Working Hard or Hardly Working: Why Desk Jobs are a Killer
By Kai Colvin - Senior Medical Research Editor | December 17th, 2011
Are you working hard or hardly working to be healthy?
With the everyday, alluring temptations, the average working individual may have a hard time adjusting to a healthy routine in order to stay fit. Keeping your feet on pace with the strokes you impose on your keyboard can be a challenge.
The fact is, working people all over the world sit too much and move a whole lot less, which can prove to be quite harmful to your waistline and overall health.
James Levine, the former British scientist centered at the Mayo Clinic took a significant look at the effects of spending too much time sitting down. It is not just corrupting your health – it has become a killer.
Technology appears to be locked-in on safeguarding our extremities from moving as little as possible. Computers, televisions, tablets and smart phones, with all due respect, are merely the ways so many of us execute our daily working tasks, but on the flip side, the overbearing weight of technology has inspired us to be lazier than ever before.
Levine further set out to record and grasp just how deadly the combination of sitting and technology can be. So, what was his grand idea? Instead of employees spending countless after-hours flexing at the gym…maybe they could exercise while working.
His plan first designated a walking track to be marked off in an office using carpet tape. Two employees walking together would wear colored badges indicating they were in a private meeting and were not to be disturbed.
Obviously, it’s clear that this strategy didn’t appeal to many employees, so Levine thought up the idea of treadmill desks, and since then, Levine’s genius has inspired offices to get off their behinds and onto their feet all around the world.
Salo, a financial recruitment firm in Minnesota, heard of Levine’s study and decided to get on-board and put Levine’s ideas to the real test.
“We installed our first treadmill desks back in 2007,” stated Salo's director of operations, Craig Dexheimer. “We put four in a conference room that can be used for walking meetings and six that can be used by anybody.”
The initial degree of skepticism among the employees was ultimately what made this project so interesting. Dexheimer added, “We tend to have between two and eight people at a time, but as there are only four treadmills in the conference room, people take it in turns and rotate every 10 minutes.”
At Salos, the treadmills have become a hit among employees. Treadmill desks and even standing desks are also growing in popularity across the United States and Australia, sparking a new in-office fitness trend.
“We have created such a sedentary society and it’s so deleterious to our physical and psychological health that people tend to go one of two ways,” says Levine. “Either they succumb to ill health, or else they find a means of becoming healthy.”
It is incredible just how apparent the correlation between exercise and health can be.
Here are 5 ways to make exercises part of your daily routine at work:
1. Commute – Walk or Bike to work if possible. Do you drive to work? You are not quite off the hook just yet. Park as far out in the parking lot as possible. A few extra steps to the door are exactly what you need to boost your day. 2. Stay on Your Feet – Look for opportunities to perform your daily tasks standing up. If you have succumbed to the popularity of instant messaging… take a walk!! Deliver the message on foot. 3. Lunch Break or Fitness Break? – Take a casual walk at lunchtime or do a few exercises to keep your feet moving. 4. Social Exercising – Encourage your co-workers to stay moving. Plan weekly fitness breaks and hold each other responsible for staying fit. 5. Invest in a Treadmill Desk – Trendy treadmill desks are a perfect way to live up to the hype. If your employer approves, try it out. If you can safely tread during a meeting or reading your email… it’s fit for you.
Mayo Clinic researchers approximate that any overweight office worker who exchanges sitting at the computer with walking computer time by two to three hours a day could lose 44 to 66 pounds in a year.
This article was written by the medical research team at WhereismyDoctor.com
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