In a study sure to ruin a few people’s day, researchers have found out that using treadmills at workstations might improve productivity. That’s right, walking while you work might improve your rate of work. Presumably because you’d like to stop working sooner. More so that usual, we mean.
The study, published in PLOS One, found that using a treadmill caused a ten per cent increase in productivity. Treadmills were installed at the workstations of forty employees at a Twin Cities financial services company, presumably along with standing desks. Treadmills only went up to two miles per hour. As you might expect, workers using the treadmills burned more calories than their sedentary counterparts—about eight per cent more, in fact. Which, of course, adds up quite a bit over the year. Productivity also increased by about ten per cent, after a brief dip where employees got used to walking and working.
Of course, a couple grand per employee is a bit of an investment for a company, especially given that even ordinary equipment upgrades tend to provoke employee rebellion. Still, if HR sends someone to measure your cubicle for a new treadmill, you’ll know where the impetus is coming from.