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Vertical Workstation Workout

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For those who find the working day hard enough already, it may seem like torture. But doctors believe the key to losing weight could be walking as you work.

Obesity experts have designed a “vertical workstation” treadmill that allows the overweight to exercise on a treadmill without leaving the comfort of their desks.

Working 9 to 5: The workstation that can be used at the treadmill

Aimed at the overweight, the extra-high desk, which contains fixings for a computer and keyboard, is mounted over a treadmill.

Office workers who find it hard to a visit to the gym into their routine can then exercise as they work, simply by hopping onto the treadmill and typing while they walk.

The desk, which is made of steel and plastic, also contains space for pens, papers and niceties such as flower vases.

When walking on the treadmill becomes too much, the desk can be wheeled away from the treadmill - and work can resume from the comfort of a chair.

Men and women who tried the technology used up three times as much energy as usual - and the quality of their work wasn’t affected.

The desk’s designers, from the Mayo Clinic in New York, say that those who use it for just three hours a day could lose up to four and a half stone over a year.

They believe the desk could provide an important weapon in the fight against the rising tide of obesity.

A growing reliance on fast food and time-saving technology has led to the UK developing the worst weight problem in Europe, with almost a quarter of adults classed as obese.

Children fare little better, with obesity figures doubling among six-year-olds and trebling among 15-year-olds in ten years.

Experts have warned that unless the Government acts now, an entire generation faces an old age blighted by heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases brought on by obesity.

The latest research, published in BMJ’s British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at how 15 obese men and women fared when using the walk-where-you-work desk.

It found that by setting the treadmill at a gentle 1mph, the office staff were able to walk on the treadmill while working normally at the desk above.

The men and women, who claimed to enjoy the experience, burned off around 190 calories an hour - almost three times the level used when sitting down at a computer.

So successful was the device, that all 15 volunteers asked if it would be possible to keep a desk and treadmill after the experiment finished.

The researchers said that installing the technology in offices up and down the country could provide a simple solution to stemming the rising tide of obesity.

Professor James Levine, an obesity expert, said: “Along with obesity, the sedentary nature of work is increasing because of the common use of desktop computers.

“By 2010, it is estimated that more than half of the workforce from developed countries will be working on computers.

“Previous workplace strategies to promote physical activity have proven limited because either the activity component is too short in duration, for example ‘climb the stairs’ or ‘walk from the car park’, or the interventions require high levels of workforce commitment, for example gym programmes.

“The walk-while-you-work desk examines another approach that could overcome these limitations - namely whether it is possible to change the mode of the office desk per se.

“We recognise that such approaches must embrace behavioural strategies to offer a sustained intervention and that this and other approaches can only succeed in increasing daily activity levels with the help of employers.”

Link & Image: dailymail


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leave a response    8:14 am    May 16th, 2007     posted by : Mehdi    Permalink   
 Filed in : Technology    Tags: , ,
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