Are Treadmill Desks the Future of Health and Productivity?

Have you heard of treadmill desks before?

There is a small, but growing, trend of working professionals using treadmill desks at the office. As you might have imagined, a treadmill desk looks exactly as the name implies. There’s a treadmill belt. At one end of the belt, there’s a tabletop surface.

Because of the growing concern that prolonged sitting is bad for your health, the treadmill desk appears to be an option for white collar professionals to stay active on the job. Many treadmill desk setups include telephones, computers and other common desktop items.

So are treadmill desks the future of productivity?

That remains to be seen. First there is the pricing issue. Treadmill desks can cost as much as $5,000. That could be pricey for organizations to equip an entire office with this technology.

Publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic have reviewed these desks. They’ve noted that typing speed accuracy as well as motor skills such as mouse clicking becomes less effective. They also mentioned solving cognitive functions such as math problems is more difficult.

However, many of these desks come with seating options, so you don’t have to walk and stand the entire day. The main purpose of these desks is to mitigate the potential negative side effects of sitting all day. This includes the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Other reported benefits include workers feeling less lethargic as well as less absenteeism.

It’s most likely we’ll see treadmill desks in high-end office buildings because of the price tag. We might also see them in gyms in Scottsdale, New York and other gyms and health clubs across the country as a way to be productive more at the gym.

Only time will tell if treadmill desks are here to stay or are a passing fad. What do you think?