Are Under Desk Treadmills Worth It?

Medical experts have for long warned against sitting for long hours. Office workers who spend 8-9 hours sitting at their desks apart from sitting in front of the television or computer end up ruining their health. Obesity, back pain, heart disease and many other health problems develop as a result of sitting for hours on end. In fact, it is necessary to move the body after every 20-30 minutes, but it is not possible for professionals who need to work while sitting at one place.

Under desk treadmill, as the name suggests, has a treadmill machine placed under the desk. The desk is usually adjustable, which enables the user to stand as well. The idea behind under desk treadmills is to allow the users to walk while they work. There have been questions about the practicality of under desk treadmills. There are both pros and cons of using under desk treadmills.

Under Desk Treadmills

Pros 

Under desk treadmills enable employees of an office to burn calories while working. A study conducted in a workplace found that under desk treadmills helped the workers in walking over 2000 steps on an average and burned 100 calories each day. Another study found that walking while working burned 119 calories more as compared to sitting still and working. Thus, under desk treadmills enable office workers to manage their health while doing their work. Weight gain can be controlled due to sustained calorie burning.

Studies have found that walking on under desk treadmills improve alertness and concentration. Thus, the cognitive abilities of workers improve by using under desk treadmills which increases their productivity. High level of alertness also implies that there is no feeling of lethargy, especially in the afternoon.

Doing other tasks while walking on the under desk treadmill is very easy. You can type on the computer, attend calls, read emails, etc. all the while burning calories by walking on the treadmill. There is no disruption to your work schedule. On the contrary, the heightened level of alertness caused by walking increases your efficiency.

Studies have concluded that walking while working using under desk treadmill helps in reducing stress caused by workload and boredom caused by sitting for long hours. Anxiety is also reduced due to walking while working.

Cons 

Under the desk, treadmills are much larger as compared to conventional workstations. This a big problem in offices with limited spaces. Many companies rent office spaces and occupying so much space by under desk treadmills does not appeal to employers.

Under the desk, treadmills are less noisy as compared to conventional treadmills. But the whirring sound of the motor and the noise generated by your steps can be annoying for your co-workers.

Tasks requiring fine motor skills would be difficult while walking and working. Over a period of time, you may adapt, but there is still a lot of research to be done in this aspect.

Under the desk, treadmills are priced high. Employers may be reluctant in spending money on such workstations which might not be used consistently.

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