Alternating sitting and standing increases the workplace energy expenditure of overweight adults

Alicia Ann Thorp, Bronwyn A. Kingwell, Coralie English, Louise Hammond, Parneet Sethi, Neville Owen, David W. Dunstan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Web of Science)


    Background: To determine whether alternating bouts of sitting and standing at work influences daily workplace energy expenditure (EE). Methods: 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. Results: 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). Conclusions: Intermittent standing at work can modestly increase daily workplace EE compared with seated work in overweight/obese office workers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-29
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Physical Activity & Health
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


    Dive into the research topics of 'Alternating sitting and standing increases the workplace energy expenditure of overweight adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this