intake of calories is under control.
Burn Off More Calories
While reducing your intake of calories is one way to improve your health, the second, and for many, the most effective way is to burn off more of the calories that your body has stored. The most obvious route to doing so is to start an exercise program. However, there are many simple changes you can make to how you live day to day, that can contribute greatly to this process.
Some simple ones include walking to the store instead of taking the car, using the stairs instead of the elevator and taking every opportunity you can to get your body moving, thus burning calories.
How A Standing Desk Can Help Burn Calories
Sitting at a desk all day is not going to burn many calories, and beyond that, it can be detrimental to your health in other ways. However, with a standing desk, you have the opportunity to walk around occasionally and may do so on numerous occasions throughout the day. Each of those walks and other movements while you stand, uses energy and burns calories. In fact, studies have shown that you will burn up to 10 extra calories per hour with a standing desk, versus a sit-down one.
Now we're not suggesting that merely by using a standing desk the pounds are going to drop off, and you'll become the picture of health...if only it were that simple. However, a standing desk can contribute to your overall objective of losing weight by burning calories, assuming you take other actions such as reducing your intake and taking exercise.