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  • Author: Robert J. Kowalsky x
  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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Seth A. Creasy, Renee J. Rogers, Thomas D. Byard, Robert J. Kowalsky and John M. Jakicic


Identifying strategies to increase energy expenditure (EE) may help combat the harmful effects of sedentary behavior. This study examined EE during sitting, standing, and walking.


Participants (N = 74) were randomized to 2 of the following activities: sitting using a laptop computer (SIT-C), sitting watching television (SIT-T), standing watching television (STAND), and walking at a self-selected pace ≤3.0 (mph) (WALK). Each activity lasted 15 minutes with a 3-minute transition period between activities. The experimental conditions were: SIT-C to STAND (N = 18), SIT-T to WALK (N = 18), STAND to SIT-C (N = 20), and WALK to SIT-T (N = 18). EE was measured using indirect calorimetry.


Based on the first activity performed, EE during WALK (55.92 ± 14.19 kcal) was significantly greater than SIT-C (19.63 ± 6.90 kcal), SIT-T (18.66 ± 4.01 kcal), and STAND (21.92 ± 5.08 kcal) (P < .001). Cumulative EE in SIT-T to WALK (74.50 ± 17.88 kcal) and WALK to SIT-T (82.72 ± 21.70 kcal) was significantly greater than EE in SIT-C to STAND (45.38 ± 14.78 kcal) and STAND to SIT-C (45.64 ± 9.69 kcal) (P < .001).


Conclusion: Substituting periods of sitting or standing with walking significantly increases EE, but substituting periods of sitting with standing may not affect EE. Thus, the potential benefits of standing as opposed to sitting need further investigation beyond the role of EE.

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Andrea L. Hergenroeder, Bethany Barone Gibbs, Mary P. Kotlarczyk, Subashan Perera, Robert J. Kowalsky and Jennifer S. Brach

The aim of this study was to evaluate accuracy of seven commercial activity monitors in measuring steps in older adults with varying walking abilities and to assess monitor acceptability and usability. Forty-three participants (age = 87 ± 5.7 years) completed a gait speed assessment, two walking trials while wearing the activity monitors, and questionnaires about usability features and activity monitor preferences. The Accusplit AX2710 Accelerometer Pedometer had the highest accuracy (93.68% ± 13.95%), whereas the Fitbit Charge had the lowest (39.12% ± 40.3%). Device accuracy varied based on assistive device use, and none of the monitors were accurate at gait speeds <0.08 m/s. Barriers to monitor usability included inability to apply monitor and access the step display. Monitor accuracy was rated as the most important feature, and ability to interface with a smart device was the least important feature. This study identified the limitations of the current commercial activity monitors in both step counting accuracy and usability features for older adults.

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Robert J. Kowalsky, Sophy J. Perdomo, John M. Taormina, Christopher E. Kline, Andrea L. Hergenroeder, Jeffrey R. Balzer, John M. Jakicic and Bethany Barone Gibbs

Background: Limited research examines the influence of sit-stand desks on ratings of discomfort, sleepiness, and fatigue. This study evaluated the time course of these outcomes over 1 day. Methods: Adults (N = 25) completed a randomized cross-over study in a laboratory with two 8-hour workday conditions: (1) prolonged sitting (SIT) and (2) alternating sitting and standing every 30 minutes (SIT-STAND). Sleepiness was assessed hourly. Discomfort, physical fatigue, and mental fatigue were measured every other hour. Linear mixed models evaluated whether these measures differed across conditions and the workday. Effect sizes were calculated using Cohen’s d. Results: Participants were primarily white (84%) males (64%), with mean (SD) body mass index of 31.9 (5.0) kg/m2 and age 42 (12) years. SIT-STAND resulted in decreased odds of discomfort (OR = 0.37, P = .01) and lower overall discomfort (β = −0.19, P < .001, d = 0.42) versus SIT. Discomfort during SIT-STAND was lower in the lower and upper back, but higher in the legs (all Ps< .01, d = 0.26–0.42). Sleepiness (β = −0.09, P = .01, d = 0.15) and physical fatigue (β = −0.34, P = .002, d = 0.34) were significantly lower in SIT-STAND. Mental fatigue was similar across conditions. Conclusions: Sit-stand desks may reduce acute levels of sleepiness, physical fatigue, and both overall and back discomfort. However, levels of lower extremity discomfort may be increased with acute exposure.