Sunday, February 26, 2012

the rat race

Office life: can you stand it?

Business people are not all the same just because they all sit at desks. 

Not that they all do just sit. In a recent New York Times report, an article by Eric Copage highlighted the health dangers of sitting all day, and promoted the benefits of getting up from your chair and moving about during the working day. It seems that exercising out of office hours is not enough on its own to combat the risks of sitting on your butt all day. 

Copage reports that a firm in Minneapolis, hoping to help matters, has introduced walking meetings. Yep, you read that right. In their conference room they have set up “treadmill desks” with height-adjustable working surfaces. Employees have also been provided with treadmill desks with computers. Then there’s wireless headsets for walking about while talking on the phone.

As someone who spent a lot of years sitting down in an office, I fully endorse any efforts to change that dynamic and get people moving during their working day. Taking the stairs between floors instead of the lift is great. Going to talk to someone instead of sending yet another rambling email can be good. A small gym within the office is convenient. Breaks for activity would be innovative. I’ll even endorse sitting on a balance ball.

But those guys walking on the treadmill while they work -- that just defines “rat race” for me. 

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