If you find it difficult to squeeze in a workout around your busy work life and if your daily exercise routine involves a quick dash to Starbucks for your mid-afternoon caffeine-fix, an American doctor might just have the answer... a 'treadmill desk'.
Dr James Levine from the Mayo Clinic, is the brain behind a new ‘standing desk’ concept, which is essentially a treadmill with a desk attached, giving a whole new meaning to ‘working on the go’.
After spending the last ten years using a walking desk, Dr Levine firmly believes that sitting down at a desk all day is as dangerous to a person’s health than smoking.
“Researchers have linked sitting for prolonged periods with a number of health problems and premature death from cardiovascular disease,” Dr Levine says on the Mayo Clinic website, reports the Daily Mail.
Dr Levine also claims that office workers could burn off an extra 100 calories a day and shed up to 57lbs a year by slowly walking on a treadmill desk as they work.
"Over the last 150 years we've become chair imprisoned. We are behind a screen all day at work. We are in a car or bus getting to and from work. And in the evening, we are in a chair watching television or surfing the internet. We've gone from being on our legs all day to being on our bottoms all day,” explains Dr Levine.
However the ‘Walkstation’ treadmill desk concept doesn’t mean sweating it out on the treadmill for 10 hours – because according to the doctor, simply standing up during the work day helps shift weight and keep us fit, too.
“Muscle contractions, including the ones required for standing, seem to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars. When you sit down, muscle contractions cease and these processes stall.”
The doctor is currently trialing his ‘Walkstations’ idea and it could possibly appear in an office near you soon.
Would you try the ‘Walkstation’?
For this you'll need to raid the stationery cupboard. Sitting on your chair, hold a ream of copy paper with both hands. With your elbows bent, extend your arms overhead and lower to shoulder height. Repeat 10 to 20 times. Keep your arms in front of your head on extension and don't lock your elbows.
You will need two 600ml water bottles (filled). Sit on the edge of your chair with your abs in tight and spine straight. With a bottle in each hand, curl them towards your shoulder and slowly lower down. Repeat 10 to 20 times. Move slowly with your elbows close to your sides and control the upward and downward motion.
Sit on the edge of your chair with your arms extended out in front of you. Keeping your back straight, contract your abs and slowly lower your torso towards the back of chair, making sure to keep back straight. Hold for five to10 seconds and repeat three times.
Begin sitting on your chair and clench your butt cheeks together. Lift your bottom off the chair and hover over the chair in a squat position for 10 to 15 seconds then stand up and repeat two to three times.
Sit upright and place your hands on your chair hip-width apart with your fingers pointing forward. Place your feet firmly on the floor. Slide your glutes off the chair with your elbows slightly bent. Lower your body by bending at the elbows until they are at 90-degree angle. Return to start position and repeat 10 to15 times.