Treadmill desks won’t slow you down at work

If you’ve heard all the hype around stand-up desks, chances are you’ve also heard about the treadmill desk. Maybe you’ve thought, ‘what an awesome idea! Get in my cardio while I work!’ But you may have also thought (like me), ‘how the hell do I type on this thing?’

Well for all the naysayers your doubts are unfounded. A new study from Rutgers University’s Department of Kinesiology and Health has found that walking on a treadmill at your workstation won’t impair your executive function, after a small adjustment period of course.

Executive functioning includes things like flexible thinking, working memory, planning, prioritising, task initiation and organisation.

Interestingly the study noted an ‘expected’ effect of walking on reaction time and accuracy, while older participants needed a longer planning time for some difficult tasks. But in a real life situation, what’s to stop you from just jumping off the mill when you need some time to think?

During the task, the participants walked at a slow pace for 50 minutes, clocking up a massive 4500 steps. If you’re aiming for the golden 10,000, that’s almost half your day done. With no impairment in your work performance, it could be worth a shot.

To pep yourself up at the 3pm slump, find out why taking the stairs is your best pick-me-up! And maybe even consider working in some walking meetings to your day for your most productive pow-wow ever.