The Treadmill Desk
Wow, where do I begin with this one? Let's start with my education. I have a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science from California State University, Long Beach. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in the fitness industry. I have much life experience from very physical jobs.Why have I given you my background here? I am not just some Joe Schmoe offering mindless commentary. I do a lot of research in my field to keep abreast of ideas and innovations. Anyone in the fitness industry knows that new ideas are presented on a daily basis. The treadmill desk is one that I feel compelled to respond to and comment on. How many times can I say BAD IDEA in this post? Count for me!
Let me start off by saying that I am not picking on or evaluating any one particular manufacturer or model/version of the treadmill desk. The concept is evaluated here.The Treadmill Desk, or walking workstation, is the dream child of one Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic. To the normal business person, it sounds and looks like a great idea. I am surprised that a Mayo Clinic Doctor did not make obvious considerations while promoting the idea. The idea? Simply pull a treadmill under your desk at work and set the pace to a mild walk; conduct regular business...answer phones and type emails...all while walking at a mild pace on your "treadmill desk." Bad idea! Ever heard the expression that a human being cannot walk and chew gum at the same time?
Let's look at the pro's, based on manufacturers websites. Let's you work out at work/while working. You can walk slowly without sweating and losing extra time out of the day. Walking promotes health restoration, weight loss and disease prevention and yadayadayada! Every site I have seen promoting this product has stressed the benefits of walking and exercise, in general. I do not dispute the the benefits of exercise. I do, however, dispute the benefits of walking on a treadmill desk while at work. Bad Idea!
The con's are not evaluated by any manufacturer that I have seen. They stress the importance of getting exercise. They do not discuss the fact that human beings are really bad at multitasking...especially when physical demands are required.
This is why I intervene. This idea opens the door for more Worker's Compensation claims that might otherwise not be present. One does not consider injuries from a desk job, unless a treadmill desk is present. It matters not the speed at which a treadmill desk is used. One false step is all it takes and the employer is liable for a WC claim that would otherwise not be present.
I grow tired of companies trying so hard to have workers multitask. Corporations are starting to provide fitness centers for their employees. The treadmill desk offers solutions which promote multitasking in a despicable fashion.
Exercise and fitness is a lifestyle. It REQUIRES extra time, effort and motivation for long term success. If you don't have time to use the company gym, or any gym for that matter, the treadmill desk is definitely not a solution for you to get your workout. Make time and put in the effort to make exercise a part of your life.