We all got some really bad news last year: it’s totally our fault, and it doesn’t look set to change any time soon, so let’s not beat around the bush – sitting down all day is killing us. The good news is, there’s a brand new solution out there. It might seem ridiculous, but it may be the only way: drum roll please – A Treadmill Desk.
thanks to the digital age, it’s a requirement to spend most of our lives in front of a computer screen
Now you might think that I am joking, it does seem ridiculous to create a desk that is in a constant motion of running away. We aren’t all that keen to catch up with work. Furthermore, treadmills are only for gyms aren’t they? Even then, they are no replacement for the good old outdoors.Well, that may be so, but thanks to the digital age, it’s a requirement to spend most of our lives in front of a computer screen, which typically means in a chair.
The average person spends 15hrs a day, seated. Take my day as an example. Today, I sat on the train on the way to work. Once there, I sat at my desk. Besides leaving for some food, and the occasional trip to the bathroom, this resulted in 9hrs of unbroken sitting. Back on the train, I roll my eyes at those seat-grabbing vultures, really I should be thanking them. I get ‘lucky’ and I sit again. I arrive home, exhausted. Man, I’m so tired, all I feel like doing is sitting. Dinner, Tv, Bed. Now you can see that 15 hrs a day of sitting is not too difficult to achieve (and yes, im sitting right now.)
I mean, we all knew it was bad, but I never knew how bad. Personally, I fear that we are quickly evolving into a new flat bottomed, hunchbacked, beer bellied species of human, or perhaps – more accurately – devolving. It seems ironic, that this is a direct result of our over sophisticated, technological selves. But that is exactly why it is killing us. We couldn’t be further from our natural makeup. Biologically, humans are just not meant to spend all day sitting. In fact, sedentary behavior causes life-threatening physiological changes in the body which, according to Dr James Levine , director of obesity solutions at the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University (as quoted on BBC News) can lead to health problems which include ‘not only obesity but also hypertension, hyperlipidemia – high cholesterol if you like – cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, poor or low mood, a predisposition to diabetes.’ The scary thing is, going to the gym for a short burst every day doesn’t even undo the effects of a full day of sitting. Ideally, like our hunter-gatherer ancestors, we should be out there, doing ‘stuff.’
Now, whilst this is a nice idea, I suppose we do need our jobs (sigh). Our relationships with our computer screens aren’t going anywhere anytime fast. But solutions such as this treadmill desk really do make a difference. The treadmill is set to run at 1-2mph, and although typing may take some getting used to, it solves all the physical issues that come with constant sitting, plus it benefits fitness and increases attention span, thus improving productivity. There are already many companies benefitting from this animated future of a workspace. It seems only natural that among the pioneers are technology firms such as Google and Microsoft.
If this treadmill desk just seems too energetic, a simple standing desk which is quickly reemerging in many workplaces (after having been popular in the 18th and 19th centuries) already makes a big difference, promoting blood circulation, allowing muscles to move freely, and eliminating many of the problems that come with sitting. It may seem funny at first, but the way things are headed these solutions must be considered. Let’s not allow our advancement into the digital age defeat us. We don’t want to see a real life reenactment of the Disney Pixar film WALL-E, with humans remaining seated for the entirety of their existence, dying young and lazy (watch video below to see what I mean.) If you, like me, are also concerned by this real threat, please consider taking a stand – literally. It may just save your life.