The idea behind the treadmill desk is to avoid long periods of sitting. An increasing number of jobs require extended periods of working at a computer, and extended periods of sitting have been correlated with poor health. Researchers at the University of Leicester and Loughborough University in England, for example, performed a meta-analysis of 18 studies, incorporating a total of 800,000 participants. Increased time sitting was found to predict a higher incidence of diabetes, heart disease and death. Furthermore, the study found that the risks were not offset by regular exercise at other times throughout the day.
Reported benefits of using a treadmill desk include improvements to metabolism, weight, stress levels, mental focus, blood sugar and glucose levels. For the employer, the benefits are said to include lower absenteeism and higher productivity.
Walking workstations are available with or without integrated treadmills. Treadmills that are specialized for use with desks are usually designed to go more slowly than standard models, with speeds starting at less than half a mile per hour up to perhaps 3 mph.
See a video about treadmill desks: