Treadmill Desks; Sort of Ridiculous, or Very Beneficial?
Mar 14, 2014 March 14, 2014
Traditional desks do not account for the need to exercise, which is crucial to health in any job, but regardless, whatever work we do in the real estate business, we have to sit at a desk for hours on end.
New types of desks arise as a possible new trend in the office: Treadmill Desks. A study took place over the course of a year with 40 finance workers in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Treadmill Desks are basically a full desk setup, with a computer, office supplies, and other basic office spaces and materials above a fully functioning treadmill. The treadmill is mainly used to operate at speeds of around two miles per hour, or basic walking speed.
At first, one might say that this is a ridiculous idea, but consider this: the study showed that treadmill users rated their overall performance better than their non-treadmill-desk counterparts. Avner Ben-Ner, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, and one of the study’s forerunners, said, “a little bit of walking is useful because it means there’s more blood flow to the brain” and goes on to say, “You get more oxygen and it increases the ability to think.”
The study showed that in the first four months, productiveness dropped due to attempting to master typing and mouse use while walking on the treadmill. During the four to six month range, quality of work, quantity of work, and quality of interactions steadily rose during their weekly reviews. At the end of the year, the workers who used the treadmill desks were rated, on a scale of one to 10, a full point higher in performance.
Some believe that treadmill desks are bad ideas, due to new possible injuries, falls, and possible static shock. Additionally, Ben-Ner notes that people need time to adjust to the differences in sitting and working, and walking and working.
Photo credit: nytimes.com