James Levine, an obesity expert at the Mayo Clinic who came up with the idea of the treadmill desk, told me that my experience was pretty typical. “There’s a tendency to want to jump on the treadmill and walk for hours and hours a day,” he says. “Don’t do that. Certainly, at the absolute maximum, do half-hour on, half an hour off, for two to three hours a day.”
That’s a relief. That’s about what I’m doing. Levine says that since the 1960s, work spaces have been designed to minimize movement. It’s a culturally ingrained mindset, he says, which dominates much of our lives today.
“You could literally spend your entire adult life from graduation to coffin entry without leaving your apartment, without getting up,” he says.
Research suggests that walking at a slow pace of <1.4 miles per hour can help boost concentration and focus while at work. Difficult tasks may still benefit from sitting, however, if your workplace is conducive-give it a try. Treadmill desks start at around $800-1200 but Kerry, our lab tech was able to find a generic walking treadmill online for around $175 and then purchased a drafting table for around $125.
Photo: Lyndsie (scribe and personal trainer at our Maryville office trying Kerry’s new office treadmill desk).