Studies keep telling us that—despite the fact that our jobs kind of call for it—sitting down all day is killing us. Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook even called sitting "the new cancer." But just-released research says that the treadmill desk, which we thought was supposed to be the answer, may not be the cure-all we thought.
Researchers at Oregon State University had a group of overweight and obese office workers try treadmill desks for three months, and measured their daily step count and general physical activity. They found that treadmill desks help you get active, but not by a whole lot.
In general, participants took 1,000 more steps every day, but had no significant weight loss or change to their BMIs after three straight months. That might be because the participants slacked off—they only used the treadmills on average for 45 minutes a day, which is half of what they were asked to do. Also, they walked slowly (about 1.8 miles per hour), which doesn't measure up to the moderate-intensity exercise you need to stay healthy. (But really, have you tried to type an email while you're jogging at a steady clip? Scary.)
"One of the challenges with the treadmill desk is that it needs to be lower-intensity activity so employees can still perform their work duties," lead researcher John M. Schuna, Jr. said in a press release. And if it's tough to work while walking, you may be more tempted to step off, grab a coffee, and chat with a coworker about Downton Abbey instead. There goes your treadmill time—and your productivity.
So: We know we're not supposed to sit all day. But the extreme opposite (walking while working) doesn't seem to help either. Prize for the first person who figures out what we are supposed to do.
You should also check out:
Anthropologie's 30% Off Black Friday Sale Is Something You Don't Want to Miss
From swoon-worthy cardigans to tablescape must-haves.
By Michelle Rostamian •
Astrology Gifts for Your Horoscope-Obsessed Friends
"Sorry your gift is late...Mercury was in retrograde."
By Rachel Epstein •
The 30 Best Face Oils For Every Single Skin Type
Yes, even you and your acne-prone skin can use face oil.
By Chloe Metzger •
Senator Klobuchar: "Early Detection Saves Lives. It Saved Mine"
Senator and breast cancer survivor Amy Klobuchar is encouraging women not to put off preventative care any longer.
By Senator Amy Klobuchar •
How Being a Plus-Size Nude Model Made Me Finally Love My Body
I'm plus size, but after I decided to pose nude for photos, I suddenly felt more body positive.
By Kelly Burch •
I'm an Egg Donor. Why Was It So Difficult for Me to Tell People That?
Much like abortion, surrogacy, and IVF, becoming an egg donor was a reproductive choice that felt unfit for society’s standards of womanhood.
By Lauryn Chamberlain •
The 20 Best Probiotics to Keep Your Gut in Check
Gut health = wealth.
By Julia Marzovilla •
Simone Biles Is Out of the Team Final at the Tokyo Olympics
She withdrew from the event due to a medical issue, according to USA Gymnastics.
By Rachel Epstein •
The Truth About Thigh Gaps
We're going to need you to stop right there.
By Kenny Thapoung •
3 Women On What It’s Like Living With An “Invisible” Condition
Despite having no outward signs, they can be brutal on the body and the mind. Here’s how each woman deals with having illnesses others often don’t understand.
By Emily Shiffer •
The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain
Three women open up about how their conditions impact their bodies—and their wallets.
By Alice Oglethorpe •