Office Remodel Brings Employees a New Way to Work, with Treadmill Desks

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Perhaps you've heard the news: "Sitting is the new smoking," or at the very least, it is slowly killing you, leading many to declare a war on sitting. How to combat this daily habit?

Outfitted with slightly less than one dozen LifeSpan Fitness treadmill desks, employees at Utah-based firm Dropship.com are leading the cutting edge of fusing exercise with the traditional work day.

The office has “about 9 or 10 treadmill desks,” Dropship.com vice president of marketing Todd Rankin said. The change was implemented due to practicality and a desire for more fitness options.

“Employees get tired sitting down eight to 10 hours a day. Being on your feet strengthens your core and increases energy,” Rankin said.

The switch has paid off in the office, with employees reporting more happiness and productivity. The desks are even in demand and specifically requested by employees at the Dropship Commerce facility in American Fork, Utah.

“We started with one or two employees buying treadmill desks, and then bought one for employees to share. Within a few months, most employees were asking for their own treadmill desks,” he said.

LifeSpan offers many options for businesses looking to add treadmill desks and treadmill bikes to office environments. The desks can support computers, printers and other electronic devices. Some of the models also include padded armrests and trays designed to store cables. A newer model also gives users the option to adjust the height of the desk by pushing a button.

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Rearranging the office to accommodate the new devices was also a breeze. Rankin said the desks have also encouraged employees to track the distance they walk on the treadmills and compete with each other. He said many employees use Fitbit devices to track how many steps and miles they complete in a day.

Having the motivation to stay active during a typically sedentary work day has also helped Dropship employees stay healthier.

Cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity have been linked to sitting for extended periods of time and maintaining a sedentary lifestyle.

The treadmill desk is also just as functional as regular office furniture. Almost every daily task that would normally be performed at a workplace desk can be done at the treadmill desk, LifeSpan Fitness asserts. There is a method to finding the best speed for walking and typing, however.

“I think about two miles per hour typing and probably about .5 to .7 miles per hour when talking on the phone,” Rankin said.