The Treadmill Desk Investment: How Much is Your Health Worth?

The Treadmill Desk Investment: How Much is Your Health Worth?

Posted by Human Solution on Aug 5th 2013

I have a confession to make: I'm not a huge fan of going to the gym. After all,who is? However, my issue with going to the gym isn't a matter of effort. Four months into my gym membership, I've found that it's not the physical exertion that I dislike, but rather the amount of time I found myself devoting to gym trips that would occasionally make me want to skip out. Getting to the gym at 6:45 p.m. after work (thanks, US-183), only to leave for home at 8 p.m. was not only physically demanding, but it severely cut into the amount of free time I had to take care of other errands and attend to my hobbies. I was told as a child that "time is money," and the gym was collecting both monetary and temporal dues. Nonetheless, I kept at it. After all, it's hard to put a price on your health.

Across the Atlantic, the government of Dubai in the U.A.E. has taken a very literal approach to the value of healthy living, and has begun offering one gram of gold for every kilogram of weight its citizens lost by August 16. NPR reports that this comes out to around $41 for a weight loss of about two pounds, according to the market rate for gold as of July 17. Back in the U.S., a growing number of companies are also incentivizing weight loss through offers such as reduced health insurance premiums for employees on weight loss plans. It's a great way to encourage living a healthy lifestyle, but what about those who find themselves unable to devote the time necessary to work out?

After a few months of failing to get home before the sun began to cross the horizon, I stepped up (no pun intended) to a LifeSpan TR800 treadmill, which I paired with my standing desk. Since I stand at work out of force of habit (the result of years in high school and college spent working retail), moving to working at a relatively slow-moving treadmill wasn't a huge change of pace (again, no pun intended). I started by walking for an hour at two miles per hour each day and pairing that with my existing cardio and weight lifting routine at the gym. As time went on, I started spending less time doing cardio at the gym and more time on my treadmill at work.

Today, I'm walking a solid two hours or more a day, then going to the gym after work for endurance and weight training, and I've noticed a significant increase in weight loss as a result. Better yet, I'm spending less time at the gym and more time doing things I want to be doing. Not only has it been a great time-saving investment, it's been an investment in my personal fitness that's far more likely to help me stick to a healthy lifestyle than a few grams of gold.

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