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How To Lose Weight While Working At Your Desk

Weight loss desk exercise

As our lives have become more sedentary, we find ourselves moving far less than did our ancestors. We no longer have to scavenge each day for food, nor do we have to haul water out of the well and transport the heavy buckets back to the kitchen. For most of us, there is no need to chop down trees and cut up wood to stay warm in the winter. We buy our food from the market, and even worse, the fast food joints found on every corner. The modern conveniences we enjoy today have taken away much of the physical labor required to get the job done.


Even though we spend less time moving, we seem more fatigued at the end of the day. How is that even possible? Data collected by researchers at the Mayo Clinic shows fatigue can be caused by lack of physical exercise.

“A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise," says researcher Patrick O'Connor, co-director of the University of Georgia exercise psychology laboratory in Athens, Ga.PhD, in a news release. "But if you're physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help."

Sometimes at the end of the work day, we are so mentally exhausted that the only thing we can do is collapse on the sofa in a vegetative state, only to get up the next day to start the cycle all over again when we drag ourselves out of bed and stagger to the coffee pot.

"We live in a society where people are always looking for the next sports drink, energy bar, or cup of coffee that will give them the extra edge to get through the day," says researcher Tim Puetz, PhD, also of UGA in a WebMD interview. "But it may be that lacing up your tennis shoes and getting out and doing some physical activity every morning can provide that spark of energy that people are looking for."

Also See: Get Fit By Adding This Simple Exercise Equipment At The Desk

Exercising in the morning sounds great to some, but it may not be for everyone.

Taking a nice power walk or jog at lunch would do well for other, but that means a midday shower. Most offices are not equipped for this. A brisk walk before or after dinner seems to be a popular choice, as is stopping by the gym on the way home.

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Finding ways to keep the body in motion during the long work day sometimes seems impossible. Or is it?

The recommended number of steps per day should equal or exceed 10,000. That’s about 500 steps less than five miles, depending upon the length of your stride. For someone who sits at a desk all day five miles might sound ominous. Is there really a way to make it happen?

Yes, there is! Consider the concept of walking while you work using a desk treadmill. The idea of a desk treadmill was first patented in 1993 by Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic when he constructed a treadmill desk by placing a bedside hospital tray over a $400 treadmill. Sixteen years later, the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk entered the market as the first height adjustable desk with a universal design which fit any existing treadmill.

The recommended speed for walking on a treadmill while working is a little less than 2 mph. If the average person could walk at 1.5 mph for four hours a day, this would work out to be 6 miles, or roughly 12,600 steps a day!

In order to find out how many steps you would need for weight loss, you would need to get an idea of how many steps you are currently taking. A smart phone app, or a pedometer can log your steps each day for an accurate record. The number of extra steps needed to facilitate weight loss can be determined with simple math.

Considering that for each mile walked 100 calories are burned, walking an extra three miles (6300 steps) could easily result in 300 extra calories burned per day. To get the bigger picture, consider that this equates to an extra 2100 calories burned per week, which can result in the loss of more than 31 pounds in a year’s time!

Treadmill desks are perfect for home offices, but incorporating one into your work area at the office is a win-win! Employers can earn points with insurance companies for providing ergonomically-approved fitness on the job site. The employee wins by increasing stamina, mental acuity, energy, and productivity on the job, along with better health and fitness, (which is also a win for the employer!)

For a new solution to an old problem, check out the many different models of treadmill desks to see if this would be a way to help you lose those extra pounds or maintain your current weight while energizing your life!