Office Treadmill Ready to Blend Work, Fitness
> 5/17/2007 11:17:16 AM

In what must surely be one of the most anomalous responses to our ever-present fight with obesity, Minnesota's Mayo Clinic has announced the release of the "vertical workstation," a machine designed to serve as both cubicle and cardio exercise machine. The H-shaped frame of the mobile device hovers over a treadmill and features surfaces for a monitor, mousepad and keyboard as well as (in a frankly ridiculous addition): Slats provid(ing) storage for personal items such as flower vase, cup holder, pen holder or paper tray. Family photos may be relegated to the traditional desk.

While the device's construction limits its usage - one could hardly expect a worker to man a computer station while jogging at even a modest 4 mph clip - researchers suggest that, when used two to three hours each work day, the workstation could provide a key calorie-burning resource for employees looking to slim their waistlines without compromising their productivity or losing precious free time. The equation is not quite perfect, but in clinical trials, obese employees did burn nearly 200 calories  per hour while using the machine (as opposed to only 70 calories while seated). One journalist's personal attempt to combine cardio workout and composition failed miserably, but she was unable to test her hypothesis on Mayo's newest invention. It seems obvious that retaining one's focus on research projects, typing assignments, and important conversations while walking at any significant pace presents a challenge that will prove difficult for most employees. And the fact that those participating in the clinical study walked at a pace of only one mile per hour makes the project seem slightly less efficient. But the idea is not as unrealistic as it might appear. For those whose weight problems will inevitably lead to further complications, a (very) light workout each weekday could make a significant difference in regulating healthy heart, lung and digestive functions. Further studies may even reveal that it could be in the best interests of certain companys to invest the $1,600 required for each machine.

So researchers at Mayo came up with a cute idea, and they clearly have their hearts in the right place. If only it weren't for that stubborn concept of practicality...


I think this is a great idea for businesses to start implementing these types office treadmills into the work zone for those employees who would wish to use them. No doubt obesity is a problem for many people stuck in an office chair all day. I know because for about 6 years I have done nothing but office type jobs and steadily gained wieght. I got up to about 199 lbs. when I should really only weigh about 175 to 180. I recently started a construction job where I am getting a LOT of phisical activity and I have dropped about 8 lbs. in a mere 3 wks. I think it would be great to offer a fittness room for employees to go workout over lunch and short breaks. It is nearly impossible for most people to get up early to go workout. Not to mention there is just never enought time to go workout over lunch or after work. And if you have kids or evening activities, forget it. So you are bound to get more and more overweight and out of shape. I hope to see these machines or wellness rooms at more and more offices!! How else are we going to do it??
Posted by: Recovery Dude 5/22/2007 12:07:50 PM

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