The most common reason that people give for not exercising is lack of time. Many people work at least one full time job and care for family members on their “off” time. Even if we do have time for exercise, we are often too tired at the end of the day to do any physical activity. So wouldn’t it be great if you could complete your workout at the office? With a treadmill desk, or tread desk, some people are doing just that.
Walk While You Work
David Abrams, Vice President of Human Resources at North Memorial Medical Center has used a tread desk for seven months. He says that that using the device helps him get in a workout on days when he normally wouldn’t. He also says that using the treadmill desk helps him to enjoy a positive exercise experience during the day.
David didn’t purchase the tread desk himself. He found out that one had been in storage at his workplace. “I like to walk,” he says. “It seemed like a good, easy way to get in some extra exercise.” He asked hospital maintenance staff to assemble the device and has been using it daily ever since. He doesn’t stick to a specific schedule for using the active work station but simply gets on it whenever he is not in meetings or out of the office.
Benefits of Using a Tread Desk
The most obvious benefit of using a treadmill desk is that you burn more calories during the day. TrekDesk, a manufacturer of treadmill desks, says that people who use these active workstations burn 6-7 times more calories than their sedentary counterparts. They also point to a recent study from Brigham Young University which suggests that women who participate in moderate exercise during the day are less preoccupied with food.
In addition to the calorie burning effect, walking on a treadmill has several other benefits. It can reduce workday stress, improve the range of motion in your joints, and help you to sleep better at night. If you walk on a regular basis and get 150 minutes of moderate walking time during the week, you can also improve your overall health by decreasing your risk for conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
Create Your Own Healthy Work Space
If your workplace doesn’t have a designated tread desk, there are other options that will help you enjoy the benefits of workday exercise. Try to walk for at least 5-10 minutes of every hour. Set a timer on your desk to remind yourself to get out of your chair and get moving through hallways, on outdoor paths or even between cubicles. If you’re up for a challenge, find a set of stairs and climb a few flights to break up your day.
Encourage coworkers to get up and move around as well. Get creative and create a standing workstation that coworkers can share. Move an office computer to a counter height space and take turns spending an hour or so at the standing desk to decrease the time you spend sitting in a chair.