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:
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
Kylie Jenner's Peep-Toe Boots Kick Off the Polarizing Spring Shoe Trend
These boots were made for walkin'—and showing off your pedicure.
By Aaron Royce
Machine Gun Kelly Is No Longer Going By Machine Gun Kelly
The change comes after some fans claimed the name glorified firearms.
By Meghan De Maria
Prince William Accepts Gifts for Kate Middleton As Health Rumors Swirl
William attended two more public events this week, without his wife in sight.
By Meghan De Maria
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