Brace yourself: The calorie-burning benefits of standing versus sitting will not, at first blush, blow you out of your seat. Spend a minute upright instead of seated, and the additional energy expended amounts to less than one-tenth of a calorie (0.04 of a calorie, to be exact).
But a new study that combines the best available research on sitting, standing and energy expenditure invites readers (reclining and otherwise) to consider the potential long-term effects of this seemingly marginal difference.
The average American sits for more than seven hours of every day, making us among the most sedentary humans on Earth. But if Homo americanus were to spend six of those hours simply standing on his feet instead, that reformed couch potato would burn an additional 54 calories a day. Without any changes in his diet or a single extra visit to the gym, those 54 calories per day could translate into a loss of about 5.5 pounds of body fat per year for that average American.