A treadmill at your desk can improve your mental health

A treadmill at your desk can improve your mental health

It may look a little odd, but having a treadmill at your desk can do wonders for not only your physical health but mental health too.

Researchers at the Department of Psychology in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis found that so-called “walking workstations” not only provide a hedge against obesity but offered benefits for the brain.

“We found that the walking workstations, regardless of a person’s exercise habits or body mass index (BMI), had significant benefits,” said study leader Michael Sliter in a news release. “Even if you don’t exercise or if you are overweight, you’ll experience both short-term physical and psychological benefits.”

Nearly 200 study participants were questioned after doing their daily work tasks while seated, standing, walking and cycling.

Those who walked while they worked reported lower stress, less boredom and higher satisfaction overall than the participants who sat or stood. Those who pedaled at their desks actually reported reduced performance.

If getting a treadmill at your desk is not possible, there are other small changes you can make at work to stay healthy, says Kate Malcolm, fitness instructor and personal trainer at Advocate Condell Medical Center’s Centre Club in Libertyville, Ill.

She offers four ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine:

  1. Park your car a reasonable distance from your workplace and walk the rest of the way.
  2. Go for a brisk 15-20 minute walk during your lunch break.
  3. Take the stairs when possible instead of an elevator.
  4. Use the restroom on another floor rather than the one next to your office.

Study leaders said they hope the findings lead employers to offer active workstations as a way to strengthen the health of their workers.

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  1. This is a very interesting topic for improving your physical and mental health while exercising on a treadmill by your desk. It’s also good that there are alternative physical activities to do at work.

  2. Angela Hacke

    I do all those tips and it really does make a difference.

  3. Debi Jordan

    For those of you that do conference calls – I always walk in place while on the conference calls or get up and stretch.

  4. I haven’t read this study but I am aware of others in this area that have not shown the productivity benefits as cited. Who are the 180 particpants? What jobs are they doing? What are the ages of the participants? I greatly appreciate the health benefits and issues with sedentary work but in a real workplace, with real job demands, with an older workforce, I just haven’t seen adequate safety due diligence with these devices to allow them in the workplace.

  5. I would love to try one of these treadmill desks! It is difficult to step away from the computer during the workday, but with this desk, you wouldn’t have to!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.