Walking while you work: Clerkenwell Design Week
Graeme Stott used to play for Littleborough rugby club until he broke his back and contracted meningitis. Following his accident, he found out that he had type two diabetes and gained weight rapidly.
But it’s thanks to walking on a treadmill that he is back to being fit and healthy and has lost over four stone in two years. Now, he is the manager at Gym World and the man behind bringing “workstation treadmills” to Britain and the European Union.
Walking while working – that’s what it is all about.
This week Graeme is at the Clerkenwell Design Festival showing off his revolutionary workstation designed by LifeSpan workplace. I got to try out the treadmill desk:
Graeme started the treadmill off slow – very slow, as I’d just had lunch – to get me into the swing of things. At first, I wasn’t convinced. I kept looking at my feet hoping they hadn’t disappeared and not at my notepad on the desk.
Then Graeme increased the speed to a normal walking place: it felt natural. As I started talking to Graeme about the benefits of this kind of workstation I soon forgot about what my feet were doing.
He tells me that sitting while working is the “silent killer”. According to the British Heart Foundation those who are at a desk for the majority of their working day are 100 per cent more likely to contract heart disease. And of course there is an increased probability of becoming obese.
I’m still walking on the treadmill, writing down what he’s saying. He tells me that if I continued on the treadmill for three hours, I’d burn on average 110 calories more than if I was just sitting.
It all seemed like a lot of fun and a possible end to the “doom and gloom” of the health problems caused by a sedentary lifestyle. I didn’t want to get off the treadmill. But eventually I did, wondering if I’d ever get back on a treadmill-cum-desk again. Was it just a fad? Will walking while working actually catch on?
While my suspicion is that wellbeing in the workplace could turn into another bygone industry trend, like cubicle offices in the seventies and putting wheels on everything in the Nineties, Graeme is confident that it is going to a real “game changer”.