Increase Calorie Expenditure to Improve Energy Balance

Increase Calorie Expenditure to Improve Energy BalanceImproving Energy Balance

In the fight against childhood obesity, the focus has generally been on either reducing calorie intake or increasing exercise. If we want to help kids grow up to live healthy, active lives, the best way to address this issue may be by working towards balancing our energy. Standing desks help to increase activity in the classroom, teaching habits to start kids on a lifetime of healthy energy balance.

Calorie Expenditure

When you're resting, your body is still at work keeping you alive. Your heart is a powerful muscle that contracts all day and night. Your lungs have to move air in and out of the lungs. These movements require energy. Your cells are always at work too, constantly breaking down certain molecules to release energy. This energy is used to make the molecules that are then used to repair cells, store energy as glycogen and triglycerides, fight infection, and process nutrients.

The energy your body needs for all this work is known as the body's basal metabolic rate. This rate can vary from about 800-1500 calories per day, depending on the size of the body and how many calories have been eaten.

Related: Fighting childhood obesity with standing desks

The calories we burn during exercise are a different story. Research tells us that almost all of the extra calories used in exercise comes from contracting skeletal muscles (the muscles we use to move around). The rest of the extra energy is used by the extra effort of your heart and the muscles used in breathing. Movement is where we have the greatest control over how many calories our bodies use, and this can help us to attain balanced energy.

Achieving Energy Balance

Once we understand how our bodies use energy, we can really dig into the concept of energy balance. The idea of equalizing the energy we take in as food with the energy our bodies use can be a useful tool to develop strategies to reduce obesity rates. Obesity is often thought of as a result of either too much food or not enough physical exercise. However, it seems that the best way to really make a change in obesity rates is to look at both sides of the equation. Formal exercise is not the only way to burn calories. Adding movement to everyday activities is a powerful way to increase the energy used.

Related: BMI research related to standing desks

VARIDESK Education believes in encouraging an active lifestyle throughout life, from childhood into the workplace. The idea of balancing our energy should be a goal from the beginning. Encouraging kids to move around while they're at school is the first step toward helping them build a healthy lifestyle. In order for kids to be healthy and to grow into healthy adults, they need to understand that neither sitting all day or never sitting is good for their bodies. We need to make it a conscious goal to help our children achieve a healthy balance.

Standing desks are one way to help kids get energy balance in their lives, and to carry positive health habits through to adulthood. To live a truly vibrant life, they will need to learn how to manage a variety of factors, like healthy eating, relationships, and exercise. Growing up with healthy habits is far easier in the long run than trying to change a lifestyle that is already causing harm. Standing desks provide a crucial first step in helping children develop good habits from the beginning. They will experience a lifetime of benefits from starting off on the right track.

Standing Desk Research