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Americans spend more than half their waking hours sitting — primarily watching TV, driving and working at a desk

Humans are animals just like any other species – our bodies have evolved to be in constant move. Our bodies require regular exercise to stay fit and healthy.

This has shown throughout the evolution of our species – gathering plants and berries, hunting wild animals, farming crops. It all requires physical exertion. But lately our environment has changed greatly. Physically demanding professions have slowly changed to office jobs where you sit all day long sipping coffee and doing paperwork.

But our bodies and genes haven’t had time to get used to this sudden change. I will shortly explain to you why you should consider using a treadmill desk instead of sitting like you are used to.

Sitting Is The New Smoking

You have most likely already heard the news. Sitting is the new smoking. While most newspapers have already written an article or two about it, the general workforce still continues to work sitting with little consideration given to standing or using treadmill desks.

Sitting inactivates and weakens glutes and other muscles and can lead to health issues over the long-term such as lower back pain.

Your fat burning rate slows down.

Your risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases also rises from extended sitting periods of several hours.

Death risk rises 11 % per every hour you sit.

Health Benefits of Using A Treadmill Desk

Exercise has been proven to bring lots of health benefits, even if it’s slow walking.

Your blood pressure will lower, reduced stress levels and lower risk of type 2 diabetes and death.

As an added bonus your mood and productivity will increase.

This is great news!

Who doesn’t want to be happy? If your employer is hesitant to the idea of standing desks or treadmill desks, the fact it will improve productivity and indirectly absences from work due to decreased health issues of employees should help in convincing to get the message across.

According to a study walking increases productivity by 60 %.

Proponents of walking include the former CEO and founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, and CEO founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg who are known to conduct walking meetings.

Just as little as walking 2 minutes per an hour is enough to reduce risk of death by 33 %.

Getting Started Using A Treadmill Desk

What to consider when using a treadmill desk?

At first your productivity will decrease since you are not yet used to walking while doing work. After a while though it will become rudimentary and your productivity will increase higher than what it was before using a treadmill desk.

How Fast Should I Walk?

Walking too fast becomes easily a distraction and interferes with your work. Start slowly and only increase your speed if you feel like you can do so without interrupting your work productivity.

If walking is becoming a distraction, interfering with your work or making you sweat, it’s a sign you are walking too fast and ought to slow down.

Walking slower actually makes you work more efficiently since you won’t be moving so much forward and back.

What Are The Downsides of Treadmill Desks?

Treadmill desks aren’t all too perfect. They take up a lot of space, are expensive and they make noise which can disrupt others working at the office.

They can also fatigue you over time which means you should use them just a couple hours at a time instead the whole work day (this can also be a plus for your employer since he won’t have to buy so many desks).

And lastly, do take into consideration treadmill desks are not a replacement for exercise but more of an aid for productivity. Your body still needs its share of heavy exercise.

What Can I Do If My Employer Doesn’t Get Me A Standing Desk or A Treadmill Desk

Okay, you might now be asking me ”But what if my employer doesn’t get me standing desk or a treadmill desk?”.

Don’t worry. The game is not entirely lost yet.

If you absolutely have to sit 8 hours a day, five days a week there are still some precautions you can take.

Change your position every once in a while and take a 10 minute break once in an hour. Stand for a while. Go for a walk. Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to exit the building and go for a stroll in the woods or the nearest park. Simply walking to a toilet, a coffee machine or even to talk to your colleagues will do just fine.

Conclusion

Sitting is one of the new pertinent causes of health risks of modern society. Standing and walking part of the day, or at least once in an hour for a few minutes at the very minimum, can reduce your health risks significantly.

Walking increases productivity and creativity but should be done at a slow rate to not to become a distraction for working. If walking is distracting your work, making you sweat or out of breath, you are walking too fast and need to slow down.

Be sure to check out the next article on recommendations which treadmill desks you should buy. Subscribe to the newsletter to be notified and be the first to read it!

Are you sitting 40 hours a week at your work? Have you tried or discussed standing or walking instead of sitting at your workplace? Leave your opinions and experiences below!

Image Credit: Derivative of Treadmill in! by Juhan Sonin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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