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J Phys Act Health. 2016 Jan;13(1):24-9. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2014-0420. Epub 2015 Apr 14.

Alternating Sitting and Standing Increases the Workplace Energy Expenditure of Overweight Adults.

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Dept of Neurovascular Hypertension and Kidney Disease, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.



To determine whether alternating bouts of sitting and standing at work influences daily workplace energy expenditure (EE).


Twenty-three overweight/obese office workers (mean ± SD; age: 48.2 ± 7.9 y, body mass index: 29.6 ± 4.0 kg/m2) undertook two 5-day experimental conditions in an equal, randomized order. Participants wore a "metabolic armband" (SenseWear Armband Mini) to estimate daily workplace EE (KJ/8 h) while working (1) in a seated work posture (SIT condition) or (2) alternating between a standing and seated work posture every 30 minutes using a sit-stand workstation (STAND-SIT condition). To assess the validity of the metabolic armband, a criterion measure of acute EE (KJ/min; indirect calorimetry) was performed on day 4 of each condition.


Standing to work acutely increased EE by 0.7 [95% CI 0.3-1.0] KJ/min (13%), relative to sitting (P = .002). Compared with indirect calorimetry, the metabolic armband provided a valid estimate of EE while standing to work (mean bias: 0.1 [-0.3 to 0.4] KJ/min) but modestly overestimated EE while sitting (P = .005). Daily workplace EE was greatest during the STAND-SIT condition (mean condition difference [95% CI]: 76 [8-144] KJ/8-h workday, P = .03).


Intermittent standing at work can modestly increase daily workplace EE compared with seated work in overweight/obese office workers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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