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Long-Term Benefits Of Using A Treadmill Desk In Your Office

If you’re someone who works long days in the office, there’s no question that you are feeling the effects of this from time to time. Let’s face the facts, sitting for long periods is not only uncomfortable, it’s detrimental to your health.

More and more people are choosing to move into a treadmill desk set-up and for good reason. There are plenty of terrific benefits that come with moving more during the day. Let’s look at some of these long-term benefits so that you can see why this is something that you may wish to consider.

Less Risk Of Obesity

First, you’ll get the calorie burning benefits of the treadmill desk. Don’t underestimate this! Many people make the mistake of thinking that they are only really burning calories when they are hitting the gym working hard.

While you do definitely burn calories at the gym, you can burn more calories overall if your lifestyle is more active.

Consider two scenarios.

Jane is a desk worker. She works hard at her desk, sitting for 8 hours a day. She then hits the gym for 45 minutes after work, exercising hard and burns 350 calories. Because her daily calorie burn was so low however, her total daily burn was just 1600 calories.

Janet is up and on the move. She has a two year old who is constantly running around and she is chasing after her all day long. At the end of her day, she hits the gym but only for 30 minutes. She’s tired! She burns 250 calories during her workout. Because she was moving around all day however, her total calorie burn is 1900 calories.

Who’s losing weight faster?

The answer is definitely Janet. Despite doing a shorter workout and burning fewer calories, her total daily calorie burn allowed her to significantly overcome Jane’s, who did a more intense workout session.

Movement that you do throughout the day adds up and this is where a treadmill desk really shines. Sitting burns about one calorie per minute. Walking can burn 3-4 depending on the speed you walk at. You do the math here.

On top of all this, prolonged periods of sitting may also mess with your appetite regulation, causing you to consume more food than you really need1. This increases your daily calorie intake and can also lead to weight gain over time.

Those who implement a treadmill desk will not only have an easier time losing weight, but they’ll also be at a decreased risk of gaining weight over time as well.

Decreased Chance Of Type 2 Diabetes

Another benefit to using a treadmill desk is that you’ll have a reduced risk of type two diabetes2. This happens because of two reasons.

First, because you are more active and burning more calories, your risk of weight gain is less. Weight gain is a key contributing factor to diabetes, so this will certainly help you out.

Next, exercise of any kind – even walking – helps to boost insulin sensitivity. The more insulin sensitivity you have, the easier time you’ll have controlling the glucose that is released after eating carbohydrates.

This is the cornerstone of diabetes. Those who suffer from diabetes typically have very poor blood glucose control and as such, their body is unable to manage glucose and respond to insulin. Therefore, it gets converted into body fat stores, only worsening the situation.

While intense exercise will improve insulin sensitivity more, any form of exercise will do it. If you walk for a few hours a day at your desk, you can rest assured this is going to have a strong influence.

If you’re someone who is already suffering from diabetes, you will likely find that the treadmill desk helps you control your diabetes better as well. Just do note that you will want to speak with your doctor before starting to use one as this may impact how many carbohydrates you need to eat during the day.

Improved Heart Health

Heart disease is one of the most prevalent diseases in today’s society and it’s claiming lives each and every year. It’s time we really sat up and did something about our heart health and that includes getting more exercise.

If you simply cannot find the time to exercise outside of work, a treadmill desk brings exercise to your work. Problem solved!

Now you can get that exercise in that you need without having to worry about devoting more time out of your busy schedule when you can’t afford it.

A treadmill desk will help to lower your bad cholesterol levels, improve triglyceride profile, as well as lower blood pressure, all of which is associated with improved heart health3.

While there are definitely other steps you should be taking in addition to using a treadmill desk to boost your heart health such as eating healthier, quitting smoking, and sleeping longer at night if you are currently short on sleep, this is a great start.

Reduced Chance Of Back Pain

How many times after a long day at the office have you stood up only to feel sharp pain shooting down your back? Too many times to count?

You’re not alone. Most people who are sitting for extended periods of time do experience severe back pain because of it. When the body is not in motion and slouched over, this is placing great strain on the joints and is not going to do your back any favors.

Adding more movement into the day, in the form of a treadmill desk, will significantly relieve that stress. While standing in one place for an extended period of time can actually be more taxing on the joints, walking is less because there is that transfer of weight involved.

Better Posture

Along with having less back pain when you are using a treadmill desk, you can also expect to experience better posture as well. There’s nothing like slouching over at all times to really do a number on your posture, and in some people, this can unfortunately become a permanent change to their posture.

The back muscles begin to weaken and the chest muscles become tight, which causes that hunched over or rounded appearance in the upper back.

Since you can’t walk in a hunched over position, the treadmill desk will solve this problem instantly. You’ll straighten up as you walk and with your head held in a better position, your posture will be dramatically improved.

It’s important to practice proper posture each and every day as this will help build a better habit and keep those muscles strong.

Increased Energy

Ever heard the saying, ‘a body in motion stays in motion’? Well, that is very true. Those people who are up and active throughout the day typically have far more energy carrying them through their day than those who are sedentary for hours on end.

When you sit for quite some time, the amount of energy it takes to get your body up and moving is dramatic. This is what causes many to just skip their gym workouts and go straight home. They’re so exhausted from sitting all day that they just want to go lay down. How’s that for irony!

Those who are up and moving on the other hand typically have far more energy and are more likely to want to go to the gym and get that workout session in. Energy essentially breeds more energy, so it’s just getting the process started that’s important.

Mental Clarity

Along with more energy, you’ll also find that you have better mental clarity as well. You’ll be able to concentrate better, feel less restless, and be able to accomplish more in your workday.

If you happen to be in a performance based position where you are paid based on how much you do, this may even lead to a higher salary. If not, and you’re in a fixed wage job, you may get more work done, impress your boss, and that could lead you to great things in the future.

Either way you look at it, being a better employee is always a good thing and a treadmill desk can help you achieve that.

Better Mood

Finally, don’t be surprised if you see your mood improve as well. There’s nothing quite like sitting for 8 hours straight to put anyone in a bit of an irritable mood. When you’re up and moving, blood is circulating to the brain better, you’re feeling less exhausted and your body just feels better overall.

What’s not to love about that?

So definitely do consider getting yourself a treadmill desk. It may mean that you have to trade in those high heeled shoes for some comfortable and cushioned joggers, but it’s well worth the trade-off when you see all the wonderful benefits you’ll get from it.


  1. Granados, Kirsten, et al. “Appetite regulation in response to sitting and energy imbalance.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism37.2 (2012): 323-333.
  2. Hamilton, Marc T., Deborah G. Hamilton, and Theodore W. Zderic. “The role of low energy expenditure and sitting on obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.” Diabetes(2007).
  3. Dunstan, David W., Alicia A. Thorp, and Genevieve N. Healy. “Prolonged sitting: is it a distinct coronary heart disease risk factor?.” Current opinion in cardiology26.5 (2011): 412-419.

Photo credit: VGstockstudio/Shutterstock; Gutesa/Shutterstock; Aleksandr Fostic/Shutterstock

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