Sitting on your desk chair all day long, as an office worker, is linked to health problems.
Scientists from the University of Iowa have unveiled a strategy to decrease sedentary behavior at work and promote physical activity among employees: the instalment of a personal pedaling device under each desk.
The new study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, revealed the fact that employees who were given a portable pedaling device under their desks augmented their physical activity. Those who used the device obtained some noticeable health improvements.
Assistant professor of Health and Human Physiology and member of the Obesity Research and Education Initiative from University of Iowa, Lucas Carr exhibited his discovery during the 2015 annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in San Antonio, TX. Lucas Carr was a co-author of the study.
It is widely known, as a result of previous research, that the lack of physical activity may imply several health issues, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Sedentary behavior may increase the risk of developing anxiety, thus, having a negative impact on mental health.
Moreover, we’re talking about office workers, who have increased risks of developing mental and physical health problems due to sedentary behavior. The British Health Foundation conducted a survey which revealed that 40 percent of male and approximately half of the female employees spent less than 30 minutes stretching out and walking around at work.
The point is that the more the workforce uses the portable pedaling device installed under their desks, the more this would lead to weight loss, better days (from a health-related point of view) and better concentration.
Companies tried to promote physical activity among their employees by allowing them to practice exercise in shared facilities.
Prof. Carr said that was a great idea, but that it wasn’t really reliable, as it didn’t work over a longer time frame for most people. He continued by saying that people who actually need to boost their health the most were less likely to use the fitness facilities, whereas these expensive facilities were more accessed by the most healthy employees.
As a result, Prof. Carr’s team came up with a different approach. He gave a so-called active Live Trainer device to 27 obese workers in Iowa and placed it under their desks. He monitored them for a period of 16 weeks, while employees pedaled for 50 minutes daily.
The results were conclusive for many audiences, according to Dr. Carr, as the workforce was able to lose weight and took fewer sick days and their concentration level was boosted significantly.
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