Health  Vol.10 No.7 , July 2018
Use of a Standing Desk Increases Energy Expenditure in Obese but Not Normal Weight Subjects
Abstract: Background: The use of standing desks has been associated with greater metabolic cost as compared to traditional seated desks. However, it is unclear as to the metabolic impact of standing desks in normal weight versus obese men and women. Methods: We compared the metabolic cost of using a standing and seated desk in 14 obese and 19 normal weight men and women. Subjects reported to the lab on a single occasion and participated in two, 30-minute sessions of standing and seated desk work (i.e., typing), in random order. Expired gases were collected during the 2-hour period and calorie expenditure was estimated using indirect calorimetry. Results: We noted a significant (p = 0.013) increase in energy expenditure of 7.4 kcal&bull;30 minutes&minus;1 (+14.7%) during standing as compared to seated for the obese group. No significant difference in energy expenditure was noted for the normal weight group (p = 0.674). A condition effect was noted for heart rate and diastolic blood pressure, with standing being significantly higher than seated for both variables (p < 0.05). No group, condition, or group × condition effects were noted for typing performance or subjective feelings (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The use of a standing desk modestly increases energy expenditure in obese subjects but does not have the same effect in those of normal weight. It is unknown whether the increased energy expenditure would be maintained over time in the obese subjects/individuals, as they may adapt to the standing position. Moreover, if normal weight individuals choose a standing desk, they should do so for reasons unrelated to increased energy expenditure (e.g., improved spine health, greater feeling of productivity).
Cite this paper: Smith, N. , Butawan, M. , Caldwell, J. and Bloomer, R. (2018) Use of a Standing Desk Increases Energy Expenditure in Obese but Not Normal Weight Subjects. Health, 10, 949-959. doi: 10.4236/health.2018.107070.

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