There is a mounting debate in executive circles about the efficacy, efficiency, and economic advantages of a change from standard desks to treadmill and standing desks. Finally. We have been banging this drum since 2008 and although the concept of getting employees up and out of their chairs for their health is not yet mainstream it is certainly on the radar screen.

 

 

Change is slow, painfully slow in this case where the merits are so scientifically evident. There are literally hundreds of studies indicting sedentary lifestyles as public enemy number one, leading to obesity, heart disease, cancers, diabetes – you name the disease and sitting exacerbates the risks.

 

 

 

Scientists have also pointed out the incredible benefits of walking a minimum of five miles per day (the average American walks less than half of this amount) in terms of mood elevation, weight loss, disease prevention, increases in cognitive ability, and boosts in energy levels. Yet for some reason executives at major corporations have been loathe to connect the health risks of sitting and the benefits of movement with a clear direction that would remove employees from the shackles of office cubicles.

 

Why?

 

Microscope treadmill Desk

 

Money? Lack of concern? Scientific disputes? Proof of concept?

 

Nope. While all over the above objections play a major role in the initial objection to standing and treadmill desks, we have witnessed a larger hurdle.

 

 

Ignorance.

 

 

 

While standing desks and treadmill desks have received a lot of attention in the press they are not yet a “hot topic” in the circles of CEO’s. A lot of executives are still in the dark as to the necessity to get their employees up and moving. Oddly, the same can still be said for a large number of health experts and physicians.

 

 

Articles like FastcoDesign’s “Everything Science Knows Right Now About Standing Desks” go largely unnoticed in boardrooms. Even their comprehensive list of benefits to moving and standing desks, while helpful, leaves out a large number of studies and additional benefits.

 

 

We would argue that the multitude of studies outlining the health benefits of walking in general should be added into the debate, since this is what a treadmill desk fosters: the ability to walk slowly the entire day if desired.  The FastcoDesign article sighted 23 studies on “active desks” and their impact on physiological health and psychological performance. That’s a very small sampling of available information despite their positive reflections.

 

 

As an example, which seems more important – the fact that treadmill desk use raised heart beats an average of 12 beats more per minute more than sitting desks or the fact that walking 10,000 steps per day (along with a healthy lifestyle) would (according to the American Heart Association) reduce the risk of initial heart attacks in this country by 90%?

 

 

What seems more mission critical the health of our nation, a small study showing an average weight loss of 3-7 pounds annually among treadmill desk users or a 50% reduction in the alarming rate of Type II diabetes through walking and lifestyle changes? We have quite a few TrekDesk users who have lost in excess of 50-100 lbs by the way.

 

 

Why the focus on scientific minutiae when broad range implications are so readily available and obvious? We are not blaming the FastcoDesign article understand, in fact we applaud it for listing a number of the distinct advantages of raising employees out of their chairs. We simply want to accelerate the dialogue to basic “big-picture” facts.

 

 

1.  Sitting Kills – Pure and simple.

2.  Movement Heals.

3.  We are a sedentary society and that needs to change.

4.  Walking improves concentration, productivity and creativity.

 

 

Stepping back to look at this bigger picture combined with a leadership backdrop that is willing to embrace science will propel this movement much faster.

 

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