How Many Calories Do You Burn Standing? (And How Standing Desks Can Help)

A common thought some people have, especially when they are looking out for their fitness, is the number of calories they burn. The energy you use to stand, run, walk, or sit can be measured on what you may know as "calories." Understanding the importance of calories in the body can determine how you take care of yourself, especially in staying healthy and fit.

It may become a challenge to be fit while doing responsibilities at work. But did you know that something as simple as standing can help? 

If that's the case, how many calories do you burn standing? What is enough, and what is too much in calorie burns? 

Read more to find out.

The Importance of Calories in Your Body

Before knowing the importance of calories within our bodies, it is crucial to understand what calories are. In terms of nutrition, calories are the energy we get from consuming drinks and food and the energy we use when doing physical activity.


In terms of their importance, calories are an essential part of our survival. The cells in our body can die without energy, making your lungs and heart stop working, and other organs in the body would fail to do their function.


Consuming the proper amount of calories you need every day leads to a healthy life. It helps your body function properly and aids through activities you may do throughout your day.


Too Many Calories in Your Body. What Does it Do?

We primarily get calories from the food we eat. And although calories are crucial to your body, too much of them can cause harmful effects.

Too many calories may be caused by overeating—especially unhealthy meals like junk food— which can create digestive problems. Everything has its limitations, and the digestive enzymes in your stomach can only digest limited quantities of food. This means that the more food you intake, especially in a larger amount, the longer your stomach takes to digest these. 

Frequently overeating can cause your stomach to digest food slower. This slow digestive process results in your food being stored on your stomach for a more extended period and can turn into fat.

Why Is Burning Calories Important?

As calories are our body's energy, we use them even without noticing. Simple actions like typing on your keyboard, reaching for an object, or even standing are already burning energy. It is essential to burn calories to maintain the following bodily functions:

  • Digesting food
  • Maintaining body temperature
  • Circulating blood
  • Breathing
  • Repairing and building cells and tissues
  • Eliminating wastes
  • Maintaining nervous system activity


The suggested calorie intake in a day for a woman is 2,000 calories and 2,500 calories for men. Even if that's the case, you need to understand the number of calories you are consuming. The recommended intake of calories is dependent on several factors, including your:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Overall health
  • Body shape
  • Sex
  • Demands on physical activity


If your calorie intake is much more than the calories you are burning, it can cause you to become overweight. This, in return, can increase the risks of having chronic health problems such as cancer. 


This is one of the reasons why it is crucial to burn calories in your body. Not only does it aid your body in functioning normally, but it also helps decrease the risks of chronic diseases and other health concerns.

How to Calculate the Calories in your Body

Everybody is unique. It is challenging to tell the exact amount of calories you should be burning without your bodily factors. Now that you know what factors influence the number of calories you take in your body, what about the specific amount made just for you?


Not everyone falls on the average 2,000 or 2,500 calories a day. This is why the Harris-benedict equation or formula was created. This equation is adjusted to your weight, sex, and height to determine the precise amount of calories you need a day. To do so, here is the equation that you can follow:


For women:

10 ⨉ weight(kg) + 6.25 ⨉ height(cm) - 5 ⨉ age(years) - 161


For men:

10 ⨉ weight (kg) + 6.25 ⨉ height (cm) 5 ⨉ age (years) + 5

Now that you know the appropriate number of calories you need to consume a day let's talk about the efficient way to burn calories.

Efficient Way to Burn Calories

The first thing that may come to your mind when burning calories is to exercise. It is one of the most efficient methods to help your physical body become stronger and burn that energy and possible fats along the way. In fact, running is one of the best ways to burn calories per hour. You can also jog, swim, and do stationary bicycling as other options for burning calories.

Although exercise is an effective way, what about those who have little to no time to exercise? What can they do to burn calories yet still be able to work? As mentioned earlier, you burn calories even when you are not noticing it. Since calories are the energy in our body, simple actions such as sitting and standing are already a method in burning your calories.


If you're busy, sitting or standing is something you can easily do. But which one is better in terms of burning calories? To determine this, it is vital to understand the number of calories burned while sitting and standing.


According to, sitting burns calories anywhere from 60 to 130 calories an hour. Standing, by comparison, burns anywhere from 100 to 200 calories. Between these options, if you want to burn more calories even when you are busy, standing is a recommended option as it burns more. So even if you are working, your body is also working for you by burning calories.


But why are calories burned more when standing? This is because when you are on your feet, the muscle mass of your body activates, helping you burn more calories. At the same time, you move your body more when you stand. A simple shift of your weight from one foot to another, stretches on your body, or even foot taps burn more energy than when you are just sitting in place.

Aside from burning calories, standing more has also been proven to reduce the risks of having:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes


So how can you stand while working at the same time? A well-known suggestion you can make is having a standing desk in your office space. This type of ergonomic furniture does not only have you work while standing to help burn calories, but it also helps your posture to improve, as well as to increase your productivity.

In addition to standing desks, another great addition to your ergonomic set are balance boards. Doing small movements is better than just standing. You may sometimes find yourself shifting from one foot to another when you stand for quite some time. Balance boards help in terms of micro-movements and an additional form of exercise as well as aiding your balance, helps prevent injury especially on the ankles, and burn calories.

Is There Such a Thing as Standing Too Much?

While sitting for too long can cause discomfort and backaches, standing for too much has its side effects. While standing burns more calories when sitting, too much can cause pain and a strain on your legs and feet, as these parts of your body support your weight.


It is crucial to listen to your body and what it is you need. You can also try a sit-to-stand desk converter. The difference between this and the standing desk is that you can put the converter on top of your existing table without replacing what you already have.


Standing is a great way to burn calories, but it is alright to sit when you feel tired of standing. You can try to switch from sitting to standing and vice versa every 30 to 60 minutes.


Understanding your body is the first step in wellness. Determining what you need, the amount of calories you should be intaking a day, and how to stay healthy even if you are busy is crucial to have a healthy and balanced life between work and health.