The trend of using >treadmill desks in offices to improve the health of employees is gaining tremendous popularity in offices around the world. However, the real question here is do they help to increase the productivity in any manner?
Well, according to a study conducted by the Health Science Center School of Public Health in the A&M University of Texas, these desks are certainly very helpful in not only improving the health of workers, but also the productivity at work. Many experts also believe that sitting down for long durations can prove to be very harmful for your health. There have also been a large number of scientific studies conducted to understand the long-terms effects of a sedentary lifestyle that includes numerous hours of sitting down. The results of these studies have been highly alarming, and have shown that such a lifestyle is often a prime cause for the occurrence of age-related ailments and diseases.
In order to understand this aspect, we must first try to understand the definition of the term “productivity”. What does it mean or signify? Well, in simple terms, productivity in terms of an office-environment stands for the amount of work done towards achieving a certain goal or result. It is, however, not very easy to calculate or measure the productivity of a worker. For instance, a person might slog for ten hours in a day to achieve a certain result. On the other hand, another person takes about six hours to achieve the same result but does not work for the remaining four hours of his shift.
So, how do we determine who has the better productivity among the two employees for the day? We should measure productivity according to based on the results obtained regardless of a number of efforts put in towards achieving the same. Hence, in the example mentioned above, both workers have shown similar production levels. At the same time, we must also consider the fact that some workers may put in the necessary efforts and skills towards achieving a certain result, but may not always be successful. On the other hand, others may have a smart way of working and not work as hard but still manage to get better results than the first person. In such occasions too, we must measure productivity according to the results achieved.
The use of treadmill desksin work-environments allows the workers to be more vigilant and active during their work. Being active and vigilant will enhance their ability to cater to the tasks at hand. Sitting down constantly while working can often reduce your concentration levels and make you droopy, not to mention the numerous stress-related issues that it can cause to your body muscles. This, in turn, reduces your productivity at work as you are not able to spare a 100 percent of your efforts to complete your work. On the other hand, constantly walking on the treadmill while still working will help you to keep your mind active, and ensure that you are able to focus better on your work.
There are also plenty of health benefits of using such a machine at work. Most office goers are not able to manage adequate time or effort to exercise regularly due to their busy schedules. Moreover, the rigors of having to work hard at the office as well as all the traveling that they have to do regularly leave them with very little energy or physical strength by the end of the day. Hence, exercising on a regular basis is not really an option for many office goers in busy industries. Treadmill desks however, allow a worker to walk for long hours, which can eventually offer benefits that are quite similar to exercises. This allows the workers to maintain strong and efficient physical health at work.
On an average, a person burns approximately 100 calories for every mile that they walk on the treadmill. Moreover, with the belt of the treadmill able to go as slow as 1 mph and as high as 4 mph, workers can ensure that they do not have to walk at high speeds that could compromise their efficiency at work. However, these machines cannot be used for the entire duration of the working hours in an office. Workers can use one such machine to walk and work for an hour or two on the trot and then return to their regular desks. After a while, they can come back to the treadmill and use it again.
In this manner, they will be able to use the treadmill desk to improve their health and productivity, and also avoid exhausting themselves in trying to do this all day long. Offices can place these machines in the common areas so that their workers can take turns using the machine and obtain the benefits. It will also prevent any wastage of money, power and other such resources that would be the case of having one such machine placed for every employee with not all of them making use of it.
A proper balance between health benefit and productivity is essential. Using treadmill desks at the office can really be exciting and beneficial at the same time. However, it also takes quite some to get used to. After all, you are essentially multi-tasking when using one of these desks, and not everyone is efficient in that. Initially, you might find that you are not able to work as well as you do on your regular desk. This is simply because your body and mind are trained to perform the various activities on your desk. Trying to adapt to a new way of working will take some getting used to. However, you also need to put in the necessary effort to adapt to this new development.
Over time and with more use, you will be able to coordinate better at walking and working at the same time. It will then become easy for you to balance the health benefits of the treadmill as well as the increase in productivity. Striking the right balance will not only help you improve your productivity on the machine but on your regular desk as well.