That’s a comfy-looking chair you got there. Do you sit on it often?

Really? More than 8 hours a day? Don’t you know that sitting so much is bad for you?

It’s true. It’s a nightmare for the heart, muscles, spine, and neck. I see you’ve gained quite a few pounds, too.

Listen to me. Sit down… I mean, stand up and let’s talk.

Calories burned standing are much more than calories your burn sitting.

Don’t believe me? Exactly how many calories do you burn standing, you ask? 

Keep standing. I’ll explain. There’s much more to talk about.

Calories burned standing vs. sitting

It’s the 21st century, and most of us work in offices, sitting in front of desks 8 hours a day, sometimes more. It kind of sounds normal, right?

In reality, the human body was not created to spend most of its life sitting.

As a result of all this sitting, a plethora of problems are threatening to kill us.

  • Sitting increases the risk of Colon cancer (30%), Lung cancer (54%), Uterine cancer (66%).
  • Sitting more than 13 hours/daily increases the chance of early death by 200%.
  • The risk of depression and anxiety appears to be higher among people who spend more time sitting.
  • Sedentary workers have a 112% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

About the calories – let’s say you work five days a week, spending 8 hours per day sitting. That burns 2,382 calories for the week. So, five days a week, working 8 hours per day, standing – 3,970 calories!

In perspective, you could burn 36,000+ calories more every month if you simply work standing.

To be honest, though, standing in a still position for 40 hours a week is not the healthiest option. It’s best to try and balance it. 

Sit down for 30 minutes, stay up for 30 more, take a short walk around the office, stretch.

You know – there are more ways to burn calories than just hitting the gym. It can be done relatively effortlessly, too.

You see, it’s only logical that your body burns the calories you eat by moving. If you have lunch and then spend the next 4 hours sitting, you’ll burn a lot less, and chances are you’ll start gaining body fat if you repeat the routine regularly.

Too much time spent sitting increases your blood sugar levels, your blood pressure, puts more pressure on your neck and spine and slows down your metabolism.

Does standing burn calories?

Everything we do burns calories. Every day we use around 320 calories just to think. Another 400-500 calories are burned sleeping.

Of course, some actions are more effective than others. We all have busy lives, so we don’t always have time for jogging or swimming. We spend a large portion of our days in the office. 

So what can we do to stay fit?

The easiest step to take is to stand up. The extra calories burned by standing may not seem too impressive at first. It will start to make a difference if you’re consistent, though.

If we compare an hour of sitting with an hour of standing, the difference would be 40+ calories in favor of standing. Naturally, the exact number depends on your age, gender, metabolic rate, etc., so to find the correct figure for yourself, you can use the calories burned at work calculator.

Are standing desks worth it?

Opinions about standing desks are rather polarised. Some people claim they’ve changed their lives, while others think they’re overhyped and not worth it. The truth is somewhere between the two sides.

Of course, a standing desk is not a miraculous device that will instantly help you lose weight or be fitter. But it is a good way to start your journey towards changing your lifestyle.

In a normal working environment with regular desks, you couldn’t work standing even if you wanted to, since your desk would make it impossible. However, having the option to leverage your desk, opens up new possibilities.

You may have never thought about working standing, but since you have a standing desk, you decide to give it a go.

How many calories do you burn sitting? Certainly less than when you’re standing. More importantly, when you spend long periods of time standing your body won’t be so stiff and you might feel you’re being more creative or productive.

The bottom line?

Standing desks could be the change you need in your life. Give it try! You can thank me later.

How to calculate the burned calories

Every person is unique, so the amount of burned calories is not universal for everyone. Instead, we use a formula to calculate it based on your metabolic rate and the intensity of the physical activity.

MET x body weight (kg) x 3.5 ÷ 200 x time spent = Calories burned per minute

MET stands for the metabolic equivalent of task. MET varies depending on different activities. Let’s say you weigh 80 kilograms, and you stand in a line for one hour. The MET of the action is 1.3, meaning you will burn 109 calories.

Another example: Again your weight is 80 kg. You give your dog a bath for thirty minutes – MET is 3.5, so 3.5 (MET) x 80 (kg) x 3.5 ÷ 200 = 4.9 x 30 (minutes) = 147 calories burned.

It might sound a bit complicated, but it’s pretty easy to calculate when you get a hold of it.

So, let’s calculate calories burned standing all day. You stand and fidget – you’re not a statue, after all – for eight hours. Your MET is 1.8, and your weight is 75 kilograms. 1.8 x 75 x 3.5 ÷ 200 = 2.36 x 480 = 1134 calories burned.

How to burn more calories

Here’s a list of things you can do to be more physically active and stay fit.

  1. Climb stairs – this is the best physical activity you can do to burn extra calories. The average person can burn approximately 150 calories for just 15 minutes of stair climbing.
  2. Walk – something we often underestimate, but it’s pretty helpful and pleasant. Just walk to work if you don’t live too far away or get off the bus a few stops early. In the office, go to the furthest bathroom or take a 5-minute break to walk around the floor.
  3. Stand – all that sitting will not do you any good, so just stand up. First, ask your boss to get you a standing desk, so you regulate your workstation. Then, start with a short work session while you’re up and try to slowly increase the time you spend standing. This will energize you, boost your productivity and reduce fatigue.
  4. Take a break – don’t just stay in one position for hours – it’s bad for everything – blood pressure, bones, posture, etc. Instead, get up and take a break at least once an hour. Simply do a quick stretch or get some water.
  5. Eat healthily – even if you’re pretty active, eating burgers and pizza every day will not help you lose weight. Try to mix things up. Replace the burger with a nice chicken salad or eat an apple for breakfast. You can still treat yourself to a juicy sandwich now and then, just not all the time.
  6. Be active after work – don’t just get home after work and be a couch potato, as appealing as it may sound. Try to be more active – do your shopping in person, take a walk in the park or play something fun like pool, bowling, and darts. If you still want to relax and watch some TV, try doing squats or pushups during commercials. You’ll feel much more refreshed.
  7. Stop late-night eating – a lot of people have a habit of eating late at night. Whether it’s while you’re watching your favorite show or as a way to relieve stress, binge eating is not a good idea. You don’t really have a place or time to burn those 500 calories you ate before bed. You should look to eat throughout the day and avoid unhealthy snacks after sunset. To prevent the drastic change, try to replace the chips and sugar with fruits.
  8. Clean – cleaning is one of the best ways to exercise, outside of sports and the gym. You can burn 100 calories for only 25 minutes of cleaning. As a bonus, your home will look nice and tidy.


Overall, working in a standing position may not help you lose weight, but the calories burned standing are not to be underestimated. Spending more time standing and being physically active will help you feel and look better.

How many calories do you burn standing is a fact you already know after reading this article. 

Have you tried it already? 

A standing desk could be just the thing you’ve needed without knowing it.

If that’s the case, let us know in the comments below.

A: More than 1,000 calories. It depends on factors like your weight, age, and gender, but you can generally burn more than 1,000 calories standing for 8 hours a day. You can even spend as much as 1,300-1,500 calories if you’re overweight.

A: Standing on its own is probably not the best way to lose weight. However, standing can be an excellent way to avoid gaining weight, which is the first step to losing those extra pounds.

A: You do burn more calories. For example, a 175 lbs (80kg) person working 8 hours a day standing will burn 352 calories more than if he was sitting.

A: For one hour, a person weighing 175 lbs (80kg) burns 83 calories standing. The same person would burn 75 calories if he were sitting.