Standing instead of sitting burns about nine extra calories an hour for a 145-pound person, on average, according to a review of 46 studies published recently in theEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Thus, substituting six hours of standing for six hours of sitting per day would burn an additional 54 calories, which could lead to a loss of 5½ pounds in one year, the Mayo Clinic authors estimated.
“However, whether such a small difference . . . will truly translate into long-term weight loss is yet to be proved, as compensatory mechanisms in basal metabolic rate, increased caloric intake as a result of more muscle activity, or other factors may negate the benefit.”
The estimates were based on people standing still, so if they walked or otherwise moved around while they stood, they would have burned more calories. Keep in mind, too, that there are metabolic and other health benefits from limiting sedentary time, regardless of the effect on calorie burning.