There’s just over a month until Christmas (sorry!), so the obvious question is: does eating a mince pie while in an upright position at your sit-stand desk mean negative calorie intake?
OK, perhaps that’s not quite the obvious question, but it did get the folks at Sit-Stand.Com HQ wondering how to minimise the damage from our festive snacking habits.
Of course, the benefits of using a stand-up desk extend beyond increased calorie burn. Active working, whereby you switch between a seated and standing position through the course of the day, is increasingly recognised as beneficial for reasons including better productivity, concentration and creativity. Health-wise, it boosts your metabolism, helps lower blood pressure and can even protect from certain cancers as well as Type 2 diabetes.
But if you are simply looking to off-set calorie intake (that mince pie, for example) against energy expenditure, you might be interested in research from America’s Mayo Clinic whose experts estimate that standing burns an extra 0.15 calories per minute, on average, compared with sitting - slightly higher for men, slightly lower for women.
LiveScience.com reports that this equates to a daily burn of 54 calories extra a day for a 65kg man who stands for six hours a day. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Certainly not when you remember that a Mr Kipling mince pie contains 238kcal.
However, the Mayo Clinic points out that although using your standing desk might not be enough to help you lose weight, it could help prevent weight gain. That’s because the most effective part of using a standing desk is not the time you spend on your feet, but the action of switching between sitting and standing.
So the calculation of how many mince pies you can burn off by Christmas if you stand every day for six hours is slightly more complicated, especially if you include usage of an anti-fatigue mat or wobble board such as our Steppie.
Not only does teaming a mat with your stand-up desk improve comfort levels, it also encourages regular subtle movements which boost blood circulation and metabolism. Find out more about the benefits of using an anti--fatigue mat here.
In addition, we recommend that anyone using a desk from the Sit-Stand.Com range should avoid clocking up long hours in a single static position, whether that’s standing or sitting.
By dividing your working day between a seated and standing posture, spending no longer than 30 minutes at a time seated at your desk before standing to stretch or move around, we calculate that you can increase your energy output by 50 calories an hour. That’s because the mere action of engaging muscles as you move from chair to feet, adjusting your posture and using energy to lower or raise your desk, contributes to increased calorie burn. Throw in some stretching or moving around the office and see that total rise even further. Read our standing desk user guidelines here.
So let’s think again about that mince pie and work out whether you really can neutralize your Christmas office snacking habit by using your standing desk.
Use your desk and mat properly, and you can burn 50 calories an hour, across a seven-hour working day = 350 calories a day. Multiply that by five for a five-day working week = 1,750 calories burned per week.
There are (approximately) six weeks until Christmas: 1,750 x 6 = 10,500. That is quite a few mince pies: 44, in fact. Enjoy!
NOTE: We do not endorse the increased consumption of mince pies, although we do of course love a Christmas treat. Do let us know how you’re using your Yo-Yo DESK® to keep your health on track in the run-up to Christmas: get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.