MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – University of Minnesota researchers say there’s one more thing you may be able to do to fight against diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease – and it’s simple: stand more and sit less.

A new study is looking at people who choose to stand at their work desk, and the tests could reveal the secret to increased energy, productivity and even weight loss.

Twenty-nine Caldrea employees in Minneapolis are part of a first-of-its-kind study that could help the world discover a secret to overall health.

Christina Johnson, who is part of the study, said she’s interested in anything that may help her health.

Employees are being ordered to stand at least half the time, for a period of 3 months. And there’s no cheating.

“We were issued a special pair of underwear,” Johnson said.

The underwear ensures there’s no cheating. A mechanism attached to the underwear detects if the employees are standing or sitting.

“I’m definitely feeling different muscles getting utilized,” Johnson said. “I’m coming home a little bit achy in some respects, but I’m feeling more energetic, and that’s the goal of this whole thing.”

Shelley Eckstein, another Caldrea employee participating in the study, said that standing helps her in the afternoon.

“Especially after lunch when I’m starting to fall asleep at the computer. I can stand and, ya know, you have that little burst of energy,” she said.

Since half the company is participating, many of the meetings are even done standing up.

“I think you get your meeting done faster,” Eckstein said.

The study is testing to see if standing will trigger physical activity changes — and even changes to eating habits.

While the employees say they can’t tell that yet, they do notice a better sense of well-being. They say that is reason enough to commit long term.

The researchers said by choosing to stand at your desk, the average person will burn 20 calories more per hour. For the employees at Caldrea, that comes to about 100 more calories burned each day.

Standing desks cost around $400. The results of the study are expected come May.

Caldrea is an earth-friendly cleaning supply company.

Comments (9)
  1. Tony says:

    Where can I learn more about the standing desks at the $400 price range. I’d looked into these desks before but my search only finds them at much higher prices; say >$1000. The one you showed in this spot and said runs about $400 was power adjustable. I’d sure like to know where I could find of those.

  2. Sandy says:

    I am also looking for more information on the standing desks.

  3. James Cansler says:

    Having knowledge about adjustable desks, I think the price mentioned ($400) is incorrect or is a very poor quality desk. Unmentioned, is research that shows standing for long periods without much motion can have health effects-think of blood pooling in the legs as one. A good compromise is to use a type of stool designed to use at higher work stations or adjustable desks such as a Varier Move or HumanScale Pony. If you will watch closely you will notice some awkward wrist and shoulder postures in the video. Just standing is not a complete solution. Do your research.