Just a little while ago, we shared a post explaining why standing desks can cause problems for your veins. In fact, according to a recent long term study involving over 38,000 people, those who stood walked for over six hours a day at work faced up to three times the risk of undergoing surgery for varicose veins! But we also talked about the price your veins pay when you sit all day. We realize that this may have left you hanging…well never fear, we think we may have found a great solution: pedal desks!
What, you may ask, are pedal desks? Quite simply, they are desks that have been equipped like stationary recumbent bikes at the gym. Recently, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst created prototypes of their ideal pedal desks for a study on improving office worker’s health. They gave the pedal desks to 12 sedentary employees and monitored how the desks affected both their health and their workplace productivity.
What the researchers discovered was pretty incredible: first of all, there were no workplace productivity drawbacks with the desk. And, more importantly, there was at least one marked health benefit: the study participants who used the pedal desk needed less insulin to maintain their blood sugar levels. This suggests that use of the pedal desk helped participants boost their metabolism.
Sitting all day is killer, and standing all day destroys your veins…but sneaking in some light exercise throughout the workday could be a great solution from busy professionals interested in preserving their vein and overall health! Of course, for now, getting that exercise with a pedal desk is only an option for those 12 lucky study participants. So, until they become widely available (and economically viable) you should try and find ways to get more exercise on your own: take hourly strolls around the office or up and down some stairs. Walk over to a coworker’s desk instead of calling or emailing. Or simply get up and stretch your legs a bit whenever you think of it. Any activities you can add to your routine that don’t involve spending hours on your feet will boost your health and counteract the negative effects of all-day sitting!