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Does Using a Standing Desk All Day Count as Exercise?

  • 2 min read

Does using a standing desk all day count as exercise? It sure seems like it does. All that standing around instead of sitting might not make you winded but it might make you sore, if you're new to the StandDesk life. We'll answer that question and give you a bunch of great reasons to use a standing desk.

Is Standing at a StandDesk Exercise?

No, unfortunately, standing at a standing desk, even if you do it all day, does not count as exercise. You won't close your rings (except the blue one). You won't burn many calories. You won't get credit from your fitness tracker.

What Is Exercise, Technically Speaking?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines exercise as "any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness." A less clinical definition of exercise is an activity that increases your heart rate, even if it's just a little. Your standing desk won't do that.

Does a Standing Desk Burn Calories?

According to the science journal Circulation, you burn a few extra calories per hour when you stand at a standing desk. That's more than you burn sitting down, but not much. It's barely enough to consider it physical activity at all.

So standing at a standing desk is not exercise, but that doesn't mean it's not good for you. In fact, there are plenty of good reasons to use a standing desk, even if you don't think of it as working out.

Reduce Your Risk of Real Diseases

It might not count as real exercise, but standing instead of sitting is still beneficial. Research has shown that standing desk users have a lower risk of obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer.

Standing also helps improve your posture and can reduce back pain. If you have a sedentary job, standing at a standing desk is a great way to move around without having to go for a walk or run every hour.

Get More Done

A standing desk can also help you be more productive. One study found that people who used standing desks reported feeling more energetic and less fatigued than those who sat at their desks all day.

Another study found that standing desk users had a 32% increase in productivity, while those who sat all day had a 12% decrease in productivity.

Stay Focused

If you find yourself getting sleepy or zoning out at your desk, standing up might help. One study found that standing desks helped students stay focused and improved their test scores.

And if you need more motivation to get out of your chair, standing desks have been shown to reduce the amount of time people spend sitting down during the day in other areas of their lives. Turns out, standing up can be contagious.

If you are looking for a way to be more productive and focused at your home office, standing might be the answer for you.  If you’re an employee, your employer may already be aware of the way standing desks increase productivity and focus, as well as other health benefits. It may be just a question of figuring out how to request a standing desk.