I've been using a treadmill desk for 2 years but what are my health benefits?
So, it's been around 2 years since I started using a treadmill desk on a regular basis and I get asked a lot of questions about what it's like to walk whilst working at my desk!
Some questions are focused on how I can work whilst walking but others are based on what the benefits are so I'd like to focus on those benefits in this piece.
Firstly, a bit of context...like around 60% of working adults, I had a sedentary desk job based in an office and have been working that way since leaving school. Now, aged 50, I drive each day from my front door and park outside our offices.
To track my steps, I use a Fitbit One and it rarely has more than 500 steps showing by the time I arrive at work but it usually has over 20,000 on it when I leave!
Having a treadmill desk allows me to start my fitnes regime when I start work and I've been walking on average for 3 hours per day ever since.
So, what are the health benefits? Well firstly, I no longer experience lower back pain. I used to get back aches and it wasn't because I was overweight or had an injury, it was because I was sitting too much - probably with bad posture!
When you walk the muscles and tendons in your lower back get mild exercise whilst keeping you upright. I still like to sit down at the end of the day but the back pain is gone.
Secondly, I've lost some weight but more importantly I can control my weight more easily. I walk at 1.1mph and whilst that is slow I estimate that I am using around 100 calories per hour more than I would if sitting. If I want to lose some holiday or Christmas weight, I can increase the distance I usually walk by spending more time walking or by slightly increasing the speed.
Finally, I think I am more productive at work. This is especially true after lunch because I no longer feel the 2pm lull whilst taking a nice stroll at my desk!
There are many more benefits to getting regular gentle exercise, more than I can list here. Some benefits are longer term and there is plenty of research to support what is now termed as "sitting disease".
With more people working from home and not even getting the benefit of a commute we are seeing our general health decline. I now walk around 120,000 steps per week and have a desk job. I also enjoy walking a lot more outside of work and think nothing of playing 18 holes of golf!
I wrote this in around 2,000 steps on my Lifespan TR1200 Ultimate workstation.