I've written before about the productivity benefits of treadmill desks with the hope of dispelling the idea that "you can't get anything done on a treadmill desk." Time and time again, however, I continue to hear that walking while working is best used for low-intensity tasks, such as phone calls and e-mails. I personally never bought into these recommendations, as I've found myself better able to focus and remember key details for big projects that I worked on while walking at my UPLIFT Treadmill Desk. As it turns out, it's not just me; walking while working can in fact improve your memory!
Newly-published research from HEC Montreal suggests that students who were tasked with reading a large "reading task" while also dealing with common side tasks via e-mail (which were sometimes related and sometimes weren't) were able to better recall details related to the material than their non-walking peers. It wasn't a minor bump in performance, either. When the true-or-false questions about the task were reviewed, researchers noted that a "walker" was nearly 35% more likely to answer the question correctly than someone who had performed the task while seated. The study participants also reported a higher level of focus on the task as they worked, corroborating the findings of other studies, as well as my own experiences.
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