That’s the pronouncement of Dr John Buckley from the UK’s Chester Hospital. He’s calculated that standing for three hours a day at work burns an extra 144 calories daily, which he says potentially leads to the loss of eight pounds of fat over the year. I quote… ‘This is the perfect way for any office-bound worker to achieve the typical New Year’s resolution of wanting to lose seven pounds without changing anything else – how easy is that?’
Hearing the words ‘losing – seven pounds – and easy’ in the same sentence, and one uttered by a doctor at that my ears pricked up, so what do you think I did yesterday? Yes, I attempted to see how much of my job I could do standing up. Actually it seems the answer is quite a lot.
For example, this entire blog post has been typed standing (this is why it’s a short one) – although I have had to put my keyboard on a phone book and I’m pretty sure if I do it for entire features I’d get really bad back ache.
I can open post – that probably doesn’t burn many calories.
I can do simple research that requires flicking through the big pile of paper newspaper cuttings that sit by my desk. As I do this at least once daily for about 15 minutes this is helpful.
I can make phone calls that don’t require any writing alongside them.
I can read twitter and Facebook via my iphone- well that’s at least an hour of calories burnt then.
You can also eat lunch but it does leave you with a keyboard full of tuna,
Things You Can’t Do Standing
Interview people by phone. It’s very hard to write without resting paper on a desk.
Proper internet research – you need to be able to see the screen.
Type long features – for the backache reason I state above. Plus, it does take longer to type standing than normal and my days don’t have enough hours as it is.
Edit features or blog posts – you can’t see all the typos (and there are more than normal with the upright typing thing)
That notwithstanding I was actually quite surprised how much you can do upright and still get on with your day. Would I implement it? Erm, probably not. I’m not a fan of standing – comes from having bad posture, it makes my back ache. Should I implement it? Yes. While the weight loss angle is what triggered my little experiment there’s a growing body of evidence that standing helps reduce levels of fats and sugars in the blood and may therefore reduce risk of many of the diseases of aging.
So, assuming you have more gumption than me – how could you stand more in your day?