An office-place stepping device to promote workplace physical activity

David A. McAlpine, Chinmay U. Manohar, Shelly K. McCrady, Donald Hensrud, James A. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Objective: It was proposed that an office-place stepping device is associated with significant and substantial increases in energy expenditure compared to sitting energy expenditure. The objective was to assess the effect of using an office-place stepping device on the energy expenditure of lean and obese office workers. Methods: The office-place stepping device is an inexpensive, near-silent, low-impact device that can be housed under a standard desk and plugged into an office PC for self-monitoring. Energy expenditure was measured in lean and obese subjects using the stepping device and during rest, sitting and walking. 19 subjects (27±9 years, 85±23 kg): 9 lean (BMI<25 kg/m2) and 10 obese (BMI>29 kg/m2) attended the experimental office facility. Energy expenditure was measured at rest, while seated in an office chair, standing, walking on a treadmill and while using the office-place stepping device. Results: The office-place stepping device was associated with an increase in energy expenditure above sitting in an office chair by 289±102 kcal/hour (p<0.001 ). The increase in energy expenditure was greater for obese (335±99 kcal/hour) than for lean subjects (235±80 kcal/hour; p = 0.03). The increments in energy expenditure were similar to exercise-style walking. Conclusion: The office-place stepping device could be an approach for office workers to increase their energy expenditure. If the stepping device was used to replace sitting by 2 hours per day and if other components of energy balance were constant, weight loss of 20 kg/year could occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-907
Number of pages5
JournalBritish journal of sports medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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