Thursday, April 10, 2014

Are Treadmill Desks Here to Stay?

Treadmill desks are one of the latest office exercise equipments. They combine a desk and a treadmill to allow users to get a workout while on the job. Looking at the number of offices installing them, it appears that a trend is slowly being created.

Treadmill desks have gained popularity because of the health benefits they offer to workers who sit for long hours at a time. Like ordinary treadmills, they can be configured to provide a high impact or low impact workout. For many users, however, settings are typically configured to speeds of a mile or two per hour. This walking pace is deemed beneficial as it reduces the risk of developing back aches, stress and burns calories.

What does too much sitting do?

According to medical experts, sedentary work carries many health risks. Too much sitting has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions that shows itself in high cholesterol levels and accumulated fat around the waist.

As if that weren't enough, experts have also found that working out in a gym several times a week in an attempt to offset sedentary work does not reduce the risks posed by sitting for long hours. Rather, less sitting and more walking around does a better job.

These factors have prompted office managements to install equipments that can be used to exercise without hampering work. It has now become fairly common to see places of employment and even houses featuring treadmill desks.

How much weight can be shed?

It's found that the average treadmill desk user stands to burn 100 calories for every mile he walks. If overweight users were to utilize the desks for the same amount of time spent sitting in front of a computer (about two to three hours a day), they could lose around 44 pounds. That's a surprising figure and good news for manufacturers of treadmill desks and end-users.

One of the biggest attractions the desks hold is allowing users time to work and exercise. Most work today is spent in front of a computer or on the phone which means minimal physical activity. Since it's rarely possible to completely switch careers, workers need to find a balance between being able to perform office work and exercising for health. Treadmill desks offer this since they're designed to fit or can be custom-made to fit over existing desks.

According to users, weight loss and strengthened muscles are the rewards of using a treadmill desk. And contrary to what some people think, work isn't affected since once the initial confusion of balancing typing and walking is overcome, it's pretty easy to integrate the two. The same can't be said for users who write rather than type, however, so it will be interesting to see how manufacturers try to get around that.

Tips for choosing a desk

• High-end desks cost several thousand dollars but buyers don't have to spend that much to get one which delivers the same output. Cheaper models cost around $1,000 or a little less.

• Make sure there's a guarantee of sorts before making a purchase. Some sellers offer a 30-day return. Warranties should be part of the parcel.

• Some standard treadmills can fit over existing desks so it's a matter of how much know-how a user has. If it can be done there's money to be saved but the result should be safe to use with no drawbacks.

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