Introduction: Modifying sedentary television (TV) watching behaviors by stepping in place during commercials (TV commercial stepping) could increase physical activity and energy expenditure.
Purpose: The study’s purpose was to determine the energy cost of TV commercial stepping and to quantify the amount of activity (number of steps and minutes) performed during 1 h of TV commercial stepping.
Methods: In part 1, 23 adults (27.8 ± 7.0 yr) had their energy expenditure measured at rest, sitting, standing, stepping in place, and walking at 3.0 mph on the treadmill. The second part of this study involved 1 h of sedentary TV viewing and 1 h of TV commercial stepping. Actual steps were counted with a hand tally counter.
Results: There were no differences (P = 0.76) between the caloric requirements of reclining rest (79 ± 16 kcal·h−1) and sedentary TV viewing (81 ± 19 kcal·h−1). However, stepping in place (258 ± 76 kcal·h−1), walking at 3.0 mph on the treadmill (304 ± 71 kcal·h−1), and 1 h of TV commercial stepping (148 ± 40 kcal·h−1) had a higher caloric requirement than either reclining rest or sedentary TV viewing (P < 0.001). One hour of TV commercial stepping resulted in an average of 25.2 ± 2.6 min of physical activity and 2111 ± 253 steps.
Conclusions: Stepping in place during commercials can increase the energy cost and amount of activity performed during TV viewing.