For many of us who hold a full time sit down job, our physical activity levels have nearly disappeared from our lives. A recent study looked at an interesting way to put some activity back into a group of sedentary adults lives. The idea was simple: Find out whether wearing casual comfortable clothing affected how much people moved around during the workday.
Most business clothing and shoes are not conducive to movement and actually feel constrictive. For example, if you were a woman wearing high heels you would be less likely to take the stairs versus the elevator. This results in less overall activity and less calories burned.
Everyone in the study was allowed to wear casual shoes and clothes to work. On days they wore casual clothing they burned an average of 10% more calories during the workday and walked more steps and miles.
Other studies have used the same protocol and found similar results. Some corporate offices are encouraging dressing down as part of their wellness programs. The facts and figures don’t lie. If you wear casual clothes for 50 weeks you would burn up about 125 more calories per week and 6250 per year. Since 3500 calories are needed to burn one pound of fat, wearing casual clothing to work could prevent an average of 1.8 lbs of fat gain per year.