In the quest to get lean, every calorie counts.
But in a quest not to get fat, calories mean almost as much. Obesity statistics show that even a small daily positive energy balance (between 15 and 50 calories) can lead to serious increases in body fat over time. One painless way to move your daily calories from the black to the red is using an exercise ball instead of a computer chair. In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, scientists found that the demand placed on the core muscles when subjects sat on a ball burned about 16 extra calories over four hours. The effort was incidental and did not decrease the comfort or productivity of the sitter. It doesn’t sound like much, but it doesn’t take much effort either. And whether you’re trying to get ripped, or just want to stave off age-related weight gain, every little bit helps.