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On the Treadmill at Work Has Whole New Meaning

May 22, 2007
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Related Topics: Ergonomics and Facilities, Health and Wellness, Latest News
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Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, have designed a vertical workstation fixed to a treadmill that enables desk jockeys to get a workout during their workday.

The walk-and-work desk is the brainchild of Mayo Clinic researcher Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist who wanted to create an office environment that prevents desk spread and instead transforms obese employees into lean working machines.

In testing the device on 15 overweight people who had sedentary jobs and never exercised, Levine and his team of researchers found that the workers burned about 100 calories an hour—twice their normal metabolic rate. So walk-working an entire eight-hour shift has the potential of burning an extra 800 calories per day, leading to a weight loss of more than 50 pounds a year.

Surprisingly, none of the participants suffered injuries during the experiment, and most needed only a few minutes to get used to it, researchers said.

The desks are also fairly economical, costing less than $2,000 apiece, plus the cost of a treadmill.

Filed by Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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