Does Standing Desk Burn Calories? [Or A Myth?]

Does Standing Desk Burn Calories? [Or A Myth?]

Standing desks have more to offer than just carrying your stuff up and down. One such example is helping workers lose weight. It’s often advertised as a tool to keep in shape and work at the same time. But, how many of those claims are actually true? Does Standing Desk Burn Calories? 

Standing desks really burn calories. You can burn eight more calories per hour than sitting in front of a desk. That gives us a total of 64 extra calories for an eight-hour shift.

Each person has his own reasons to choose a standing desk. However, people can get confused when a desk is claimed to help you in a weight-loss journey. We want you to verify how much of it is true before investing your money.

How Many Calories Can You Burn With A Standing Desk?

Any activity you do will burn some calories. Even if it’s as simple as breathing. The more difficult the task, the better. According to a Harvard study, you can burn 8 calories more by switching to a standing desk. So, you could burn only 80 calories per hour sitting in a chair and working. However, if you do the same job standing, you could burn 88 calories every hour. Surely, the number isn’t big. But consistency will cause a huge impact on your body.

We usually burn around 1500 calories every day just to keep the body alive. For people who want to lose some weight, staying in a calorie deficit is important.

It simply means burning more calories than you intake through food. Suppose you eat 2000 calories every day. And, around 1500 of these calories are used to complete digestion and respiratory functions. You still have 500 calories left in your body. 

The main principle of weight loss is to accumulate such calories that can soon convert into fat. For that, people choose to intensify their daily activities to burn more calories. Switching to a standing desk from the regular desk is one such example. As you know, standing is more intense than sitting on a couch. That’s why health-conscious people prefer standing desks hoping it would help them stay under a calorie deficit.

Losing Weight By Switching To A Standing Desk- Is It A Myth?

If you are choosing a standing desk over a regular one, it should be because of the health benefits. So what if it doesn’t tone you down overnight? We can’t ignore the facts that standing desks help you maintain better spinal health and posture. 

In fact, workers who use standing desks are proven to be more productive. Also, such employees report less on any major back-related issues. 

That being said, it’s really a myth to change your physical shape with the help of a standing desk. Let’s visualize the scenario. 

Suppose you work an 8-hour shift using the standing desk. Let’s multiply 8 by 88 and we get 704 calories. That’s for a day. If you didn’t know, you lose one pound for every 3500 calories of deficit inside the body. Not considering the fact that we eat daily and the weight loss depends on that almost 80%, let’s move on.

So, it takes (3500/704) 5 days to reach the deficit level with a standing desk. On the other hand, if you follow the same routine except using a regular desk, you can burn (8×80)= 640 calories every day. So, it will take a bit more time to reach the 3500 calories of deficit target. 

Although, we must admit the gap isn’t that significant. 

You can get the same benefits by sitting up straight in a chair and working. For weight loss, what you eat matters more than what type of desk you use. That’s the reality.

What Type Of Standing Desks Burn The Most Calories?

If you are still adamant about getting the benefits of those extra calory burns, you are most welcome. However, standing desks have categories. And, the outcome you are hoping for might differ based on what type of standing desk you are using. So, here’s a brief comparison for you.

We have a chart to understand which type of standing desk will help us lose weight fast. 

Desk TypeCalory Burn Per HourCalory Burn Per Day
Height-adjustable standing desk 88 calories 352 calories (considering 4 hours)
Treadmill desk250 calories1000 calories (considering 4 hours)
Standing desk-bike500 calories1000 calories (considering 2 hours)

1. Treadmill Desk

Treadmill desks are becoming more popular among fitness-conscious people. The standing desk has an attached treadmill at the bottom. You can slowly walk while going through your laptop. It fights the boredom or fatigue that comes with utilizing the standing desk for a longer period.

If we talk about weight loss, then yes, it does work more effectively than a typical standing desk. Walking slowly for an hour will help you burn 250 calories easily. But here’s the thing. The calories also depend on age, sex, and current body fat. 

Keeping that in mind, you can burn around 1000 calories within one day. Yes, we used 4 hours instead of 8 hours(your work shift). That’s because an average person can’t walk for 8 hours in a day. It will be too exhausting to focus on work. That’s why we only took 4 hours to calculate the total calories burned that day.

Does Standing Desk Burn Calories? [Or A Myth?]

2. Desk-Bike

Another example of losing weight with a standing desk is the desk bike. It’s a stationary bike model attached to an adjustable standing desk.

Of course, it takes more energy to pedal the bike than simply walking or standing. Scientifically, you can burn as much as 500 calories per hour from this. The number is huge, right? That way, you should be able to put your body under (8×500)=4000 calory deficit. So, does it mean, you can lose almost one pound every day?

Actually, no. It doesn’t work like that. Pedaling is a tiring activity and can’t be performed for more than 50 minutes without break. And, if you are a pro, maybe you stop at 2 hours. But, that’s all about it. Your body won’t permit you to continue further.

So, that brings us to (500×2)=1000 calories every day. We are talking about the deficit here. 

Which One Is Better For Weight Loss?

As you can see, even though desk bikes have the most potential, it still matches the calory deficit level of a treadmill desk. You can use the first one for 4 hours and another one for only 1-2 hours. Plus, both walking and pedaling require physical energy drain. It’s a good thing in one sense. But on another note, you definitely feel more hungry after this mini-workout session.

There’s a risk that you might end up eating something unhealthy due to the craving. And, it only takes one burger to ruin the calorie deficit you caused in the body. The ultimate result will be zero.

That’s why we prefer standing desks over these two options. Even though the calory you lose per hour is low, it does tire you excessively. So, you can still follow a strict diet and don’t get too many cravings. We think you will be ahead in your calorie deficit journey more than those rigorously using a desk bike. Now, the choice is yours.

Before You Go!

Some people like to use the desk as a typical electric desk for the most part and use the bike only for several minutes. It seems like a good blend of these two office tools. If you have such ideas running through your mind, follow our detailed discussion on which one is better for burning calories.

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