Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The treadmill desk -- coming soon to an office near you

New Weight-Loss Focus: The Lean and the Restless - New York Times

A researcher studying idiosyncratic non-exercise activity and weight loss installs a treadmill desk:
... At meetings, he stands instead of sitting. Talking on the telephone, he paces around. In his office he has a treadmill in place of a desk. He got it last year when he saw the data from the study comparing lean people and obese ones.

'My computer is stationed over the treadmill,' he said. 'I work at 0.7 miles an hour.'

A stand-up desk might seem simpler, but he prefers the treadmill.

'Standing still is quite difficult,' he said. 'You have a natural tendency to want to move your legs. Zero point seven is the key. You don't get sweaty, you can't jiggle too much. It's about one step a second. It's very comfortable. Most people seem to like it around 0.7.'
I've seen a few people in our office sitting on a large ball while working -- keeping stable would certainly burn calories. This takes things to the next step. I'd read that he'd done this, but I hadn't seen the speed setting -- 1 step a second seems quite pleasant.

All of can practice standing at meetings. Lose weight and get the meeting done faster ..

I wonder how long it will take to turn the "treadmill desk" into a commercial product. When that happens perhaps employers would consider paying for them through employee FlexPlan coverage.

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