Get Outta That Chair

The biggest complaint from the SALO employees was that four walking desks weren't enough. So they brought in 12 more, including some for the conference room for walking meetings. At around $4,000, the treadmill desk isn't cheap. The average worker can't afford them, so some people have gotten creative, designing their own walking offices at home.

Sharon Odom, who lives in Houston, says her weight skyrocketed after the birth of her triplets. Working from home on her Internet consulting business, she felt like she would never lose the weight until she made her own walking desk from a leaf from her dining room table.

"And the weight just started to just melt away because it was so easy," she said.

Success

Odom said it was so easy that in a year and a half she has lost nearly 50 pounds.

And they've been successful at SALO too. Six months after installing the treadmill desks, the office staff has lost a total of nearly 200 pounds by walking just a few extra hours a day. Langer's down 12 pounds and three dress sizes.

Almost everyone reached his or her goal -- and then some. Folkestad is down 24 pounds and hopes to lose 50 more.

"I haven't changed my diet per se. So it's just really more activity," he said.

Levine says low-level activity is crucial to fighting chronic obesity.

"I would say for those people who do the best, it's about making a commitment to a lot of small adjustments," he said. "It's almost a matter of saying, I'm going to change my chair-based life to a dynamic and sort of more exciting life."

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