Why not get a good workout while you’re at work?

Scranton Times Tribune reports on the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk: There is no secret to health and wellness. Current wisdom tells us that the food you eat, what you drink, whether you smoke, and how you live in terms of handling stress and getting enough physical activity have a direct effect on your health. Unfortunately, many Americans work too hard and long and are unable to find enough time for family and exercise. Well, technology might be ready to help.

Last month, while playing 18 holes of golf with Roland Greco, he mentioned that he had read about a new piece of equipment that looked like a treadmill with a desk. The aptly named TrekDesk allows the user to walk slowly and at minimal elevation on a treadmill with an attached desk and workstation. It’s designed for both home and commercial office use.

The configuration enables the worker to answer a phone, work on a computer, read and write while walking on a treadmill. For those unable to walk for an extended period of time, a seat on a balance ball is available as an option; with this, you can sit and move your feet in a walking motion while working. Or, throughout the day you can alternate standing and sitting while moving your feet.

While walking slowly — 1 mph — for six to eight hours may not be as good as a brisk walk or a 45-minute run, it is much better than sitting idle all day. It’s not surprising that early data show standing is much more productive than sitting on the device.

Some owners report walking two hours a day at 1 mph for three weeks, burning 470 calories and losing 10 pounds. Some report a weight loss of about a pound per week.

Remember the U.S. surgeon general’s “10,000 Steps (5 Miles) a Day” initiative? The TrekDesk certainly makes this goal possible.

Many famous people — among them, Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf and Donald Rumsfeld — have found standing a healthier and more comfortable option than sitting while working.

The TrekDesk, according to the manufacturer, can attach to any treadmill that has at least 6-inch parallel rails, and can be adjusted for various heights for standing or sitting. Its accessories include manuscript and book stands, stacking trays, a phone stand, a cup holder and a vertical file attachment.

If you’re still not convinced that regular exercise is worth the trouble, consider the advantages. Researchers have found that the benefits of regular physical activity are numerous:

■ Weight lost or at least maintained.

■ Control of insulin levels.

■ Reduced LDL and increased HDL cholesterol.

■ Improved circulation and blood pressure.

■ Less risk of heart disease.

■ Prevention of bone loss.

■ Reduced stress and muscle tension.

■ Lowered risk of depression.

■ Improved sleep.

■ Improved strength and flexibility.

■ Improved balance and less risk of falls.

■ Improved immune system.

■ Improved pain threshold.

ON THE NET: www.trekdesk.com

PAUL J. MACKAREY, P.T., D.H.Sc., O.C.S., is a doctor in health sciences specializing in orthopedic and sports physical therapy. He is in private practice and is an affiliated faculty member at the University of Scranton Physical Therapy Department. His column appears every Monday. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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