Thursday

The Walking Computer Station That Will Save Your Body!

As I write this blog post I am walking at a 7.5 incline at a comfortable pace.  I decided that I can no longer sit at the computer.  Yes, I do get my strength and conditioning training in with kettlebells and various body weight drills, but then I have more than 5 hours of computer work to do everyday!  Between writing a book, articles, designing nutrition/training programs, and keeping up with emails, computer time for me is a lot more hours than I've ever wanted.  At first, I was getting frustrated at the fact that I'd rather be moving, since most fitness people gravitate to a more active job.  Second, the excessive sitting was making me more tired than usual.  Since I began writing the book, I have been feeling lower back discomfort for the first time in my life.  All from too much sitting!  I work with people daily that have desk jobs.  Unfortunately, research is beginning to show that desk jobs have much more detrimental effects than just being sedentary.

Most people know the problems with constant sitting, but don't take them seriously enough.  Even those who exercise 1-2 hours a day, but then sit the rest of the day are negatively effected by the sitting. There are hundreds of reasons why sitting for an extended period of time will wreak havoc on our bodies.  When sitting, we are putting our hip flexors in a constant state of flexion causing them to actually shorten.  Sitting on your butt will actually stretch out your glutes causing them to become weak.  Your shoulders will round forward and sitting will put an incredible amount of pressure on the vertebral discs.  Look at the posture of those who have a desk job or spend too much time sitting at their computer.  They all have these in common: tight hip flexors, rounded shoulders, and really bad posture to say the least.  Why knowingly do this to yourself?

I began to put my computer on a counter top so that I could stand while typing.  Even standing in one place, however, began to bother me a bit.  So I started researching treadmill desks.  I realized it was the only way I was going to be able to continue with all the work I had to do on the computer.  I looked up special standing treadmill desk stations that were roughly $450.  Since I primarily use a laptop computer, I didn't feel one of those was necessary.  Instead I found the Surfshelf, which can strap onto a treadmill or bike, for only $40.  Being the impulsive person that I am, I went ahead and purchased it for a treadmill that I didn't even own yet.  I looked on craigslist for a used one since I didn't need anything fancy.  There were tons of different ones to choose from and it made me a bit overwhelmed.  Since time was not on my side and I didn't feel like driving all over town looking at different used treadmills, I went to the closest sporting goods store and bought a very simple, brand new treadmill.  The cool thing about treadmills these days is that they are all internet enhanced and come with speakers.  I didn't need all the bells and whistles, but hopefully they will motivate my husband to use it while watching the UFC.  I never thought in a million years that I'd purchase a treadmill since I can't stand hamster wheels.  Since this is not strictly for exercise but for office purposes I felt it was worth every penny.  My unconventional training friends, laugh if you'd like, but this will save my spine and posture.  We shall see who laughs last!  ;-)




I share this with you today so that you too can have the option to change your workstation from sitting to standing.  We were not meant to sit for long periods of time.  It's time to break up with your chair and walk while you type, surf the internet, and make phone calls.  I hope seated desk jobs become a thing of the past.  If every office invested in a simple treadmill for their employees to use during work, productivity would increase tenfold along with less sick days and happier employees.

Don't wait until it's too late.  This is one of the smartest investments that I have made in a long time.


Dr. Levine from the Mayo Clinic is now doing case studies for treadmill desks and they are showing amazing results.




Here are a few very good priced treadmills perfect for a computer.  ProForm 400 CT Treadmill - Treadmills and ProForm 415 CT - Treadmills.  If you really want to go budget this is as low as it's going to get.  Paradigm Walk-To-Fit Electric Treadmill - Treadmills .  Happy Shopping!


11 comments:

TJK said...

great idea Lauren... however most of us do not have treadmills in our home ;)

Lauren said...

TJK, I didn't have one until today! Get one it's better than sitting on your butt!

Elisabeth said...

This is so cool!! I love hearing you talk about this. I used to have a desk job and couldn't stand all the sitting so much that I started using a wide filing cabinet as my desk. I was made fun of a little but overall other people in the office started mentioning how they should do that too since they had lower back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, etc. This is AWESOME and so worth being the 'odd man out' for a while...eventually everyone's got to switch to something better, because sitting really does wreak havoc on the body - just ask a healthy, 24 year old ex-coworker of mine who just developed a blood clot from sitting too much.

J and A said...

Oh I wish I coudl do this at work!!! I sit on a fit ball but this would rock!

Riceberg said...

Where would you put your pens, papers, folders exc? Unfortunately for some us, we need the whole desk.

~tinyartjewelry~ said...

What do you think about stability ball chairs? Gaiam sells the one I have. I have one and I do feel it definitely engages the core more. Not sure it always keeps me from slumping forward but its an improvement over regular chair. If I had the room in my office I might try and try the treadmill idea...sounds great!

Lauren said...

Riceberg, There are lots of actual treadmill desk options. Someone posted this on my facebook page as a cheaper option. An actual desk that allows you to do it all. http://www.flzine.com/treadmill-desk-for-20-bucks-chea/

Emily Manship, CPT, Yoga Instructor said...

Funny you blog about this, while I was just wishing for one of these at work. I have sat at a desk for the last 8 yrs, and it is killing me. Luckily yoga helps my posture a lot, but I can't help but think how much better my hips would be if I didn't sit all day. Having sd that I don't think I can talk my work into shelling out the cash, as I had to apply for a grant for a chair! I am a wellness champion at work, so perhaps w/ time I could encourage this set up here on campus. Who knows!

Roland said...

Lauren, I really hope it helps.

For those who can't do the treadmill because of an office job, etc. make sure to move around and change positions as much as possible. If you can adjust things up and down, use stability balls, standing desk with and without a stool, etc. Sometimes it's all we can do...

Here's an interested blog on the subject from corrective exercise specialist Katy Bowman. http://www.alignedandwell.com/?p=1358&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=223

Heather said...

Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :)

HeatherVonsj@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

How much electricity does this use?