Spending the workday at 1 MPH
As I’ve mentioned before, one of my primary research interests is the way movement, physical activity, and aerobic exercise can be incorporated into the traditional school environment to facilitate learning among students. Thus after recently re-reading the NYT article, “I Put In 5 Miles at the Office,” I have begun to wonder if schools might benefit from outfitting some of their classrooms with Walkstations.
The health benefits of engaging in constant and regular movement are obvious: Some employees at organizations that have installed treadmill desks report significant fitness improvement — “more than 50 pounds of weight loss, if I were to keep my diet the same.” Researchers have also found an increase in worker productivity and efficiency among employees who use the Walkstation. But I’m equally fascinated about the cognitive benefits of elevating one’s heartrate, and the promise of improving academic achievement by literally moving while learning.
Near the top of my research agenda is doing an experimental study with the treadmill desks designed by Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, in which the motivation, health, and academic achievement of students who use a custom designed (i.e., student-sized and school-appropriate) treadmill-like personal workspace are compared to students in a control group who work while sitting down at regular desks.
In the meantime, the takeaway is to stand-up and get moving, even when we work!
- NPR audio story, “Treadmill desk heats up office jobs“
- Telegraph: “I’ve seen the future: It’s a hamster wheel“
- NYT: “The lean and the restless“
- “Putting the ‘work’ in ‘work out’“
- Ning’s social networking site for treadmill desk jockeys
Entry filed under: etc, play. Tags: academic achivement, education, exercise, fitness, health, human hamster wheel, J. R. Atwood, James Levine, Jason Atwood, learning, Mayo Clinic, obesity, research, treadmill desk, treadmill desk jockeys, Walkstations.