Energy Expenditure While Using Workstation Alternatives at Self-Selected Intensities

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Active workstations offer the potential for augmenting energy expenditure (EE) in sedentary occupations. However, comparisons of EE during pedal and treadmill desk usage at self-selected intensities are lacking. Methods: A sample of 16 adult participants (8 men and 8 women; 33.9 [7.1] y, 22.5 [2.7] kg/m2) employed in sedentary occupations had their EE measured using indirect calorimetry during 4 conditions: (1) seated rest, (2) seated typing in a traditional office chair, (3) self-paced pedaling on a pedal desk while typing, and (4) self-paced walking on a treadmill desk while typing. Results: For men and women, self-paced pedal and treadmill desk typing significantly increased EE above seated typing (pedal desk: +1.20 to 1.28 kcal/min and treadmill desk: +1.43 to 1.93 kcal/min, P < .001). In men, treadmill desk typing (3.46 [0.19] kcal/min) elicited a significantly higher mean EE than pedal desk typing (2.73 [0.21] kcal/min, P < .001). No significant difference in EE was observed between treadmill desk typing (2.68 [0.19] kcal/min) and pedal desk typing among women (2.52 [0.21] kcal/min). Conclusions: Self-paced treadmill desk usage elicited significantly higher EE than self-paced pedal desk usage in men but not in women. Both pedal and treadmill desk usage at self-selected intensities elicited approximate 2-fold increases in EE above what would typically be expected during traditional seated office work.

Schuna is with Physical Activity Epidemiology and Assessment Laboratory, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. Hsia is with Joint Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism Program, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA. Tudor-Locke is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA. Johannsen is with the School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.

Schuna ( is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 184 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S2 (PDF 158 KB)