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Home » Don’t Just Sit There, Work Out at Your Desk

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Don’t Just Sit There, Work Out at Your Desk

Source: nytimes.com Author: ERIC V. COPAGE READ FULL ARTICLE AT nytimes.com

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EVERY day, millions of American workers do something dangerous to their health: they sit down.
Sitting for long periods is hard on the body. It strains the back and causes the muscles to become slack. It slows the processes that metabolize calories, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
People might think they are protecting themselves from such problems if they exercise outside of working hours. And employers may pat themselves on the back if they offer their workers subsidized gym memberships. But regular exercise doesn’t entirely make up for the shutdown of chemical processes that occurs during long periods of sitting, research has shown.
There is a solution to the evils of sitting: make it a point to get up and move throughout the workday. Workers can take this insight to heart by sitting on an exercise ball or standing while working, by using the stairs instead of the elevator, or even by walking over to a co-worker’s desk instead of sending an instant message. Every little bit helps.
Now some employers are going a step further, by aligning the “move while you work” mandate with the corporate culture. They hope to improve their employees’ health and to lower medical costs in the process.
Salo, a financial staffing firm in Minneapolis, for example, encourages walking meetings. In a conference room, Salo has set up four treadmill desks, where a height-adjustable working surface is placed above the treadmill track. The desks face one another, so that people can walk and take care of business at the same time.
“It took a bit of adjustment,” said Craig Dexheimer, Salo’s director of operations and administration. “It’s normal to walk and talk at the gym, but in an office setting it was a bit strange at first.” In a separate room, Salo has set up six treadmill desks, complete with computers. Employees are...

Full article: Don’t Just Sit There, Work Out at Your Desk

More About: Workplace Health

Dec 3 2011 submitted by Linda Cruz

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