Aging

Live Longer: Trade the Chair for a Treadmill Desk

The January 8, 1998 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reports on the findings of the Honolulu Heart Study, a study of 8000 men. Over a 12-year period, the study found that walking just two miles a day cut the risk of death almost in half.

The walkers' risk of death was especially lower from cancer. Those who walked infrequently were about 2 1/2 times more likely to die of cancer than were the two-mile-a-day men. These were men age 60 and above who appeared in good enough health to be able to walk. Those who did walk were less likely to die in the 12 years that followed.

A recent study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise has raised an alarm flag for individuals who spend the day sitting at work and/or lounging at home. The study focused on the potential of premature mortality due to the effects of sedentary behavior. The findings have serious implications for health professionals recommendations for both the work place and home environments.

The data centered on 17,013 Canadian men and women aged between 18-90 who participated in the 1981 Canada Fitness Survey. Participants were evaluated for the amount of time spent sitting during all aspects of their day.

Data analysis illustrated a progressively higher risk of mortality associated with higher amounts of sitting time. These effects were shown to be consistent regardless of sex, age, smoking status or even body mass index. While participants who were classified as active had a lower overall risk of mortality they showed similar escalating risks of mortality based on the amount of sedentary time in their day as well.

The message from this study shows clearly that movement is critical to maintaining health and preventing premature mortality even among individuals who engage in regular physical exercise. Reducing the amount of time sitting must become a priority to assure optimal health.

The study was conducted by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA; and the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.

In their concluding remarks the study creators stated that “daily time spent sitting was associated with an elevated risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. Of particular note, the association between sitting time and mortality was independent of leisure time physical activity levels and BMI. Current physical activity guidelines for adults are focused on increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity levels. The results of this study provide evidence to support the suggestion that recommendations to limit sedentary time may be important for public health. The findings of the study also support that physicians should counsel patients to not only increase their level of physical activity and maintain a normal body weight but to reduce the amount of time they spend being sedentary in general and sitting in particular.

These recommendations pose a tremendous challenge considering the ever increasing sedentary nature of employment and leisure activities in North America.

"This is one of many studies showing that our nation's rising obesity rates and current health dilemma are directly related to the amount of time we are forced to sit at a desk," states TrekDesk founder Steve Bordley. "Hopefully, this information helps employees understand that our body's health mechanisms have not evolved over millions of years to sit at a desk. Office chairs are robbing employees of their health and life span slowly over the course of their careers. They need to recognize they have the power to reverse the trend by walking at their desk and incorporating more movement at home."

This information should motivate anyone to get off of the couch and start walking. If walking on a treadmill bores an individual than a TrekDesk treadmill desk is the perfect solution.

The TrekDesk treadmill desk comes with a manuscript/book/magazine holder which allows them to walk and read at the same time. The workstation is 72 inches by 34 inches, larger than most desks and allows employees to complete any task walking they would normally undertake while sitting.

The facts are clear in all of the studies and reports on the amazing benefits of walking. Walking prevents disease, increases productivity, promotes weight loss, improves mood, boost the brain and now there is solid evidence that walking increases lifespan.

Need more proof? Read what Dr. Oz says about moving more to live longer.