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Walk Your Way to Greater Productivity (or Not)


We’re all looking for ways to improve our productivity, and if it helps with that pesky resolution to get into shape, so much the better. So, when you read about treadmill desks, you might just find yourself jumping up and down with joy. Unfortunately, the productivity end of the equation may have more mixed results than you hoped for.

Walk Your Way to Greater Productivity

(Photo credit: marcolm/

On the one hand, a research study from the University of Minnesota demonstrates improved health and a boost to productivity when workers use treadmills on the job. Workers burned 7-8 percent more calories.

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While the UM study showed a marked improvement in performance and quality, The Wall Street Journal reports other, less desirable side-effects: rampant misspellings, injury risk, lower back pain, as well as “issues of hygiene, etiquette and liability.” A study from the University of Tennessee also found an “11 percent deterioration in fine motor skills like mouse clicking, and dragging and dropping, as well in as cognitive functions like math-problem solving.”

Perhaps the walking desk is just one of those ideas that you’ll need to test out for yourself — just to see if it works for you. Of course, you should check with your doctor first before starting any strenuous exercise. But, once you’ve got the doc’s recommendations, feel free to walk yourself to success. It’s worth a shot, right?

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Are you looking for ways to improve your productivity, while getting (or staying) in shape? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Esther Lombardi
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