Lots of news outlets are buzzing about a new stand-up treadmill workstation. The idea is that you work standing up for part of the day, walking at a very slow pace, burning calories but still getting just as much done. Here’s a photo from the Cleveland Leader:
My first thought is “how could I possibly get any work done standing on that contraption?”, but results of an initial study suggest that workers are just as productive:
The authors add that the study participants found the equipment easy to use and were able to work normally, to the extent that they wanted to continue using it after the study had finished.
And, the authors claim, all that exercise can lead to a real benefit for obese people:
Energy expenditure was measured while working and walking for 35 minutes out of an hour in total and compared with that burned while working, seated at a desk. The average energy burned while seated at a desk was 72 kilocalories per hour. But the volunteers burned 191 kilocalories an hour while at the vertical workstation and walking the equivalent of 1 mile an hour.
The authors calculate that if obese employees used the vertical workstation for a couple of hours a day, they could boost their energy expenditure by 100 kilocalories an hour. Over the course of a year, that could translate into shedding between 20 and 30 kg, they say.
Sound too good to be true? I suspect it probably is. Who’s to say people won’t eat more to compensate? Maybe people using the workstation would be a little fitter, but losing weight is a little more complicated than just burning a few extra calories every day, as this New York Times article attests.