How to Lose Weight While Standing

Male architect using telephone at desk

Standing seems like it takes little to no effort. In reality, however, you can lose weight by standing more often. In fact, sitting rather than standing isn't simply a matter of burning less calories. A 2008 study by the University of Missouri and cited by Science Daily found that sitting causes your body to stop circulating an enzyme that helps absorb fat. Standing starts the enzyme's fat-absorbing activity and leads to more weight loss, even if you aren't moving around. As part of a program of healthy eating and regular physical activity, standing more frequently and for longer periods of time can help you lose weight.

Stand during your morning routine, including brushing your teeth, reading the paper and eating breakfast. A 2005 study performed at the Mayo Clinic found that people who decreased their sitting time by just 150 minutes a day burned more calories and were leaner than those who sat more. This concept -- non-exercise activity thermogenesis -- was based on the fact that your agrarian ancestors, who did far less sitting than you do, were leaner, and obesity was far less prevalent.

Take the time to stand for a few minutes every hour when at work. Standing helps allow your blood to flow freely throughout your body, which can help bring more oxygen to your brain. This can lead to clearer thinking and improved concentration. Additionally, forcing your body to expend more calories by standing instead of sitting and moving around when possible can help you burn as much as 350 calories more each day.

Prepare your meals while standing and while the food is cooking, and go for a brisk walk instead of sitting to watch television. People who fidget expend more energy than those who are more sedentary. These individuals stand and move even when the situation doesn't require it and burn more calories as a result.

Set your home computer or television up higher, so that you can enjoy either one while standing up. Use a high counter in your house, sturdy boxes or shelving and cinder blocks to prop up the computer monitor or television. Stand when checking email or surfing the Internet. Watch television while folding laundry or ironing.


See your doctor for a full checkup before increasing physical exertion, including standing more often.