Fitness Articles

Casual Dress = Weight Loss Success

Fitness News Flash

A recent study from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse looked at the relationship between clothing and physical activity while at work. Researchers studied 53 people in a variety of professions and tracked both their daily activity (measured by pedometers) and how casually or professionally dressed they were.

Results showed that people took an average of 491 more steps each day if they wore casual clothing to work. That means that just by dressing comfortably, study subjects increased their daily calorie burns by eight percent!

Action Sparked
Take advantage of your company's casual Friday or business-casual dress code. The easiest way to increase comfort, even in a polished-professional environment, is to wear practical shoes. Dress for comfort and you’ll be more likely to walk to a co-worker's desk, take the stairs…even walk the dog when you get home (rather than just letting him out in the backyard). No casual days at work? Have your own casual evenings and weekends. Or better yet, leave a copy of this study on your boss's desk.

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Member Comments

  • Interesting. It may correlate with the fact that I am actually less productive at work when I am casually dressed - spend time flitting around the office but not sitting doing my job as well.
  • Interesting study. I know when we went to casual dress many years ago it was easier to walk to and from work and take walks during the day.
  • There are huge advantages to being a Physical Education teacher..EVERYDAY is a casual day!! Hee hee!
  • Totally true. Like today, my foot are swollen and my shoes are pinching so I know I'll avoid walking around too much.
  • I would say that correlation does not equal causation. I am a technician. If I wear a business suit to work, I cannot do my work, which is very active. I need to wear jeans and comfortable clothing. So, my work is more active, I wear more casual clothing. Meanwhile, my coworkers who sit behind desks wear less casual clothing and move less, because they are chained to their desks.

  • I often think about what I want to do, as far as exercise goes, and dress accordingly. If I even might do some strength or stretch or aerobic workouts at home, I opt for stretchy pants and not my jeans. Then I am one step farther along when the day starts at home.
  • Makes me really think I'll wear my running shoes even if I get a non-freelance job. (I usually wear comfy shoes to deal with bussing).
  • I find it interesting that the participants only got a little over 6000 steps. I know when I wear my pedometer, I feel really weird if I don't get at least 8000 in by the end of the day...
    My question is, do people move more because they are wearing the casual attire, or are they wearing casual attire because they have a job (like construction work or sales associate) that requires them to remain on their feet and moving. This article says they looked at different types of jobs. They would have to look at the same company and jobs and see if the employees move more on days they are allowed to dress casually for this to show that dressing casually equates to more movement.
  • I agree! For women I feel it has a lot to do with the shoes!
  • Without a doubt, I believe this. My usual attire for work is a suit, dress, or dress pants. As such, I wear A LOT of heels! Come Friday, I wear either my Clarks or my Dexters. Not only do I get more steps in, but they're also at a faster pace.

About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.