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A new slant on the daily grind of the work treadmill

Many people, especially those of us that are keen recreational walkers, are outdoor types. We love nothing better than being in the great outdoors, striding out to discover new places.

With the need to earn a living, however, the reality is that most of us spend many days indoors, often sitting at desks for eight hours a day. With the shorter days of winter, all daylight hours during the week are spent at work, so walking has to take a back seat.

treadmill desk

Some companies are turning to technology to help their employees avoid the sedentary lifestyle that winter can bring. Introducing...the Treadmill Desk.

A number of companies are now manufacturing desks with a modified treadmill base attached to a high level desk work surface. The belt is designed to go at a low speed - up to 4mph - with most users opting for 1-2mph. Google, Microsoft and Evernote, as well as the hotel chains Hyatt and Marriott, are among the companies using treadmill desks. Some employees prefer to use the treadmill for just an hour a day, whilst others have switched to the treadmill permanently. User feedback suggests that making phone calls or reading whilst walking is easy, typing takes a little more concentration and handwriting is more difficult!

Software developer Brian Slick trialled the use of a treadmill desk for more than two years and wrote a blog about his experience. Walking up to five hours a day, Slick says he had reduced his waist by 5cm and lost 35lbs. You can read about the highs and lows at

So, it might not be anywhere close to getting out in the great outdoors, but maybe it’s better than nothing. It is certainly one way of keeping up your walking fitness over the shortest winter days...

23 December 2014  


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