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Treadmill Desks: Do They Work?

Treadmill desk

Treadmill desk

It has become common knowledge in the working world that the healthier and happier a company’s employees are, the better it is for the company. Since many illnesses can be directly or indirectly attributed to a person’s overall fitness, the more overweight and out of shape an employee is, the more likely it is that they’ll miss work for being sick. And because we know that the immune systems of obese people are not as strong as those who eat well and exercise regularly, many companies are pulling out all the stops to get their employees fit and healthy. Weight loss incentives, gym discounts, and even visits from dieticians are become commonplace.

But perhaps the most innovative wight loss incentive of all? Treadmill desks.

What’s a treadmill desk?

A treadmill desk combines a workstation with a treadmill that is set to a constant speed of approximately one mile per hour (the same pace at which you would walk across a room or down a hall). The desk itself is stationed at a height that is perfect for the user, enabling them to continuously walk while they are working. Users are able to do all of the tasks that they did at traditional desks including using the computer, taking notes, and making phone calls. And with the easy 1-mile per hour pace, balance and dexterity are not jeopardized.

Do they work?

Treadmill desks do work! In fact, the desks’ creator, Dr. James Levine of the esteemed Mayo Clinic, found that his study subjects burned approximately 100 extra calories per hour more than those who sat at a traditional desk. Given this, Dr. Levine believes that after 8 hours a day at a treadmill desk, a weight loss of 57 pounds could be achieved in a year!

Testimonials all over the Internet confirm that this walk-while-you-work revolution is a home run. Lost pounds, increased energy, greater focus and renewed enthusiasm for their jobs have all been reported by treadmill desk users. Even the crew at Good Morning America found the desks to be amusing and easy to work with, as seen in this video:

The bottom line

If yours is a progressive company that has a marked interest in employee health, schedule a chat with HR to discuss investing in these desks. Even if your company’s budget is tight, consider purchasing a few of these as incentives (top salesperson, CSR with highest customer satisfaction rate, etc). Once the idea catches on, you may find employee productivity and morale trending up – a win-win for all.

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