Can Standing Burn Calories?
10 mins read

Can Standing Burn Calories?

Nothing beats exercise when it comes to burning calories. But it would also be great if you could burn calories while standing.

Are you someone who is not that active but spends a lot of time on your feet at work? If yes, then an article about how many calories you burn when you stand might be a worthwhile read.

Did you know that standing burns more calories and has fewer possible health risks than sitting? You can burn between 100 and 200 calories an hour when you are on your feet, depending on your height, weight, sex, and age.

It may not lead to significant weight loss, but it can surely help you maintain a healthy weight. Read on to learn more about the overall health effects of standing vs sitting. I’ll also be listing ways to incorporate more standing time into your routine.

Standing and Sitting: The Comparison

Several studies show that people burn more calories when standing than sitting. In one study, researchers concluded that an average person burns up to 5.5 pounds a year while standing on his feet.

The explanation behind this is that you activate your muscles when you stand. More muscle mass means burning more calories. Also, when you are on your feet, you move your body more. Those stretches and foot taps add up over time.

When you spend a long time sitting, you also increase your risk of developing various health conditions. If you stand on your feet more, you reduce your risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer‌ and premature death.

Benefits Of Standing

Standing has several proven benefits and is necessary for health and wellness. Here are some of them.

1. Caloric Burn

As mentioned, you burn more calories when standing than sitting. Also, when you stand more, you are likely to be more active. 

For instance, you often stand and walk around while doing chores. You might stand up, take a quick break and do some leg lifts or squats. All these simple activities allow you to burn more calories.

2. Energy Boost

Physical movements, including small ones, keep you awake and alert. Literally, “thinking on your feet” can make you feel more engaged. So, if you feel sluggish at work, try standing up more throughout the day. It can surely boost your energy and enthusiasm.

3. Proper Posture

You get to observe proper posture more when you regularly stand on your feet. Also, you relieve your spine of the compression that sitting can cause. Sitting for long periods puts pressure on your discs and back, leading to neck, shoulder and back discomfort.

4. Reduced Back Pain

Sitting can cause both poor posture and back pain. If you work at a desk every day, you may have accepted that back pain is something you have to tolerate. However, you can remedy your back pain by sitting and standing from time to time.

5. Better Circulation

When you are on your feet, you improve your leg muscles, core strength and balance. You also prevent the formation of blood clots in your legs. If you sit for long periods, blood can pool in your legs. Standing up then gets your blood flowing throughout your body.

6. Improved Mood and Focus

Standing makes you feel healthier. If you feel well, your mood also improves. Likewise, if you find yourself distracted while working or studying, standing up can help you focus better. One study even concluded that people who stood up at work were 46% more productive than their colleagues who sat down.


How Can I Have More Standing Time?

You can start by standing for an additional 10-15 minutes a day and gradually work your way up. Adding the extra minutes is up to you, but generally, standing for at least a minute after sitting for 30 minutes is advisable.

You can opt to stand longer or go back to sitting and wait until 30 minutes have passed. Here are other things that you can do.

At Home

Try walking around your house every 30 minutes or an hour. You can also stand when texting, making a call, using your phone or even while watching your favourite television show. Also, before you engage in some sedentary leisure time, take a nightly walk.

At Work

Give standing desks a try. You can also stand up while taking a phone call and use a timer to remind yourself to stand every hour. Consider having a “stand-up” meeting, too, rather than a sitting one.

The Risk Of Standing Too Much

Like any other body position, standing for too long is not good. According to a study, overall body discomfort is typical after two hours of standing while working.

Prolonged standing also leads to a weakened mental state and swollen lower limbs.

To avoid standing too much, make sure to take regular breaks to stretch or move around. Limit your standing time to not more than an hour.

Also, observe proper posture while standing. Listen to your body, and make adjustments to your routine to avoid harming it.


What Can I Do To Burn More Calories?

1. Be More Active

Aim to be physically active to burn more calories. Start with moderate exercises for at least 150 minutes per week. That means you need to dedicate 30 minutes of exercise daily for five days. When ready, progress to intense activities like running for 75 minutes per week.

2. Add Strength Training To Your Exercise

In addition, you should do some strength training two days every week. Lifting weights and challenging your muscles to grow can help you burn more calories. Also, calorie burn increases during and after the activity. That’s because muscle burns more calories than fat.

How Can I Incorporate Movement Into My Day?

There are many things that you can do to become more active. All you need is a little creativity and resourcefulness. For example:

  • You can get a standing desk and do more calf raises while working or studying.
  • Choose a parking spot far from the entrance to encourage yourself to walk more. Or, if possible, avoid using the elevator or opt to walk rather than drive.
  • After lunch, try walking around or doing some light exercises.
  • You can also do some stretches or light workouts while watching TV to reduce couch time. If you like playing video games, use Wii or similar games that involve movement.
  • You can also do outside chores. Shovelling snow, for example, is a great workout. So is mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool, washing the car or cleaning the windows. 

When doing physical activities, make sure to drink plenty of water, though. It is good not only for removing toxins from the body but also for increasing bathroom breaks.

Find an activity that you enjoy. That way, you’ll feel motivated to keep doing it. For example, join a dance class or watch some follow-along videos if you like dancing. A fitness tracker can also help you.

Remember, being active is not only to burn calories but also to improve overall health. Otherwise, if you focus too much on burning calories, you will soon feel less motivated.



Standing burns more calories than sitting. However, there are times when you need to sit for long periods, like at school or work.

But you can always incorporate ways to increase your standing time. For example, you can choose to stand on the train or bus when you commute.

While standing has several benefits, it does not mean that you should be on your feet the whole day. It is still better to stand and sit alternately. Also, be sure to observe proper posture when you stand.

Informative Q&A

1. How does poor posture affect productivity?

Poor posture causes pain and discomfort, which leads to decreased productivity. On the other hand, proper posture helps workers feel better. In turn, they stay productive and work more efficiently.

2. Is standing desk bad for knees?

Standing desks are not necessarily bad for the knees. However, some people stand in the same position for too long, and this causes knee pain. It is better to sit and stand alternately throughout your day.

3. Does sitting make your butt flat?

Sitting on a chair does not flatten your buttocks, but it does cause you to lose your butt shape. That’s because your hip flexors tighten up. When this happens, your butt (gluteus maximus) will have difficulty moving, making it weak and less toned.

Danielle Edenworth
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