There are countless studies that talk about the adverse effects of long working hours. In fact, sitting for long hours has been linked to increased risk of developing cancer. Health experts suggest taking short breaks, using stairs instead of the an elevator and walking around to increase physical activity.
Michael Sliter from the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) suggests how walking workstations can help in improving the physical and mental well-being of employees. Sliter and his team analyzed the effect of walking workstations on human psychological as well as physical health and whether the benefits derived from these workstations are long-term in nature.
A walking workstation is basically a combination of an office desk and a treadmill that is designed especially for one to walk while working. A user can sit and work as well and start walking on the treadmill whenever he'd like to. These are also known as treadmill desks. Similar to this concept, a cycling workstation allows one to cycle whenever one wishes to while working.
The study was published in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Occupational Health Psychology and stated that those who walked while working experienced higher satisfaction, less boredom and stress as compared to others. Sliter and his team evaluated a total of 180 people. The participants were randomly assigned workstations - seated, standing, cycling and walking. The participants were tested on the level of their boredom, task satisfaction, stress, arousal, and performance while performing official computer tasks. Those who cycled while working, experienced reduced satisfaction and performance.
"We found that the walking workstations, regardless of a person's exercise habits or body mass index (BMI), had significant benefits. Even if you don't exercise or if you are overweight, you'll experience both short-term physical and psychological benefits" Sliter said.