Walking While You Work

Can you imagine being able to walk while you type?

ByABC News via logo
October 24, 2007, 5:15 PM

Oct. 25, 2007 — -- At least half of the 150 million Americans who go to work every day wind up sitting at a desk. This makes for increased absenteeism and decreased productivity.

Walking is often recommended as a good antidote to sitting all day, but who has the time? Well, what if you could walk while you work at your desk?

There's a new product that allows you to do just that the Walkstation, a treadmill integrated with a workstation.

Developed by Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., the Walkstation combines burning calories with building commerce.

Click here to find out where you can purcahse one.

For Amy Langer, working is now a losing proposition losing weight, that is. Her company has tossed out the old style desk and chair, and replaced them with standup workstations where employees can walk off pounds without missing a single keystroke.

"I've checked all my e-mail. I can make phone calls, I can check on our database, I can move things back and forth. Every single thing that I could do from my desk, I could do from here," Langer said.

This new style of working is the latest experiment in an ongoing effort by some employers, who have discovered that trimming workers' waistlines can actually be good for the company bottom line, too.

An estimated one-third of Americans are obese. And potential health issues related to obesity can drive health care costs up to $100 billion a year, so employers are trying various solutions, such as giving away gym memberships or actually paying workers to shed pounds.

But Levine thinks he has a better idea.

"If sitting is to blame, standing is the solution," he said.

He measured the calorie burning capacity of sedentary versus walking workers and discovered that just standing on your feet burns an extra 20 calories an hour. And walking is even better. So he came up with a design for the treadmill desk.

Depending on age, sex and body type, a 60-minute stroll at an easy 1 mile per hour burns anywhere from 100 to 130 calories. Do the metabolic math for a typical eight-hour day, and you get a potential weight loss of up to 40 pounds a year without ever leaving the office.