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Does A Standing Desk Help You Lose Weight?

16 August 2022

In recent years standing desks are becoming a common sight within the workplace. Moreover, as we tiptoe towards a post-COVID world, standing desks are making their way into the home as employers continue to promote from-home and hybrid working models. The benefits of standing and moving around when working are well publicised, so it will be no surprise that a standing desk has many benefits.

A standing desk will not only contribute to weight loss but offers benefits that promote a healthier lifestyle and improved personal well-being. For example, users simply burn more fat when standing than in sedentary activity. In this article, we will discover the science behind any standing health benefits and discuss why sitting for extended periods can become a risk to your health.

The Science Behind Weight Loss

Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than your body consumes, this is typically done by having a healthy balanced diet and exercising regularly. Burning calories also depends on the person's starting body weight, the exercise duration and intensity. People come in all shapes and sizes, and heavier people will burn more calories during exercise because an extra effort is required.

The body burns energy all the time, even while you sleep. Therefore, it's possible to calculate the body's energy expenditure using metabolic equivalents (METs). The formula is one MET is approximately 3.5 millilitres of oxygen consumed per kilogram (kg) of body weight per minute. So, for example, when sitting, the average person burns around 1.3 METs, and approximately 2.0 to 2.5 METs when standing at a desk with moderate repositioning movements.

Why is Sitting So Bad?

It's clear to see, and no real surprise, that standing burns more energy than sitting, and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) plays a critical role in breaking down fat in the form of triglyceride. When seated, these enzymes switch off, but with just 90 seconds of standing, the enzymes react and start using energy.

Sitting is not necessarily bad; however, it is essential to break up your day with periods of activity, such as walking around or doing moderate exercise. If you are an employer, it's crucial to have a working environment that promotes breaks and encourages time away from the desk.

However, there are many severe concerns about excessive amounts of sitting. Sitting will naturally limit physical activity, but plenty of research flags sedentary behaviour as a significant risk to health. For example, extended periods of sitting or lying down (at least six hours a day) can contribute to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and early death.

Sitting puts added pressure on the base of the spine, causing backache and discomfort. In addition, the body's metabolism slows, making it difficult to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. This increases levels of stress that can impact productivity.

Is a Standing Desk the Answer?

Standing at a desk will help keep the body's energy levels up and create an environment where you are more aware of mindfulness and mental well-being. In addition, standing helps to promote fitness and, as you are already on your feet, removes the barrier to walking around the home or workplace. Standing desks can reduce blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and stress. In addition, users have reported increased levels of focus and decreased back pain. When standing, office workers use more energy and maintain better posture.

Remember, it is the moving around that is critical, as the movement promotes a healthier lifestyle.

What Else Can Be Done While Standing to Promote Weight Loss?

Standing opens the door to a plethora of other health benefits, and there are lots that you can do to promote a healthy mind and encourage weight loss:

Drink More Water: We all know we should drink more water, and standing encourages more effortless movement, so have a bottle of water nearby, not only to hydrate you but to promote more walks to and from the bathroom.

Exercise More: The UK government recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.

Keep Moving: When standing at your desk, keep moving around. It's the movement that encourages healthier lifestyles.

Adjust Your Setup to Promote Physical Activity: Buy a standing desk, and keep your room well ventilated and airy. Ensure you have a good light source and buy a good quality floor mat to reduce fatigue and promote a comfortable environment.

Stand More: If you don't have a standing desk and commute to a workplace, increase your time standing by not sitting on public transport, taking the stairs, or standing and walking when on the phone.

Everyone Is Different: Weight loss is possible when standing, but everyone is different. Therefore, you must experiment with other techniques to work out the best for you.

Takeaway Message

A standing desk provides the user with an environment to encourage weight loss and increase activity. Of course, it is a fact that users will burn more calories standing than sitting, but all the other benefits that standing at a desk brings make it such a popular way to work and play. Check out Flexispot’s high-quality height adjustable standing desks today.