Sunday, October 26, 2008

Workout While You Work???

In an effort to increase healthy activity and good living, some companies are making exercise a distinct component of the work culture. The Detroit Free Press reports that several companies in the state of Michigan are introducing a revolutionary piece of office furniture that is one part excercise equipment and one part work station. Say hello to the Walkstation! Engineered by Grand Rapids-based Steelcase's Details subsidiary, the invention is a height-adjustable, flexible desktop integrated above a treadmill. No more walking at lunch or after work with this "desk", because after an 8-hour work day, walking at a comfortable speed of 1 mile per hour, you will have walked 8 miles and burned an extra 800 calories per day!

With the touch of a lever, users can lower the desk top so they can sit in their chair, in a traditional position. And that same lever raises the desk top when a user wants to step out of the chair, and step over to the treadmill side of the 78-inch-long surface. The PC screen is on a flexible arm, so one can swing it from one side of the desk to the other. Initial users of the Walkstations have reported that without making significant changes in their diet, they have experienced weightloss and decreased cholesterol levels. One such user shares, "Instead of sitting down, I'm standing up while I'm doing my work," says Bud Klipa, 56. "I'm healthier and I'm still getting my job done."

I personally think this is an incredible idea. With a nation of people who are struggling with thier weight, I think this invention could get people moving. With executives even talking of "outfitting conference rooms with six to eight treadmill desks in a circle, to transform thumb-twiddling, sleep-inducing meetings into a moving experience," I think the Walkstations could revolutionize how work is conducted in offices around the world.


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