We are often asked about the health benefits of using the TrekDesk treadmill desk and our answer often surprises people when we start listing the curative powers of walking on the human body.
We have listed the health benefits of using a treadmill desk here but first it is important to understand that as overwhelmingly positive the results are it all boils down to one thing: movement.
For professions and lifestyles that promote activity and keep employees out of chairs for a majority of the day a treadmill desk is simply not necessary. Our goal from the start has been to educate Americans as to the health hazards of sitting and encourage them to think creatively as to how to move more during the day. TrekDesk is there for those that are chained to a desk all day and are challenged by sedentary environments throughout their lives.
Even fitness professionals and physicians are surprised to learn that the normal health guidelines fed to Americans over the past few decades have been challenged by a new breed of sedentary scientists that are urging a greater focus on inactivity levels than on activity itself.Sound counter- intuitive? Let’s examine that a little more.
The Surgeon General advises that Americans strive for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week to maintain health. That breaks down to about 21.4 minutes per day. That represents 1.5% of a total day or to be fair 2.23% allowing for 8 hours of sleep. So the Surgeon General, the leading health authority in the land, is recommending Americans exercise for just 2.23% of the day? See a problem with that 150 minute recommendation now?
We aren’t picking on the Surgeon General just pointing out why so many people are confused and misled about the correlation between activity and health. The government also suggests Americans walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day to maintain health. At an average walking speed of 3 mph that takes about 1.67 hours (100 minutes). Giving them the benefit of the doubt we can add in the 1.67 hours of daily walking to the 20 minutes of recommended exercise (in reality these two are one in the same) and we have 2 hours of activity in a 16 hour day as the optimum governmentally suggested health goal. Still sounds wrong doesn’t it?
It should. Scientists are proving that sitting for just 15-20 minutes starts some nasty health issues unless we are able to get up and move for at least brief 5 minute intervals. How nasty? How about lowering arterial flow by as much as 50%, spiking glucose levels and decreasing essential health enzymes levels. We have written a lot about these health hazards in our Research Section and broken it down into specific categories of health.
Not to rain on the parade of those of you who work out daily but the health risks above (and a whole lot more) pertain to you as well should your workouts be followed by a day spent in sedentary environments. The message is simple but confusing to many. Sitting is bad and it is impossible to exercise your way out of its damaging health repercussions. Unless? Unless you structure the day in a manner that avoids sitting for more than 20 minutes without standing up and moving for at least a five minute interval.
As doom and gloom as this paramount health tenent of limited sitting time appears there is a definite silver lining to those that heed its principle. So let’s take a look at the more positive side of the coin.
The Health Benefits of Activity
Walking on a treadmill desk, walking down the street, walking down the hall, walking in place – it all counts the same. If you are chained to a desk and the office won’t allow a TrekDesk the simple act of rising every 20 minutes and walking back and forth in your cubicle pays tremendous dividends. Locked in by a brutal Wisconsin winter and feel like you won’t have a fitness opportunity until Spring? Walk in place while you watch the Packers, your body won’t know the difference between Green Bay or Cozumel. It all counts the same. Squats, knee raises, jumping jacks, toe raises, arm swirls – any bodily movement to break the 20 minute sitting spell is extremely powerful in maintaining health.
Live Longer: We aren’t making this up. Walking actually helps your telomeres (think of them as the end caps holding your genes in place) avoid fraying on the ends and spiraling faster toward ill health and old age.
Reduce Fat Cells: Sitting can increase the amount of fat cells in the body by as much as 50%. Your body is constantly replacing aging cells at a rate of every 3 months and monitoring your activity and dietary practices to decide which cells you need the most. If you are sitting all the time that triggers and evolutionary production response indicative of an individual who is injured or needs to conserve calories. End result? A lot more fat cells being produced making it near impossible for individuals to keep their weight in check.
Boost the Brain and Prevent Dementia: Did you know obesity actually has been shown to shrink brain size and greatly increase the odds of Alzheimer’s and dementia? Before going on a crash diet you should also know that even active overweight individuals do not suffer the same risk levels. Walking has been shown to boost cognitive capabilities and reduce the risk of common brain maladies. That in itself should be enough to get people out of their chairs.
Walking Decreases the Risk of Every Major Chronic Health Category: That includes heart disease, cancers, stroke, diabetes and a host of diseases impacting every facet of the human body.
60 of the Top Health Reasons to Start Moving: From glaucoma to cancers, stress to depression, heart disease to osteoporosis – we have listed some of the more recognizable benefits of getting out of the office chair or home couch and moving more during the day.