Stay active at your desk for both health and productivity
2 mins read

Stay active at your desk for both health and productivity

According to doctors at the United States-based Mayo Clinic, so-called “active workstations” not only help desk-bound workers get some exercise, but also boost brain power and potentially productivity.

Placing a walking pad, bike, or stepper in front of the computer does not reduce “work performance,” but may help make desk jockeys more effective.

And just as important, reducing the side effects of sitting at a desk all day — “the new smoking,” according to preventive cardiologist Dr. Francisco López-Jimenez.

According to him and his fellow researchers, “When participants used active workspaces, their brain functioning either improved or remained the same.”

They found that participants' “reasoning scores improved when standing, stepping, and walking compared to sitting”.

Office workers have long had to figure out when and how to engage in exercise while juggling family commitments and rush-hour commutes – whether that's using lunch time to go for a run or hit a nearby gym. Have to go, or leave it all till Saturday. And Sunday – a so-called “weekend warrior”.

“Given the lack of time to incorporate physical activity into the daily schedule and the high likelihood of sitting during office work, this environment is potentially suitable for interventions to reduce sedentary behavior,” the researchers said in their paper published in the journal Nature. “Could serve as a viable setting.” Journal of the American Heart Association,

Also read: If you sit too much, going to the gym won't help

The transition from physical to sedentary work in recent decades has been widely associated with increased consumption of processed food, as well as the increasing incidence of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, or so-called “lifestyle diseases”.

“It would be good to consider an active site in prescriptions for the prevention and treatment of conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes,” Dr. Lopez-Jimenez said.

One downside was that while typing accuracy remained the same, speed decreased, according to the team, which analyzed participants' “neurocognitive function” using 11 assessments of reasoning, short-term memory, concentration and motor skills. -DPA

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