Bad News: Our Desks Aren’t Making Us Fat

Standing desks might be good for our hearts, but they’re probably not making us slimmer. At least that’s what Yoni Freedhoff, MD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa, concluded in a recent article in US News.

“[S]tudies looking at physical activity and weight don’t seem to show major associations; even massive amounts of additional daily physical activity don’t seem to translate into massive differences on the scale,” Dr. Freedhoff writes.

He cites a study published in last month’s issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which showed that even a lot of physical activity didn’t have much effect on weight or weight loss. What did move the needle on the scale? Fewer calories.

Even then, it’s not as simple as “calories in, calories out.” Dr. Freedhoff makes a point of saying that not all calories are treated equally by the body. Nutrition, in other words, matters as much as restriction.

Still, if you’re hoping to stave off the dreaded office spread, your best bet is to watch what you eat. Exercise, while good for your health, won’t keep you slim all by itself — and neither will a standing desk.

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