The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Health & Fitness

June 16, 2013

Stand up and GET TO WORK

More employees stand up for their workplace health


Standing and, especially, slowly walking while at one’s desk can pay weight-loss dividends over the long term. But exact effects vary greatly depending on a person’s sex, weight and time spent.

One sample suggests that a 150-pound person might use less than 100 calories an hour sitting at a desk compared to 150 calories an hour standing or 170 calories slowly walking. The difference may not look like much, but if four hours a day are spent standing instead of sitting, that can add up to 200 more calories burned a day.

Ball, the MU exercise and nutrition professor, said workers don’t need “a Cadillac-model” treadmill desk to get health benefits.

“You can just get up and move,” he recommended. “Take activity breaks. Walk for five minutes an hour. Park further away. And don’t use lack of time as an excuse to not exercise. Most Americans watch several hours of TV a day. They have time.”

At the Innovation Cafe, a location in downtown Kansas City where freelancers and entrepreneurs buy memberships in a “collaborative office arrangement,” options include working in an area with exercise balls.

“People use them all the time,” said Innovation Cafe co-owner Jason Teeman. “They’re probably used more than the chairs in the cafe area. But now that you mention stand-up desks, I’m going to look into that. We actually have a perfect place for it.”

And so the trend spreads.

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