Combining Work And Exercise With The Treadmill Desk

By: Lisa Gerald

Exercise and fitness have taken a backseat in the face of work. More jobs today are desk-based or involve remaining in a static position for long periods. This has led to back problems and weight issues with the former accounting for the second most common reason why workers take sick days off.

It's true that we can all dedicate some time for workouts. That would mean learning to manage time very efficiently. And, while it sounds quite easy to do, other responsibilities crop up which force us to skip much-needed exercise. But, there's a way to balance the need for exercise with work. It may not burn as many calories as a dedicated workout session but is far better than skipping it altogether.

Treadmill desks have become popular office equipments that allow users to work while using the treadmill. A desk is integrated into the treadmill to accommodate personal computers, laptops, telephones and other office equipment.

The workout users get is not level with a good cardio workout as the treadmill isn't ordinarily used to run on. Rather, users walk at a pace of one to two miles. Despite this slow pace, however, it's estimated that between 100 and 300 calories can be burned every hour. This can translate into weight loss of more than 20 kilos a year.

Conventional treadmills can be converted into treadmill desks with some know-how. Else, they can be purchased for a price of less than $100 to high-end equipment exceeding $4,000. Whichever type is purchase, users can be guaranteed better health with regular usage.

Properly designed treadmill desks make exercising easier by minimizing noise, injuries to the knees which can occur with poorly designed equipment, and have speed settings that vary from below a mile an hour to over five.

Inactivity and health

Physical inactivity has been linked to a number of health problems. Top of the list is obesity which aside from lowering confidence in people, contributes to Type II diabetes. Here, blood sugar and insulin levels can't be managed properly and can hinder living an ordinary lifestyle. Heart disease is another whose risks can be lowered by the simple act of walking everyday for 30 minutes.

According to experts, people who exercise regularly but spend long periods of time sitting can develop cancer faster than those who don't. Inactivity causes the body's metabolism to change, they say, which produces biomarkers linked to cancer. This is cause for worry since today's workers spend a large chunk of their days sitting down at their desks.

Many small periods of activity like getting up to deliver mail to a colleague rather than emailing it, walking around while speaking on the phone and texting, and going down to the cafeteria for a snack rather than having it brought to your station can reduce the odds of developing the health problems listed above.

Buying tips

If you work from home or have a choice in choosing your own treadmill desk at work, look for one that's able to deliver different speed settings. This is very important as there will be times when you'll want to go for a run or tone down the pace to a leisurely stroll. If you don't intend to purchase a whole new unit, look for a treadmill desk that fits over the arms of your existing treadmill.

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