Walkstation To Bring Healthy Habits To Workplace

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Oct 27 2007 - 2:26am

Steelcase unveiled the Walkstation, a height-adjustable workstation with an integrated treadmill.

The Walkstation is the first product from the FitWork category of products designed to bring healthy habits to sedentary workers while they are actually working.

Available in late November, the Walkstation is the result of an alliance between Steelcase and James Levine, MD, PhD, of the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Designed primarily for corporate work environments, the Walkstation combines Steelcase's knowledge of ergonomics and workplace design with Dr. Levine's research on non-exercise activity thermogenesis (N.E.A.T) - the energy expended during everyday activity.

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Obesity is a prevalent issue in today's society and a concern for businesses as it is driving up healthcare costs and driving down worker productivity. Dr. Levine's proprietary N.E.A.T. research suggests that increased physical activity among sedentary workers may benefit the workplace environment and increase the overall health, focus and productivity of a workforce that is typically desk-based. Designed to encourage more movement by walking slowly at work, Dr. Levine estimates that users of the Walkstation have the potential to increase energy expenditure by 100 calories per hour when walking at a 1 mph rate. Thus, if obese individuals were to replace time spent sitting at the computer with 2-3 hours per day of walking computer time, and if other components of energy balance were constant, actual weight loss may result.

"The Walkstation is not intended to provide a gym-style workout in the office; its purpose is not to cause users to raise their heart rates or work up a sweat," Dr. Levine says. "For office workers, the majority of the workday is spent sitting in front of a computer. The premise of this Walkstation is simply to increase movement while working, and for users to enjoy the health benefits of that movement."

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