Walking at Work

Now for some Friday fun.

Time for some exercise! The holidays are over. And so are the marathon feasts of turkey, leftover turkey, cornbread, eggnog, candy canes, gingerbread cookies, and all manner of tasty treats.

Oh, but you have no time for exercise? Stuck in your cube at work all day? Well, your prayers are answered! And you can thank Dr. James Levine for it.

According to Mandy Katz’s article in the NY Times, “I Put In 5 Miles at the Office“, Levin “led a study showing that lean people burn about 350 more calories a day than those who are overweight, by doing ordinary things like fidgeting, pacing or walking to the copier.” Inspired by this finding, he constructed a treadmill desk by sliding a bedside hospital tray over a treadmill. So claims the article:

Without breaking a sweat, the so-called work-walker can burn an estimated 100 to 130 calories an hour at speeds slower than two miles an hour, Mayo research shows.

After leaving the military two years ago, Kirk Hurley, 40, a customer service representative at Mutual of Omaha, gained 75 pounds. In two months of work-walking two hours a day, he has lost 16 pounds.

“You don’t really feel the physical strain on your body because your mind’s occupied with your work,” he said.

Quite a feat, huh? Levine even worked with Steelcase to manufacture this as a consumer product, called the Walkstation. It’s not cheap, however. As of this entry, it’s going for a hefty $4,999.00. Yikes. I think I’d rather use a bedside hospital tray and a regular treadmill.

Even though Levine wasn’t the first one with this idea – Seth Roberts, an emeritus professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, created a treadmill desk in 1996 – his research popularized this fitness technique quite a bit. It has even inspired a blog and social network. Another blogger & office walker (as they’re known) decided to build his own treadmill desk from scratch.

Pretty wild stuff. It’s certainly not for everyone, though. A director of ergonomics noted that “if you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, this may not be the workstation for you.”

Can you just imagine the chaos and hilarity that would ensue from uncoordinated coworkers colliding into cubicle walls? Come to think of it, that would be pretty awesome to see. I can think of a few uncoordinated coworkers I’d like to see on a treadmill desk. Hehe.

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

One thought on “Walking at Work”

  1. this sounds like a fun way to keep in shape while making a living as a pro blogger! do you do this?

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