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treadmill desk

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A treadmill desk is a workstation that is designed to allow the user to walk on a treadmill as they work on a laptop or desktop computer.

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. 

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This was last updated in September 2013

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I started using the treadmill desk 2 years ago in 2012 - by far the best I could have done to improve my health. I still use it on a daily basis, 3 to 4 hours on average per day. The two most important to remember are desk height (elbows should be at 90 degree angle and resting on the desk, and pace of the treadmill cannot exceed 2 miles per hour. For more info, visit my friend's website: http://walkandwork.co.za/
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