In order to get familiar with the core ideas behind the products we sell at Human Solution, I (along with my colleague, Ryan) attended a webinar called Inactivity Physiology, focused on the health risks posed by our modern, sedentary lifestyles. One of the points that really stuck in my head originated from a vocational study performed by a researcher named Morris in the 1950s.
In his study, Morris found that English bus drivers were twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease as were conductors. These people worked in the same location, surrounded by the same people all day, and yet one job was dramatically riskier than the other. When contemporary scientists like Dr. Marc Hamilton, the presenter of the webinar, looked at those findings in conjunction with modern medical knowledge, they realized that the reason behind those results was simple: bus drivers spent far more time sitting than conductors.
Today, in a way, our jobs encourage us all to be bus drivers. As Dr. Hamilton explained, sitting for long periods of the day can be harmful to your health, even if you think you are balancing it out by exercising. That spin class or after-work jog can do a lot for your general health, but it can't cancel out the overall negative impact of our sedentary office lifestyles. Yet despite the work of people like Dr. Hamilton, more and more jobs require spending all day seated in front of a computer. The trick is to find a way to do these jobs while increasing what’s called Low-Intensity Physical Activity. These are the activities that fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between sitting in a chair and doing your best Usain Bolt impression. In other words, it’s time to talk treadmills.
Nothing will help you go from driver to conductor like an UPLIFT Treadmill Desk. A treadmill desk may seem like an unorthodox addition to your office at first, but in the long run, it will help you focus, increase productivity, and help you burn calories and stay healthy in the long-term. While most people think of treadmills as a source of higher intensity workouts, we recommend setting yours to between 1.0 and 2.0 miles per hour, fast enough for you to get the health benefits of walking, but slow enough to allow you to perform important office tasks.
Unlike hitting the gym, using a treadmill at work doesn't just give you the benefit of working out; it also reduces the amount of time you spend sitting. Additionally, by walking at our recommended pace, you get some much needed low-intensity physical activity. Even if you already have an adjustable desk you love, you can easily add a Lifespan treadmill to your existing ergonomic set-up.
When laying out the biggest challenges to correcting bad health habits, Dr. Hamilton seemed especially focused on what he called “achievable adherence." In other words, it’s one thing to want to change your habits, but it is much harder to get yourself to stick to it. There are all kinds of ways to do this, from finding little ways to reward yourself for reaching certain goals to using productivity apps like Don’t Break the Chain. Best of all, LifeSpan treadmills use Bluetooth technology to track and sync your walking data, so you can easily keep track of how much time you’re logging on your new treadmill.
It is important to remember that the treadmill is just one part of an ergonomic set-up and periods of walking should be mixed with periods of standing and resting. But thanks to the newest advances in ergonomic workspaces, you don't have to spend your days navigating the aisle of a moving London bus to get the benefits of a conductor lifestyle.
Looking to add a treadmill to your desk? Contact us at Human Solution and any of our experts can help get you moving.