WASHINGTON (AFP) – The maker of a new product that combines a treadmill and computer workstation is banking on the notion that companies will invest in products like the “Walkstation” as a way of keeping health care costs down and improving overall fitness levels. The device allows people to work on their computers while walking on a treadmill at a slow speed of up to three kilometers (two miles) per hour, enabling small amounts of movement that supporters say have the potential to reap big health benefits.

The product made by Details, a unit of Michigan-based office furniture maker Steelcase, is selling 30 to 40 units per week, according to company president Bud Klipa. “The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, we have numerous repeat customers,” Klipa told AFP. Products and services such as these are part of the future workplace in America and elsewhere as companies try to battle obesity and cap medical costs, according to John Challenger, chief executive of the consultancy Challenger Gray & Christmas. “Companies are recognizing they have to find a way to get control of their health care costs,” Challenger said. The Walkstation was unveiled last year based on research from James Levine, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic, who contends that fitness can be improved through small, modest movements for people who are otherwise sedentary.

Levine argues that the Walkstation provides benefits through a process he calls “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” or NEAT, or incremental movements without strenuous exercise.

I rigged a similar setup like this at home years ago, in fact I’ve done many postings while on a treadmill. Its a great way to kill time during an otherwise boring activity.

  1. It’s a fad. This form of exercise is not entirely useless, but pretty close. Don’t skip your regular workouts!

  2. MikeN says:

    Let’s mandate this.

  3. Jägermeister says:

    There’s no doubt this dude would be über-productive on this Walkstation…

  4. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    Why doesn’t this thing have an electrical generator on the treadmill to help power the electronics?

  5. McCullough says:

    #4. Excellent idea, I was thinking that myself.

  6. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    #5 Actually, I can’t take full credit for the idea. I fell into a trance and began channeling Misanthropic Scott when I made that comment 😉

  7. Hmeyers says:

    Um yea right.

    Most drones at companies can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

  8. Hmeyers says:

    Add: Actually, some of them can’t walk … period.

  9. tordenflesk says:

    I challenge anyone to actually be able to do any effective work while walking. Moving the mouse, clicking, typing and walking at the same time makes for some interesting “results”.

  10. eyeofthetiger says:

    #9 your correct unless the person is grossly obese then they benefit from such activity. I’d assume obese people would have a problem concentrating on a project other than stepping.

  11. Libertican says:

    Why don’t they just hook up a human hamster wheel to the building’s generator and save on energy costs?

  12. Ron Larson says:

    #11 hit the nail on the head. I saw it and thought “Hamster Wheel”.

  13. RTaylor says:

    We’re just a bunch of sick monkeys. This fanatical western work ethic is wiping out civilization. Make time for work and a walk in the park.

  14. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    If your able to work effectively while on a treadmill then you are not getting a workout. If you are getting a workout then by god you’re not getting any work done. Reminds me of seeing the woman next to me at the gym talking of the phone while treadmilling. If you exercising effectively you won’t be able to talk on the phone.

  15. lynn says:

    “in fact I’ve done many postings while on a treadmill. Its a great way to kill time during an otherwise boring activity. ” Which one is the boring activity – the posting, or the treadmill?

  16. Calin says:

    #15 both.

  17. McCullough says:

    #16. Yeah, both.


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