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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...

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Saturday, 24 March 2018
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The length of our walking guides is given in miles and rounded to the nearest full mile (whole number) for simplicity. For short walks (of less than 2 miles) or walks that have a length that ends in .5, a more accurate walk length may be given in the first section of the walk introduction. For example, the Length in the header may be listed as 6 miles, and the introduction may confirm that the exact length of the walk is 5.5 miles. The walk length is calculated from the GPS file that was created by the walk author GPS tracking the walk whilst walking, using the iFootpath App GPS Tracker, meaning it is very accurate. Our bespoke tracker is particularly detailed and plots a walkers position about every 10 seconds. The tracker is calibrated to match two other reputable map and walking sources, Ordnance Survey and Nike. As with all standardised walk and map lengths, the distance does not take account of hills and slopes, just the distance you would measure using a piece of string on a flat map version of the terrain, so hilly walks will feel longer than stated. If you track the route using another GPS App or Tracker App or Fitness Device, you can expect the distance you record to be different due to different calibrations. This is particularly true of those Apps and devices that count your motion and steps – these can only guess the distance you have travelled with each step and so are much less accurate.

Grade (Boots)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult the terrain is that you will encounter along the way. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. It takes into account things like hills, path surfaces and obstacles (like stiles, gates, steps and rock scrambles). An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 Boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well-worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 Boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles that require scrambling with your hands. Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

NOTE: Do be aware that the level of stamina required for any walk will vary depending on both the walk length and the difficulty grade - you should only walk within your limits.

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