Standing desks - do they really help you?

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You may have heard people say that sitting is the new smoking, in terms of being detrimental to your health. Now, a new study looks at whether using a standing desk really provides any advantage when it comes to weight loss. 

Dr. Michael Roizen is a wellness expert at Cleveland Clinic. He did not take part in the study, but says standing versus sitting can account for some calories shed. Every little bit counts. 

"What they found was really interesting, because it doesn't make much difference, but remember, we're gaining weight every year. And we're gaining about 0.37 body mass index, which is, we're gaining about a pound and a quarter every year," he explains. 
Researchers examined results of previous studies on standing desks, which included information on more than one thousand people. They found that an average weight person could potentially burn about 54 calories per day just by standing, instead of sitting, for six hours. The extra calorie burn could account for about five pounds of body fat loss per year, assuming a person does not increase their calorie intake. 

Dr. Rozien said the modest benefit that you get from using a standing desk for six hours a day is about the equivalent of eight minutes of walking for women, and about fourteen minutes of walking for men. 

He says the bottom line is that any movement is better than just sitting, which is what many of us do when we're at work. He said the best thing we can do for our waistline is to make a plan to become active and stick with it. 

"First is to do those ten thousand steps a day; after you master that, the thirty minutes of resistance exercise, especially the core, and then, the third thing is to go into cardio, and fourth is jumping."

Dr. Rozien said that you don't need a standing desk to get moving during the work day. He suggests setting a reminder on your phone or watch to get up and walk for a few minutes at least once every hour. 

Complete results of the study can be found in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.