You’ve heard it a thousand times: Prolonged sitting is hazardous to your health, but if you’re like most people, you spend a vast majority of your day sitting down—in your office, commuting to and from work, and watching TV.
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“On average, Americans are sitting about 9 to 10 hours a day,” says Robert Glatter, MD, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Earlier this year, a study by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that excessive sitting was linked to an 18% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
“The problem is that all the toxins accumulate when you sit, so it doesn’t get processed by the body,” says Glatter.
But if you’re the nearly 86% of American workers with a desk job, what are you supposed to do?
Glatter says that using a standup desk or even a treadmill desk is becoming more popular in recent years.
“The concept is that moving during the day while we’re actually working is the new way to improve our health beyond just going to the gym,” he adds.
That’s where companies like Lifespan Fitness come in… they created a Treadmill Desk over 4 years ago and have sold nearly 50,000 units since.
Lifespan’s President Peter Schenk tells FOXBusiness.com that 85% of their clients are businesses with the average cost ranging from $799 for an entry level unit to $3,000 dollars for a multi-use treadmill.
“It runs the gamut from higher education, government to manufacturing. Some of the names that you would recognize are Zillow Group, Nascar, and SolarCity,” he says while walking on his treadmill desk, which he uses every day.
“I do throughout the day when I’m on the phone or on a skype call.”
Lifespan says the idea originally came from James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., who serves as the co-director of Obesity Solutions at the Mayo Clinic.
Levine made the first ever treadmill desk in 1999, using a tray table with a telescoping base and a secondhand treadmill that he got for three hundred dollars.
The idea came after he conducted a study at the Mayo Clinic about why some people seemed prone to gain weight while others seemed immune, even when they ate the same amount.
Levine found that people who stayed thin managed to move throughout the day whether they were standing, pacing, or fidgeting.
Glatter says the longer you sit, the worse it’s going to be.
“We all realize it and it’s inevitable at most jobs and most of us don’t have stand-up or treadmill desks. But, if you have to sit, practice good posture and get up 5 to 6 times every hour.”