Research Institute

Mayo Clinic & Arizona State University

Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with Arizona State University, set out to discover practical solutions to counteract obesity. Dr. James Levine and his team measured caloric burn, comparing outcomes of an ergonomic office chair vs traditional office task chair. Results showed that the incidental movement from a CoreChair had a 20% increase in the calories you burn.

Research Team: Gabriel A Koepp, Graham K Moore, James A Levine

The incidental movement from a CoreChair had a 20% increase in the calories you burn.


Sedentariness is associated with chronic health conditions, impaired cognitive function and obesity. Work contributes significantly to sedentariness because many work tasks necessitate sitting. Few sustained solutions exist to reverse workplace sedentariness. Here, we evaluated a chair and an under-table device that were designed to promote fidgeting while seated. Our hypothesis was that an under-table leg-fidget bar and/or a fidget-promoting chair significantly increased energy expenditure. We compared these devices with chair based exercise and walking.

Materials and methods:

We measured energy expenditure and heart rate in 16 people while they sat and worked using a standard chair, an under-desk device that encourages leg fidgeting and a fidget-promoting chair. We compared outcomes with chair based exercise and walking.


Energy expenditure increased significantly while using either an under-table leg-fidget bar or a fidget-promoting chair, when compared to the standard office chair (standard chair, 76±31 kcal/ hour; leg-fidget bar, 98±42 kcal/hour (p<0.001); fidget chair, 89±40 kcal/hour ( p=0.03)). However, heart rate did not increase significantly in either case. Bouts of exercise performed while seated provided energetic and heart rate equivalency to walking at 2 mph.


Chairs and devices that promote fidgeting can increase energy expenditure by ?20–30% but not increase heart rate. Dynamic sitting may be among a lexicon of options to help people move more while at work.

New Findings

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