I was reading an interesting post on technology that started with the words “I’m writing these words at 2.5 miles per hour.” Well it was obvious this was not someone riding either a train or bus to work. Even in bad traffic 2.5 mph is a bit slow. Delving into the article revealed a piece of technology that may improve employee fitness.
Walking at work
We have all seen them, the treadmill desk. Some people have been using them for years. The author of the quote above, Lex Friedman, says he has been using his for a while. He was writing a review of something called the Fitbit Flex wristband. But his use of the treadmill desk got me thinking. Another friend, Dwane Lay, mentioned on Facebook that he had converted his desk to a standing desk. More and more people are starting to take a look at these in order to improve their personal fitness.
My thought however, was what if companies start thinking about this? What if companies start installing treadmill desks as the “normal” piece of office equipment? Would the increases in employee health and subsequently productivity offset the cost of such equipment? Indeed, would this equipment be all that more expensive than regular desk setups?
What would the advantages be of having this sort of equipment? How about:
- Fitter employees
- Reduced healthcare costs and issues
- Higher productivity
- Ability to attract candidates that were interested in this
- A “cool” factor
Naturally there is a potential downside. These might include:
- Having to have alternative equipment for people with disabilities
- Having to have alternative equipment during rest periods
- People hesitant to walk that much in “dressy” work clothes
Of course you don’t have to have a treadmill desk for every employee. What about having several desks like this on hand that would allow people to use them as they desire? Give them an alternative workstation that would allow them to get out of a chair for a part of their workday.
It is something to think about. Anyone currently doing this?