7 year warranty.
Customer service headset.

How Many Calories Does a Standing Desk Burn?

Have you ever considered switching to a standing desk in an effort to be more active and burn more calories? Standing desks have become increasingly popular over the past several years, with many people touting their physical health benefits. But how much of a calorie-burning difference does standing up really make?

In this article, we'll take an in-depth look at what research is saying about using a stand-up desk and how it can affect your overall calorie burn. We will also share with you the reasons why you would opt for a sit stand desk, how to properly use it, and the best standing desk accessories to enhance your experience. 

Number of Calories Burned by Using a Standing Desk

More convenient and less expensive than a gym, a stand-up desk is a great piece of furniture that can help you burn more calories while you work. After all, not everyone has the time for exercise week in and out, but working in a standing position can help you to be more active.

The number of calories burned from using a standing desk varies depending on a person's weight, age, and gender. Generally speaking, you can burn between 100 and 200 calories per hour when you adopt a standing position. Another study conducted by the University of Chester found that working in the standing position for 3 hours per day can help you burn an extra 144 calories. 

It's a small but significant difference that adds up over time. 

However, this differs between the sexes. After inspecting more than 45 studies and examining more than1,000 people with an average age of 33 years and a weight of 63 kilograms, the Mayo Clinic researchers found that men burned 0.2 extra calories per minute while standing, while women burned 0.1 calories. This difference has been attributed to muscle mass, which is generally greater in men than in women.

That said, other research suggests that just standing up won't cut it. Although it's better for your posture and overall health, to take advantage of those benefits and significantly increase your calorie burn throughout the workday, it's recommended that you stand up and move around every 30 minutes to an hour. That might include stretching, walking, squats or doing a set of burpees...that last one might be best if you're working at home

As well as calorie burn, a standing desk has numerous other benefits for your health, including improved posture, reduced back pain, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, increased energy and focus levels, better blood circulation, and a positive impact on your mood. 

Number of Calories Burned by Using a Treadmill Desk

There have been fewer studies on exactly how many calories you burn whilst walking on a treadmill desk. However, one estimate suggests that if you walk at a speed between 1.1mph and 1.5mph, you can burn at least an extra 150 calories per hour at a treadmill desk. They went on to suggest that, if you can walk at your desk for just 3 hours per day,  then you can potentially burn an additional 2,000 calories per week.

Indeed, one trial found that, compared to the incremental calorie burn of moving from sitting to standing, walking at the minimum 1 mph speed will burn you 5x as many calories per hour, and walking at 2.5 mph will burn you nearly 10x.

Why Would You Use a Standing Desk?

Purchasing a standing desk has many advantages over a traditional desk. A height-adjustable desk can help you stay healthy, comfortable, and productive throughout the day. Let us investigate further.

1. Positive Impact on the Body

Sedentary work is on the rise due to the increase in office work while sitting glued to a screen. Working all day in front of a computer screen is harmful to your body because the human body is more adapted to mobility. This position increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and shortens your life expectancy. Altering positions with a sit-stand desk will help you burn more calories, and your body will appreciate it.

2. Increased Comfort

Sitting in the same position all day can quickly become tiring. If you have trouble sitting still or have back problems, a sit-stand desk may be just what you need. By alternating positions, you gain more freedom of movement, less strain, and greater comfort while working.

3. Enhanced Productivity

Obviously, improved health and comfort lead to improved concentration and, as a result, increased productivity. This benefit, however, will not be significant for everyone. The sit-stand desk is also not a magical solution. The fewer problems you have, however, the more productive you will be.

How to Properly Use a Standing Desk

Setting up a standing desk correctly can make all the difference in maintaining good posture and reaping the benefits of working on your feet instead of slouching at a traditional desk chair. In this section, we'll discuss how to use an electric or manual standing desk for maximum efficiency and comfort. By following these tips, you'll be able to experience the health benefits from working in an upright position all day, including burning those additional calories. 

1. Stand Correctly

Stand with your feet slightly apart, the same width as your shoulders, and well anchored to the floor, with your back and neck also straight. At first it may not feel comfortable, but after a while you will naturally adopt this position.

2. Start Slowly

When transitioning to using a standing desk, start with one hour each day and build up over time to ensure you don’t strain your muscles or put too much pressure on your feet and joints.

3. Wear Comfortable Shoes

Standing in one spot can cause discomfort in both feet and legs so wearing sturdy shoes or investing in a good pair of insoles can alleviate some of that discomfort while providing necessary support while standing upright for a long period of time. 

4. Take Breaks Away From the Desk

 It's important to take regular breaks, not just for physical reasons but mental ones as well. You can stand outside, go for a walk around the office or perform simple stretches. All these small actions will help improve overall your overall wellbeing and the benefits associated with a standing desk.

5. Set Up Your Workspace Properly

Make sure your height adjustable desk (standing desk) is at the right height. This means that your wrists and forearms should rest on your table top and your elbows should be at around a 90-degree angle. When you look ahead, the top of the screen should be at eye level. Your keyboard and mouse should be close to you and at the same level.

6. Surround Yourself With Ergonomic Items 

Forget the painful, hard wooden or backless chairs and opt for a more comfortable, ergonomic office chair. When sitting, you can also put your feet on a footrest, and when standing, put an anti-fatigue standing desk mat on the floor. This will relieve the arches of your feet and help to prevent leg, hip and back pain. 

Under desk storage and under desk drawers are also great option to consider. But, don’t worry, we will cover more height adjustable desks accessories in the next section.

8 Best Standing Desk Accessories 

And if you already have or are looking into getting a standing desk, then make sure you complete it with the best accessories so it’s as comfortable and helpful as possible! Here are the best accessories to help make your standing desk both functional and ergonomic.

  1. Laptop Stand: If you use a laptop as your primary computer, then having a laptop stand for your standing desk can make it much more comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
  2. Cable Management Systems: Cable trays keep wires organised which minimises the chance of your cords being damaged due to wear and tear. You are also ensuring they don't tangle together, which other wises leads to wasted time trying to untangle them.
  3. Monitor Arms: Monitor arms are adjustable mounts which can be used to raise or lower the height of a computer monitor, making it easier to achieve comfortable ergonomic posture while working at a standing desk. Choose from dual or single monitor arms, depending on the number of screens.
  4. Anti-Fatigue Mat: An anti-fatigue mat is an ideal addition to any standing desk workspace as it helps to reduce strain on the feet, legs, and back, allowing for improved comfort when working long hours at a standing desk.
  5. Desk Lamps: Desk lamps are a great way to ensure that you have sufficient lighting for reading documents and typing away after dark without straining your eyes or causing discomfort over long periods of time spent working at your desk or stand-up station. A circadian lamp, in particular, can provides the right colour temperature and brightness of light at all times.
  6. Keyboard Tray: With the proper keyboard and mouse placement, you can avoid flaring out your elbows and putting strain on your wrists from slouching over. A keyboard tray allows you to move your keyboard and mouse up or down to your preferred position while typing or using a mouse, providing a comfortable work experience.
  7. Document Holders & Copy Stands: Displaying documents at eye level is important so that users don’t have to unsteadily tilt their heads away from monitors which can cause neck fatigue over time.
  8. CPU Holder: Keep computers secure from accidental spills and falls by using CPU holders which attach beneath desks, directly securing equipment so it won’t slide across its surface when you lift and lower your standing desk. 


In conclusion, standing desks present a promising solution for those seeking a convenient and accessible way to enhance calorie burn and improve their overall health while at work. This is great for those who are looking for an alternative way to get some exercise without taking a gym break.

Research suggests that individuals can burn between 100 and 200 calories per hour by simply standing, offering a small but significant difference that accumulates over time. The positive impact on your health, increased comfort, and enhanced productivity are additional, compelling reasons to consider making the switch to a standing desk. 

Looking for a standing desk for your home, office or workspace? Check out our collection of standing desks, available for next working day delivery if ordered by 3pm. Our desks come with a 7 year warranty, 30 day risk free return, as well as access to a UK-based customer service team to answer any questions that you might have.

Date Published: February 2, 2023

Last Updated: January 17, 2024