One rising trend in getting fit has been using a standing desk. But as this trend takes off, many people wonder about the efficacy of burning calories while standing in comparison to sitting. 

So, how many calories do you burn standing vs. sitting? Is there really a difference?

Based on this data, standing can burn almost double the calories (kcal) of sitting per hour. On average, people can burn somewhere around 100 to 200 calories per hour by choosing not to sit. In comparison, sitting down burns between 60 to 130 calories per hour. 

However, these numbers vary between men and women. Let’s examine the differences for both sexes below:

For Women:

First, let’s examine data based on an average American twenty-year-old woman who stands at five foot four inches. For this woman, standing for four hours of an eight-hour workday increases her caloric burn by a minimum of 238 calories per day.

Additionally, if a woman weighs over two hundred pounds, that number rises to over 317 per day on average. 

For Men:

When examining data based on the average American male, who is also twenty-years-old and five feet nine inches tall, the difference in calories burned is even larger. This is because most men have a larger muscle mass that needs stimulus throughout the day. 

Following the same metric of standing for four out of the eight hours of a workday, a man weighing 120 pounds would lose an additional 285 calories per day. A man weighing 200 or more pounds would lose upwards of 375 kcal per day just from standing.

Calculate Your Calorie Burn

For more personal results, individuals can use the Harris-Benedict Equation to calculate their approximate caloric burn in regards to any activity. This equation takes into account an individual’s own height and weight to calculate caloric burn. 


It’s clear that standing leads to more burned kcal than sitting does. With that in mind, the idea of a standing desk might not seem so crazy after all. You might want to consider one if you’d like to burn a few more calories at work.