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Feel the Burn at Work
Published Friday, March 3, 2017

Throughout this winter, you ate, drank and were merry, over and over again. And now that we're well into 2017, you're still trying to take off some extra unwanted pounds. Take heart. There are things you do in the office that will burn calories while you work. (Numbers below are based on a 150-pound person.)


Standing versus Sitting
Standing: 99 calories an hour
Sitting: 78 calories an hour

Look for ways to get out of your chair. Stand while talking on the phone, listening or watching a webinar, or thinking through a situation.


Foot Power
Walking moderately: 230 calories an hour
Power walking: 400 calories an hour

Are you just about to answer an email? Skip it and instead walk to a colleague’s desk for a face-to-face chat. Do you have a pile of letters to put in the mailbox at the other end of the office? Take periodic office breaks and deliver them one at a time. Is your water bottle empty? Bring a smaller bottle so you take more trips to the bubbler. You can even ingratiate yourself to a busy or tired colleague by offering to take a walk and get coffee for the two of you.


Get Organized
Filing: 156 calories an hour
Packing/unpacking boxes: 382 calories an hour

Burn more calories by filing your own work, offering to help unpack and organize the supply closet, or move a delivery of heavy boxes to their destination deeper into the office.


Hit the Stairs
Walking up and down a long flight of stairs
(3 minutes): 29 calories

If your office has stairs, forego the elevator and take them. The same applies to visits to other offices or breaks during lunch for quick shopping trips.


Take out the trash: 200 calories an hour,
or about 20 calories a trip

Few people ever volunteer to take out the trash. Even if your office has a custodial service, if the trash is full early in the day, make a run outside with the bag, and if there are also stairs, you get an added benefit.

Sources: Livestrong.org, Harvard Heart Letter, caloriecount.com

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