Why Standing Desks and Treadmill Desks are Essential for Remote Workers
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Resisting the Allure of Laying in Bed While Working
According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 43% of employed Americans say they spend at least some time working remotely.1 With so many Americans working from places other than the office, it’s important that their designated workspaces are conducive to healthy and productive work. Yes, it may sound enjoyable to work from the couch or in bed, but doing so can lead to back and neck pain (in addition to the occasional unplanned afternoon nap). In fact, a UK study found that 19% of remote employees worked from their sofa and 11% from their bed.2 Many of these employees also reported back or neck pain. How can a remote worker today stay healthy and productive at the same time?
Standing desks (and especially treadmill desks) are excellent options for relieving health and productivity issues associated with sedentary work at home or the office. One clinical study found that standing desks alone can reduce back pain by 31%, and countless testimonials online support this research.3
Additionally, standing and walking breaks are important for maintaining energy levels and a healthy metabolism. In a refreshingly honest article about the realities of gaining weight as an entrepreneur, American businesswoman Leslie Bradshaw explains that most entrepreneurs who gain weight do so because they prioritize others before themselves and neglect to get adequate sleep or exercise. Entrepreneurs aren’t going to stop working, so how do you solve this dilemma? Walking (or standing) while working.
Treadmill desks are ideal tools for entrepreneurs or remote employees because they enable them to meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 10,000 steps per day without having to leave the house and disrupt their day. While standing desks don’t require the same level of physical activity, even these devices increase calorie burn compared to sitting.
Chris Olson, Vice President of Business Development at iMovR explains, “The problem working out of a home office is that you are typically confined to a much smaller space. Coffee, bathroom, printer and even lunch are typically steps away from your desk, causing the home office worker to be even more sedentary than normal. All of this leads to back pain, potential weight gain, zapping your energy, and it can even cause hypertension due to lack of movement.” Olson left her veteran sales position at Hewlett-Packard to join iMovR’s team after she experienced the health benefits of switching to a treadmill desk, which changed her life dramatically.
Activate Your Workspace at Home
For those of you who are considering purchasing a standing desk for a home office, there are several options. If you are limited on space, there are many compact desk converters on the market. (Desk converters go on top of your existing desk and lift up and down so you can stand or sit and work.) The Flexispot 27-inch converter, the Ergotron Workfit Z Mini, and the iMovR Ziplift are just a few of the most popular options.
Employees who have the space and budget for a full-sized sit-stand desk have another category of options to choose from. Read our comprehensive sit-stand desk comparison review to learn about them all. A related product category is the height adjustable meeting table, such as the iMovR Synapse, which can double as dining tables or craft tables.
However, for those who are really committed to maximizing their health and productivity, we highly recommend using a treadmill desk. iMovR and Lifespan both make standalone office treadmills that are compatible with all sit-stand desks, and they also sell treadmill desk bundles that include a desk and a treadmill. These are popular choices for entrepreneurs, stay at home parents, and computer programmers, who spend substantial time sitting and want to be as healthy and productive as possible.
Working at home healthfully and productively may be difficult, especially if you don’t have the right equipment. The allure of laying in bed or lounging on the couch and answering emails is real, but so are the consequences. Unergonomic, sedentary work like this take its toll on your body, especially your neck and back. It’s far better to create yourself an active workstation where you can focus on work, remain ergonomically sound, and get healthy movement mixed into your day, and nowadays you can do so with all the active office products available.
Read more about how allowing workers to work from home could help improve the health of your employees and lower health care costs. For all the latest office fitness news and product reviews, sign up for our newsletter (below).
If you want to get a personal feel for using a treadmill to make sure it will work for you, you should read our article on guidance to see how you can test one out for yourself.