Objective: The number of calories expended in the workplace has declined significantly in the past 75 years. A walking workstation that allows workers to walk while they work has the potential to increase caloric expenditure. We evaluated whether employees can and will use walking workstations while performing their jobs.
Methods and procedures: We studied nurses, clinical assistants, secretaries and appointment secretaries using the StepWatch Activity Monitor System (which accurately measures steps taken at slow speeds) while performing their job functions in their usual fashion and while using the walking workstation.
Results: Subjects increased the number of steps taken during the workday by 2000 steps per day (p<0.05). This was equivalent to an increase in caloric expenditure of 100 kcal/day. Subjects reported that they enjoyed using the workstation, that it could be used in the actual work arena and that, if available, they would use it.
Discussion: Walking workstations have the potential for promoting physical activity and facilitating weight loss. Several subjects in this study expended more than 200 extra calories daily using such a system. Further trials are indicated.
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Funding: Supported by grants DK56650, DK63226, DK66270, DK50456 (Minnesota Obesity Center) and by the Mayo Foundation and by a grant to the Mayo Foundation from Mr. R Stuart.