Work fitness

Office work is not only stultifyingly inefficient and mind-sapping, it's also bad for your body. For obvious reasons, if you're sitting around all day exercising only your mouse-finger you don't burn many calories. Couple that with plenty of sugary treats from the vending machines to ease the mundanity and keep you awake, and you get a risk of becoming overweight, bigstyle.

But of course, someone's invented a solution - the Office Treadmill. Designed for every average office situation, it even contains a flower vase grasper, a cup holder and pen and paper storage. How immensely practical.

Yep, replace your desk with a treadmill, stand up all day and get some work-walking done and you too might lose up to 30kg a year. The Poorhouse can only imagine what would happen to the quality of your work. Has no sane person ever tried to type whilst walking? Your 90wpm touch-typing skills might be hindered just a little. Accidentally clicking on the Send button instead of Attach File even more than usual might annoy your colleagues, and really, is there not a chance that you would constantly fall over and smash your face up?

Says the Times:

Much the same effect would be achieved by getting staff to strap laptops to their bicycle handlebars and do their work while cycling to the office. The drawback is a potentially large increase in traffic accidents.

It also has a list of delightful suggestions for office action should you not have a treadmill-desk, including "Do press-ups at the photocopier" and "Use 500-sheet packs of A4 paper as dumbbells", two ideas just guaranteed not to get you the sack or look like an idiot.

Nonetheless, should you be able to pull the afore-mentioned treadmill action off it seems you could expect to expend at least 100 kcal per hour in excess of your normal sitting around. Typing uses around 72 calories per hour apparently, compared to 191 used by walking a mile.

The price? £1000. Alternatively you could just quit your job for a month and spend that £1000 on an immense amount of gym time.

If one office/gym equipment twisted hybrid isn't enough for you, check out Walking while working where the NEAT (Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis - of course) lab is producing all sorts of such things, including the 2-lane treadmill meeting room and the - wait for it - iPLod computer desk.


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