Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

Walk While You Work

from the workout-in-the-cube dept

I don't know if this is normal or not, but I prefer to stand (and walk) when I'm on the phone -- and there are times when I prefer to stand while typing as well. Apparently, I'm not alone. While there are some arguments about how much of the obesity problem is really caused by sitting and staring at screens all day, obviously it doesn't help the situation. With office workers, finding time to work out can definitely be an issue, and some researchers at the Mayo Clinic decided to try to redesign the cubicle to fight obesity. It includes a special treadmill desk that will let you type away, while walking at a slow, but still worthwhile, pace. The walking keeps you active, but isn't so fast as to make the person sweat or get in the way of their work. The other aspects of the obesity fighting office don't actually seem much different than your typical office these days, including an area to walk around the building to keep people moving while meeting, white boards to get people to stand up (um... those are quite common actually) and a hockey goal in the cubicle to encourage people to take shots while talking to you (I think the nerf basketball basket is a bit more common -- but same concept). Still, the treadmill desk does sound pretty innovative. It also seems like it could be more ergonomic than having people sit in chairs all day long. They're in the process of talking to companies to get them to make the treadmill desk commercially -- but if anyone wants some beta testers, feel free to send a few of those suckers to Techdirt's offices.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Jun 7th, 2005 @ 7:48pm

    But can you think?

    Can you debug code while walking? I know I cannot do advanced math equations and swim at the same time -- rather dangerous, in fact.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Shawn, Jun 7th, 2005 @ 7:56pm

    No Subject Given

    Maybe they saw Woody Allen's Bananas. There's a great scene where he demonstrates a desk with resistance bars, weights, stationary bike, and a basketball hoop to help with the relexes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    admin, Jun 7th, 2005 @ 9:49pm

    others may hate you

    when I worked on a trading desk I spent much of the day standing with phone in hand and it annoyed the
    hell out of other people who were made nervous by
    my standing up. And those were the days I didn't
    bring the bloody axe to work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    data64, Jun 8th, 2005 @ 2:53am

    Replacing the chair

    One related trend that seems to be catching on at the place I work is to use an exercise ball instead of a chair.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    StevenJ, Jun 9th, 2005 @ 5:12am

    Re: But can you think?

    The cubicle treadmill should be a perfect fit at many companies ... they already have employees who are convinced they are running in place and not getting anywhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Barb, Sep 9th, 2005 @ 5:14am

    treadmill computer workstation combo

    Where can I get one!!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    wincha, Dec 25th, 2006 @ 7:54pm

    I'd love to do this but who would pay for it? How much would it cost? How expensive would be to hook up my pc and phone. I talk on the phone and work at my computer all day and work for an insurance company. Great idea! But who pays and how much? Does anyone sell a low cost treadmill that doesn't take that much space? Cubes are not that big.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    joyce blakeman, Feb 1st, 2007 @ 5:52am

    Re: treadmill desks

    I noticed your message about treadmill desks and the questions you had which are ones (we) have. Did you get any answers esp who is manufacturing these and how to order one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Jay Buster, Jun 9th, 2007 @ 7:25pm

    Build Your Own Treadmill Desk

    Hello from atop my Treadmill, I have a blog devoted entirely to the “Treadmill Desk”. It’s designed to guide users in the design, construction and operation of their Treadmill Desks. I don’t sit at my “normal” desk anymore unless I have to, like when I’m doing my tax return and there’s lots of papers. Here's the URL: Don’t miss the movies and slide shows! Thanks, Jay Buster

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    ToniD, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 1:47pm

    Re: treadmill computer workstation combo

    You can't get one--nobody has gone to market yet with this idea, although it's clearly just a matter of time. You have to make your own.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Sue, Apr 10th, 2008 @ 2:32pm

    It Works

    I have been at a treadmill desk of my own now for 2 months. First, it works. I had back issues that have disappeared. I sleep like a baby at night and during the day I feel like I am on drugs....the good kind, endorphins. I walk 6 - 8 miles a day in my home office and sweating is not an issue unless I want to ramp it up a little while I am reading on the internet. I have lost 18 pounds already so I am a convert. The cost of the WalkStation is a concern for me but there is another product that offers more flexibility to use you own treadmill during the day as a desk and for exercise after work. It is called the TrekDesk. Pricing isnt set yet but it states on the TrekDesk website that it is going to be very affordable. They also are offering a pretty snazzy exercise ball chair that swings onto the treadmill (or off) for those moments when you have to sit. The website is and has a lot of information on studies which focus on the long term benefits of walking. Hope this helps.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Sean, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 3:39pm

    Thanks for the info on the TrekDesk, it seems to be the best treadmill desk option out there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    asdf, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Re: But can you think?

    That is when you sit down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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