If you’re interested in calorie burning value at the margins, stand more and sit less. We’ve discussed how to improve posture, but it’s time to advocate for standing while we work.
There is actual science to support the fact that standing burns more calories than sitting. From Keith Barr, Ph.D, a renowned scientist in the emerging field of molecular exercise physiology:
Every hour I stand it burns 100 calories. That’s equal to running 6 miles by the end of the day.
With all due respect to Keith, the run and the stand may be equal in energy expenditure, but don’t opt for the latter over the former. Objectively, however, standing while you work for some portion of your day makes a ton of sense if the ultimate goal is to be more efficient with our days and time. We can’t always get to the gym or get our workout in at all. If you buy into the calories in, calories out theory, it makes sense to burn them while increasing productivity.
Standing while we work is a significant step up (see?) from being hunched over a computer. We can be even more resourceful with our efforts to burn calories while working. Next time you’re about to sit down in a conference room, suggest to your co-workers that you have the meeting outside while taking a walk. I’m not a sitter by nature. I prefer movement in general. Some of my most creative and inspired thoughts have come while walking. Improving my fitness and productivity with a leisurely stroll in the open air sounds ideal.
Now, I understand that this is a more difficult concept to implement. It can be a challenge because we don’t have access to our computers and files for reference on a walk, obviously. This makes it more difficult to be productive when information is immediately necessary. The limitations remind me why I don’t ride my motorcycle anymore. The two wheeled machine limits my ability to have conversations and work during commutes. However, there is a lot of value to the concept when you can make it work for you.
Work can engulf us. It’s our responsibility to find ways to make it more sensical.