Standing desk aids weight loss

A University of Chester scientist is standing in the shoes of author Ernest Hemingway and Sir Winston Churchill and Thomas Jefferson in a bid to burn what he calls ‘easy calories’.

Dr John Buckley, from the Department of Clinical Sciences and Nutrition, has salvaged one of the University’s old oak lecterns to use as a standing desk, similar to one famously used by Nobel Prize winner Hemingway when he was writing.

Dr Buckley calculates that by working at this desk for three hours of his day will burn an extra 144 calories per day*1, compared to sitting at his desk and with no change to his job or leisure time activities.

In a year this will equate to more than 30,000 calories or eight pounds of human fat.

Dr Buckley, Reader of Applied Exercise Science in Health and lead Lecturer for the University’s MSc in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation, said: "This is the perfect way for any office-bound worker to achieve the typical New Year’s resolution of wanting to lose half a stone without changing anything else – how easy is that?”

Dr Buckley’s work as a national leader in physical activity and exercise science has included being part of a special advisory group to England’s Chief Medical Officer. At a key meeting he attended in Whitehall, issues of the workplace design, transport and the built environment (not sport) were designated as key culprits in the cause of obesity.

He added: "In the past 50 years, sports and exercise participation have remained at least the same, so it is sedentary behaviours such as sitting at a desk and nutrition which are the key factors causing the typical annual increase in most people’s waistlines.”

Dr Buckley, whose office is based in a seven-storey building on the University’s Main Campus in Chester, always tries to make the effort take the stairs to his office and encourages others to do the same wherever and whenever they can as well.

He added: "It’s little changes in behaviour such as this, or standing at your desk, that can add up to make quite a big difference to your health.”