Standing for 6 Hours Burns 54 Calories

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Researchers calculate that standing instead of sitting for six hours would use an extra 54 calories a day.

That calorie expenditure would theoretically translate to a weight loss of five and a half pounds in a year, assuming you didn’t find other ways to make up for the calorie deficit. But studies suggest we often stealthily do make up for those lost calories, either by eating more or moving less.

For the study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers pooled data from 46 studies involving 1,184 people. Ten of the studies were randomized trials. The average age of participants was 33, and 60 percent were men.

All the studies calculated energy expenditure by measuring quantities of oxygen and carbon dioxide as they are breathed in and out. The mean difference between sitting and standing was 0.15 calories a minute, and it was larger in men than in women, probably because of men’s greater muscle mass.

“The benefit is modest,” said the lead author, Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. “But it shows that the body doesn’t ask you for much.”

“Break that ‘doing nothing’ moment a few times a day,” he added. “Just standing up and moving around and then sitting down again is helpful.”