The Energy Cost of Sitting versus Standing Naturally in Man

James A Betts (Corresponding Author), Harry A Smith, Drusus A Johnson-Bonson, Tom I Ellis, Joseph Dagnall, Aaron Hengist, Harriet Carroll, Dylan Thompson, Javier T Gonzalez, Gregg H Afman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE: Prolonged sitting is a major health concern, targeted via government policy and the proliferation of height-adjustable workstations and wearable technologies to encourage standing. Such interventions have the potential to influence energy balance and thus facilitate effective management of body/fat mass. It is therefore remarkable that the energy cost of sitting versus standing naturally remains unknown.

METHODS: Metabolic requirements were quantified via indirect calorimetry from expired gases in 46 healthy men and women (age, 27 ± 12 yr; mass, 79.3 ± 14.7 kg; body mass index, 24.7 ± 3.1 kg·m, waist/hip, 0.81 ± 0.06) under basal conditions (i.e., resting metabolic rate) and then, in a randomized and counterbalanced sequence, during lying, sitting and standing. Critically, no restrictions were placed on natural/spontaneous bodily movements (i.e., fidgeting) to reveal the fundamental contrast between sitting and standing in situ while maintaining a comfortable posture.

RESULTS: The mean (95% confidence interval [CI]) increment in energy expenditure was 0.18 (95% CI, 0.06-0.31 kJ·min) from resting metabolic rate to lying was 0.15 (95% CI, 0.03-0.27 kJ·min) from lying to sitting and 0.65 (95% CI, 0.53-0.77 kJ·min) from sitting to standing. An ancillary observation was that the energy cost of each posture above basal metabolic requirements exhibited marked interindividual variance, which was inversely correlated with resting heart rate for all postures (r = -0.5; -0.7 to -0.1) and positively correlated with self-reported physical activity levels for lying (r = 0.4; 0.1 to 0.7) and standing (r = 0.6; 0.3-0.8).

CONCLUSIONS: Interventions designed to reduce sitting typically encourage 30 to 120 min·d more standing in situ (rather than perambulation), so the 12% difference from sitting to standing reported here does not represent an effective strategy for the treatment of obesity (i.e., weight loss) but could potentially attenuate any continued escalation of the ongoing obesity epidemic at a population level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-733
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

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Posture
Confidence Intervals
Costs and Cost Analysis
Basal Metabolism
Obesity
Indirect Calorimetry
Energy Metabolism
Adipose Tissue
Hip
Weight Loss
Body Mass Index
Heart Rate
Gases
Observation
Exercise
Technology
Health
Population
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • metabolic rate
  • energy balance
  • posture
  • fidgeting

Cite this

Betts, J. A., Smith, H. A., Johnson-Bonson, D. A., Ellis, T. I., Dagnall, J., Hengist, A., ... Afman, G. H. (2019). The Energy Cost of Sitting versus Standing Naturally in Man. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 51(4), 726-733. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001841

The Energy Cost of Sitting versus Standing Naturally in Man. / Betts, James A (Corresponding Author); Smith, Harry A; Johnson-Bonson, Drusus A; Ellis, Tom I; Dagnall, Joseph; Hengist, Aaron; Carroll, Harriet; Thompson, Dylan; Gonzalez, Javier T; Afman, Gregg H.

In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 51, No. 4, 01.04.2019, p. 726-733.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Betts, JA, Smith, HA, Johnson-Bonson, DA, Ellis, TI, Dagnall, J, Hengist, A, Carroll, H, Thompson, D, Gonzalez, JT & Afman, GH 2019, 'The Energy Cost of Sitting versus Standing Naturally in Man', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 726-733. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001841
Betts JA, Smith HA, Johnson-Bonson DA, Ellis TI, Dagnall J, Hengist A et al. The Energy Cost of Sitting versus Standing Naturally in Man. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2019 Apr 1;51(4):726-733. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001841
Betts, James A ; Smith, Harry A ; Johnson-Bonson, Drusus A ; Ellis, Tom I ; Dagnall, Joseph ; Hengist, Aaron ; Carroll, Harriet ; Thompson, Dylan ; Gonzalez, Javier T ; Afman, Gregg H. / The Energy Cost of Sitting versus Standing Naturally in Man. In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2019 ; Vol. 51, No. 4. pp. 726-733.
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T1 - The Energy Cost of Sitting versus Standing Naturally in Man

AU - Betts, James A

AU - Smith, Harry A

AU - Johnson-Bonson, Drusus A

AU - Ellis, Tom I

AU - Dagnall, Joseph

AU - Hengist, Aaron

AU - Carroll, Harriet

AU - Thompson, Dylan

AU - Gonzalez, Javier T

AU - Afman, Gregg H

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N2 - PURPOSE: Prolonged sitting is a major health concern, targeted via government policy and the proliferation of height-adjustable workstations and wearable technologies to encourage standing. Such interventions have the potential to influence energy balance and thus facilitate effective management of body/fat mass. It is therefore remarkable that the energy cost of sitting versus standing naturally remains unknown.METHODS: Metabolic requirements were quantified via indirect calorimetry from expired gases in 46 healthy men and women (age, 27 ± 12 yr; mass, 79.3 ± 14.7 kg; body mass index, 24.7 ± 3.1 kg·m, waist/hip, 0.81 ± 0.06) under basal conditions (i.e., resting metabolic rate) and then, in a randomized and counterbalanced sequence, during lying, sitting and standing. Critically, no restrictions were placed on natural/spontaneous bodily movements (i.e., fidgeting) to reveal the fundamental contrast between sitting and standing in situ while maintaining a comfortable posture.RESULTS: The mean (95% confidence interval [CI]) increment in energy expenditure was 0.18 (95% CI, 0.06-0.31 kJ·min) from resting metabolic rate to lying was 0.15 (95% CI, 0.03-0.27 kJ·min) from lying to sitting and 0.65 (95% CI, 0.53-0.77 kJ·min) from sitting to standing. An ancillary observation was that the energy cost of each posture above basal metabolic requirements exhibited marked interindividual variance, which was inversely correlated with resting heart rate for all postures (r = -0.5; -0.7 to -0.1) and positively correlated with self-reported physical activity levels for lying (r = 0.4; 0.1 to 0.7) and standing (r = 0.6; 0.3-0.8).CONCLUSIONS: Interventions designed to reduce sitting typically encourage 30 to 120 min·d more standing in situ (rather than perambulation), so the 12% difference from sitting to standing reported here does not represent an effective strategy for the treatment of obesity (i.e., weight loss) but could potentially attenuate any continued escalation of the ongoing obesity epidemic at a population level.

AB - PURPOSE: Prolonged sitting is a major health concern, targeted via government policy and the proliferation of height-adjustable workstations and wearable technologies to encourage standing. Such interventions have the potential to influence energy balance and thus facilitate effective management of body/fat mass. It is therefore remarkable that the energy cost of sitting versus standing naturally remains unknown.METHODS: Metabolic requirements were quantified via indirect calorimetry from expired gases in 46 healthy men and women (age, 27 ± 12 yr; mass, 79.3 ± 14.7 kg; body mass index, 24.7 ± 3.1 kg·m, waist/hip, 0.81 ± 0.06) under basal conditions (i.e., resting metabolic rate) and then, in a randomized and counterbalanced sequence, during lying, sitting and standing. Critically, no restrictions were placed on natural/spontaneous bodily movements (i.e., fidgeting) to reveal the fundamental contrast between sitting and standing in situ while maintaining a comfortable posture.RESULTS: The mean (95% confidence interval [CI]) increment in energy expenditure was 0.18 (95% CI, 0.06-0.31 kJ·min) from resting metabolic rate to lying was 0.15 (95% CI, 0.03-0.27 kJ·min) from lying to sitting and 0.65 (95% CI, 0.53-0.77 kJ·min) from sitting to standing. An ancillary observation was that the energy cost of each posture above basal metabolic requirements exhibited marked interindividual variance, which was inversely correlated with resting heart rate for all postures (r = -0.5; -0.7 to -0.1) and positively correlated with self-reported physical activity levels for lying (r = 0.4; 0.1 to 0.7) and standing (r = 0.6; 0.3-0.8).CONCLUSIONS: Interventions designed to reduce sitting typically encourage 30 to 120 min·d more standing in situ (rather than perambulation), so the 12% difference from sitting to standing reported here does not represent an effective strategy for the treatment of obesity (i.e., weight loss) but could potentially attenuate any continued escalation of the ongoing obesity epidemic at a population level.

KW - metabolic rate

KW - energy balance

KW - posture

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