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An office-place stepping device to promote workplace physical activity
  1. David A McAlpine,
  2. Chinmay U Manohar,
  3. Shelly K McCrady,
  4. Donald Hensrud,
  5. James A Levine
  1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA
  1. James A Levine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester 55905, USA; levine.james{at}mayo.edu

Abstract

Objective: It was proposed that an office-place stepping device is associated with significant and substantial increases in energy expenditure compared to sitting energy expenditure. The objective was to assess the effect of using an office-place stepping device on the energy expenditure of lean and obese office workers.

Methods: The office-place stepping device is an inexpensive, near-silent, low-impact device that can be housed under a standard desk and plugged into an office PC for self-monitoring. Energy expenditure was measured in lean and obese subjects using the stepping device and during rest, sitting and walking. 19 subjects (27±9 years, 85±23 kg): 9 lean (BMI<25 kg/m2) and 10 obese (BMI>29 kg/m2) attended the experimental office facility. Energy expenditure was measured at rest, while seated in an office chair, standing, walking on a treadmill and while using the office-place stepping device.

Results: The office-place stepping device was associated with an increase in energy expenditure above sitting in an office chair by 289±102 kcal/hour (p<0.001). The increase in energy expenditure was greater for obese (335±99 kcal/hour) than for lean subjects (235±80 kcal/hour; p = 0.03). The increments in energy expenditure were similar to exercise-style walking.

Conclusion: The office-place stepping device could be an approach for office workers to increase their energy expenditure. If the stepping device was used to replace sitting by 2 hours per day and if other components of energy balance were constant, weight loss of 20 kg/year could occur.

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Footnotes

  • Funding: Supported by grants DK56650, DK63226, DK66270, DK50456 (Minnesota Obesity Center) and RR-0585 from the US Public Health Service and by the Mayo Foundation and by a grant to the Mayo Foundation from Mr R Stuart.

  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Abbreviations:
    NEAT
    non-exercise activity thermogenesis
    PC
    personal computer

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