Spending the workday at 1 MPH

April 16, 2009 at 5:55 pm 5 comments

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!

More resources:

play, think…
J.R. Atwood

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 2. Used treadmill for sale | Treadmill Training Answers  |  April 18, 2009 at 1:06 am

    […] 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 . There health benefits of engaging in constant and regular movement are obvious: S More Iron Man Treadmill… […]

    Reply
  • 3. Justin Lloyd  |  June 10, 2009 at 1:21 am

    I have been using a treadmill desk for the better part of a decade and I have to say that the health benefits are amazing, but it is also the cognitive benefits too that I never thought about initially. I have always been one of those people who pace back and forth when talking on the phone or thinking (out loud), so walking and working is a natural extension of that. One of the benefits I have found with using a treadmill desk is that I don’t suffer the afternoon, post-lunchtime crash and wind up falling asleep at my desk.

    Reply
  • 4. Stand Up! « playthink  |  September 27, 2009 at 7:13 am

    […] Related: “Spending the workday at 1 MPH“ […]

    Reply
  • 5. Stand up and move, cont. « playthink  |  February 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    […] how simply “standing up may be as important as exercise” and the development of treadmill desks and classroom walkstations. Olivia Johnson, a NYT blogger who writes on the “influence of science and biology on modern […]

    Reply

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Jason R. Atwood

I'm an avid trail runner and doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley who studies motivation and the relationship between the mind and body. This blog is a forum to share research, news, and musings about these topics of interest. More

Play is the beginning of knowledge.

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