Monday, July 09, 2007
A workout for your mind... and body!
Now I don't know about you, but the idea of walking at the same time you're writing a report or taking an important phone call was a little iffy for me. How was that possible? How could you concentrate? Yet when I arrived at Dr. Levine's office (equipped with two desks and two treadmills), he was already typing a manuscript while putting in his daily walk on the machine. He was doing it -- why couldn't the rest of us?
"Why not do the interview from the other treadmill?" he said. Ok! I was up for it! I had worn flats. I was ready.
First off, I found that the machine's tread moves slowly, about one mile an hour. And it's more of a natural movement; your feet just kind of get into it. After about 10 minutes you don't even feel like you're walking at all. It's very peaceful...very "Zen" like. I loved it. Not only was I doing the interview on the treadmill, (the photographer was on the treadmill with me!!!) but my heart rate seemed to go down. My mind was clearer. I was relaxed!!!!
The treadmill desk is a just part of a master plan of Levine's called the "Office of the Future.” He envisions a workplace equipped with exercise machines, including walking paths employees could use while working in an office setting. He's even patterned the "Suit of the Future," made out of lightweight material that you can wear to exercise in and then walk right into a boardroom meeting and not even kick up a sweat. It's all designed to help sedentary workers get active without losing precious time.
Levine says that on the average, an employee can burn about 150 calories an hour using the treadmill desk. Some doctors will tell you, you can get just as much exercise and burn just as many calories by taking a 20-minute walk for lunch. But Levine says in today's workplace, many employees never get to leave their cubicles. His thought: If they can't get to exercise, bring the exercise to them. Levine has already found a major corporation that will be providing the machines to its workers on a trial basis.
As for my treadmill experience? After about 20 minutes on the machine, I had gotten my interview and a pretty nice workout. I felt refreshed and ready to take on more work. It was invigorating and fun, and all it took was a little bit of energy to get on the machine and keep going. No longer a skeptic, I'll be calling my boss to see if we can have a few treadmill desks in our office!
Would you want a treadmill at your desk? Do you know of other ways for office workers to keep fit at work?
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