If you have to burn calories, you need to work hard for it – be it at the gym or taking a run outside. But can you burn calories just by standing? Well, standing may not work as a weight loss strategy, but studies say it can burn more calories than sitting.

Calories burn while standing vs. sitting

According to a study published in 2019, you can burn anywhere between 70 to 95 calories an hour when you stand, while it is between 65 to 85 calories an hour when you sit. Although the difference may not seem big, the cumulative effect becomes significant over a period. The calories burned while standing also depend on sex, age, height and weight. Men tend to burn more calories while standing as they generally have greater muscle mass.

Other benefits of standing

In comparison to sitting, standing has a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and premature death.

A recent study has found that any activity, even sleeping, is better for heart health compared to sitting. The researchers found that substituting sedentary behavior with at least five minutes of moderate exercise can bring maximum benefits, followed by light activity, standing and sleeping.

How to improve standing time

A person who is used to sitting for long periods may develop back, leg or foot pain if they quickly shift to standing all day. The key is to slowly improve the standing time.

At home

Making small adjustments in your routine can help improve your standing time at home. For instance, if you typically sit while watching your favorite show, opt to stand and enjoy it instead. Switching from sitting to standing while making a phone call can also be a simple but effective change you can make. If you are ready to do more, take a walk around the house every hour or so.

At work

If your work involves long periods of sitting, it is time to consider modifying your workspace to include a standing desk. Conducting phone calls and meetings while standing can help decrease the overall sitting hours. Consider setting a timer for breaks during work to take a short walk or, at the very least, stand up.