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Treadmill Desks Really (Only Kinda) Work!

Well, if you were wondering just how much exercise you were getting out of your treadmill desk, the verdict is in: probably not very much.</br></br>A study conducted late last year and <a title="Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine " href="http://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2014/12000/Evaluation_of_a_Workplace_Treadmill_Desk.7.aspx" target="_blank">published by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine</a> showed that treadmill desks were not effective in improving health. And, the reason wasn’t all that surprising.</br></br>Basically, people just weren’t using them; or, they weren’t using them as much as needed to actually make a difference. That’s the conclusion that was <a title="NPR" href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/03/30/392580747/sure-use-a-treadmill-desk-but-you-still-need-to-exercise" target="_blank">highlighted in a recent NPR article</a>, which also blamed the faddishness of such devices.</br></br>But, that doesn’t really paint the fairest picture. Treadmill desks could work if those who used them tried three things:</br></br><strong>Longer Duration</strong></br></br>One of the issues cited by the researchers was that people got bored with using the device. Like a novelty toy, after a few months they just decided not to turn it on anymore.</br></br>Most websites you visit will quote “150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week” in reference to how long you should walk on a treadmill. That’s because it’s the <a title="Mayo Clinic" href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916" target="_blank">amount of exercise recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services</a> as part of a healthy exercise routine.</br></br><strong>More Frequency</strong></br></br>The above recommendation doesn’t necessarily mean you should walk on your treadmill for 30 minutes Monday through Friday, because you’re also likely (hopefully) getting exercise in other ways – but it’s a good place to start.</br></br>Thirty minutes isn't that long, and you may even find that the treadmill helps your time at work go by quicker.</br></br><strong>Greater Intensity</strong></br></br>Everyone’s different, and it’s going to take Person A more or less intensity to burn calories than Person B. The trouble, as mentioned by the researchers, is that the amount of intensity probably required is often more than is comfortable while working.</br></br>That said, you can always try to schedule your more intense sessions during times when your workload is lighter, and you can afford to focus a little less and sweat a little more.</br></br>Good luck, and good health!
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