'Walk and Work' Station Helps Obese Shed Pounds

Office staff burn off extra calories while working on computers

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TUESDAY, May 15, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- A "walk and work" desk designed to let people work on a computer while walking on a treadmill may help obese people lose as much as 66 pounds in a year, according to a study published online May 15 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The vertical "walk and work" desk was designed by the study authors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The unit has an "H"-shaped steel frame that has four locking rubber wheels, making for easy movement and positioning over a treadmill. Adjustable arms hold the computer, keyboard and mouse.

In this study, the researchers compared the amount of energy burned by 15 obese people while they used the "walk and work" desk and when they sat at a conventional desk.

The average amount of energy burned while sitting at a desk was 72 kilocalories per hour, compared to 191 kilocalories an hour while using the "walk and work" desk. They walked the equivalent of one mile in an hour.

If obese people used the "walk and work" desk for a couple of hours every work day, they could boost their energy expenditure by 100 kilocalories an hour, which works out to a loss of 20 to 30 kilograms (44 to 66 pounds) a year, the study authors said.

They said that the study participants found the "walk and work" station easy to use and were able to work normally.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about weight loss.

SOURCE: BMJ Specialist Journals, news release, May 15, 2007

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