IN THIS BLOG POST …
- Too much sitting can hurt our health, leading to increased risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
- Treadmill workstations has grown in popularity as more of us work longer hours.
- The results about treadmill workstations imporoving productivity are mixed.
- We provide our insights working at a treadmill workstation.
Consider standing more while you work at a computer, and if your office has a treadmill workstation, test it out. You might find a boost in productivity and your health.
If you’re like most of us, you work many hours a day. Often this work involves a lot of sitting, which overtime can have a tremendous impact on our health. In one of the largest studies to date involving almost 800,000 people, the researchers found that people who sat the longest had a:
- 112% increase in risk of diabetes
- 147% increase in cardiovascular events
- 90% increase in death caused by cardiovascular events
- 49% increase in death from any cause
Another study found that women and men who reported sitting more than 6 hrs/day were 37% and 18%, respectively, more likely to die during the study period than those who sat fewer than 3 hrs/day. And another study of approximately 222,500 men and women 45 years of age and older found those who sat 11 or more hours per day were 40% more likely to die within three years than those who sat less. Minimizing sitting can help improve body economy.
Sitting’s Double-Edged Sword
For millions of years, the human body squatted rather than sat – this was the normal posture one compatible with overall health. Over the last few thousand of years, we have made a bad move by sitting more and squatting less.
Generally speaking, sitting can result in two separate patterns impacting our health:
1. Metabolic Issues: For many years, scientists have been studying people who spend more time sitting, demonstrating various aspects our metabolism can become impaired. They have found that sitting affects our body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down fat. This in turn increases our likelihood of being overweight or obese, as well as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and can be the mechanism that can lead to early death. Too much sitting can literally deform blood vessels.
2. Biomechanics: Prolonged sitting may induce muscle imbalance, tendon and ligament impairment, and joint stress. Sitting places the pelvis in a stressful position causing the whole spine to twist, flex and extend in order to compensate for the unnatural position. This in turn affects the joints (in particular) along with the shoulders, arms, thighs, and legs. To keep the body from getting too twisted the muscles try their best to compensate – some get tighter while other muscles get weaker – which in turn has a bad effect on posture and gait. This is the reason that increased sitting can cause, contribute to, or maintain a physical injury.
Finding Ways to Reduce the Amount of Sitting
Clearly finding ways to reduce sitting can be a smart goal with positive health benefits. And given the number of hours we work a day, it’s not surprising that more office workers are searching for options that let them sit less and get more activity into their work day. Some office workers have turned to treadmill desks or workstations for the solution.
Treadmill desks not only help you increase daily activity, but there is some research that found treadmill workstations improve productivity. However, other research seems to report the opposite results.
At Kraive our passion is health and wellness so it’s no surprise that we have a treadmill workstation in our office. In fact this blog post was written at our treadmill workstation.
Here is our personal experience working at a treadmill workstation:
– When we switched to a standing workstation from a sitting workstation, we noticed an improvement in productivity. We have yet to notice an improvement in productivity since we installed our treadmill workstation; however we have also not noticed a decline in productivity.
– We found it took us a while to get used to walking while working, and some tasks, even after three months of daily use, we still cannot do while the treadmill is moving. These tasks mostly include graphic design work and some typing work. We recognize that this might change in time as we get more used to working while walking.
– Although the treadmill we selected is less noisy than other treadmills we were considering, it’s still a bit noisy and we find we often need to stop the treadmill to make phone calls.
Nevertheless since installing the treadmill workstation we feel better about ourselves and less guilty if we need to miss a workout because of work. Although we may not be able to do all our work while the treadmill is moving, it still provides us with many benefits and we are grateful we spent the money to install one in our office. We believe every office should have at least one treadmill workstation.
health iQ tip(s): Consider standing more while you work at a computer, and if your office has a treadmill workstation, test it out. You might find a boost in productivity and your health.
health iQ tip(s): If you’re experiencing nausea, try adding fresh ginger to your favorite post-workout protein shake or boil water and fresh ginger to make a delicious and soothing tea.
Sources for this blog post include: