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Treadmill Workstation 264

coondoggie writes "Did you know you could lose as much as 66 pounds by sweating on your PC? Well using the Mayo Clinic's vertical workstation, that just might be the weight loss wave of the future. The vertical workstation is basically a desk mounted over a treadmill that lets office workers to kill two birds with one stone — send emails, check invoices and write reports and burn calories at the same time, say Professors James Levine and Jennifer Miller of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who came up with the machine/desk. There are other things you can try as well. For example, the FPGamerunner, a USB full-size treadmill that works with any first-person shooter (FPS) game, has you covered. Walking on the treadmill moves your character through the game. Handlebars and buttons at the front of the $1,299 treadmill control your direction and fire your weapons." This seems like a lot better idea than me trying to collect Pokemon on an elliptical trainer which will no doubt one day lead to a very embarrassing obituary.
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Treadmill Workstation

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @10:12AM (#19144813)

    Some of us need a reasonable level of quiet to be able to concentrate and work effectively.

    I've never seen any cubicle-based office with any "reasonable level of quiet".

  • Or in real money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <`sd_resp2' `at' `earthshod.co.uk'> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @10:24AM (#19144967)
    In real money, that's 30kg. Or four stone ten.
  • It's nice... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tatisimo ( 1061320 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @10:31AM (#19145071)
    I read an article a while ago about how we have overrated sitting, and so much sitting time is costing us our health. I read something about how many hours we were supposed to spend sitting, how many standing, and how many laying down. Anymore that that time limit, and we'd be stressing our bodies beyond nature. Then, yet another article on how some schools were trying to have students stand up while studying in order to prevent bad posture and promote weight-loss (standing up is already a workout).

    I already walk around while playing my DS, and get up from the computer at least every half hour. I've setting up my office to allow me to work while standing for a while now, but I get stuck on monitor configuration. How to switch from standing to sitting quickly without interrupting the work flow (still stumped there)?

    Alternate ergonomics are unfamiliar, but not impossible. The thing is, we aren't made for sitting in front of a computer all day long, but we could fool our bodies into feeling we aren't. Treadmills, changing postures, etc.

  • Re:My workout (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ubuwalker31 ( 1009137 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @10:39AM (#19145195)
    My biggest complaint is that American businesses don't encourage people to get exercise, they just want you to sit at your desk and get work done. Getting up, moving around, stretching your legs, taking the stairs, socializing, is all prohibited or frowned upon. This might not be a big deal for people who work 7 or 8 hr days who can get to the gym in the morning, but it is brutal to hard workin guys like me who put in 12-14hrs at work.

    I have been following the exercise plan on simplefit.org a scaled down version of crossfit, which is an exercise and calisthenics program that US soldiers and police officers use to keep fit. I went from not being able to do a push up, to being able to do 20 girlie pushups on my knees, to doing 30 pushups in three months.
  • Hamster wheels (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @10:48AM (#19145321) Homepage
    Odd, I heard about this on NPR this morning. But before this report was a longish report about how the "business community" of France was annoyed that they weren't getting the profits they could get if the workers weren't restricted to 35 hours of non-OT work by law. Report also mentioned that by law, all workers had to get physical checkups in order to work. The report, trying to be "balanced", mentioned that actually French workers were more productive than Americans, per hour worked.

    Then the report about the hamster wheel desk. No irony intended, I'm sure.

    Thing about the workers with the shorter work week in France that they didn't mention? They aren't really all that overweight. Thin, actually. American workers are not. I'd have to come down on the side that would say that we're fat because all we f*ing do is work. I do fifty a week at a forty job, and get warned about even three hours of OT. Thanks jeebus I ride a bike to work during the summer, or I'd have a bypass operation by now. I'm too tired to exercise -- it't no fun when you get home at eight and all you want to do is drop into a chair, not from physical, but mental exhaustion. And no, the other jobs aren't better, all the coming anecdotes from star IT workers to the contrary.

    Employer solution? Well, force me out and replace me with H1B labor, sure, or make two people do my job, which already is a composite of two people's jobs. But maybe, a Habitrail! That's the solution!

    Or we can reregulate our work world and have a 35 hour week, or in reality a 40. Nah. That's communism.

    But we are fat, dying too young of old men's diseases, overcharged by a factor of two for medical care for a crap lifestyle, have no free time, and are less productive and by survey a hell of a lot less happy than the French. And the French companies are by no means impoverished; they just want more profits. So they want to be more like us, eh? Alors, time to get the French Habitrail desk. I hope it has a nice winerack for lunch, at least. Another thing they can do is drink at lunch...
  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:03AM (#19145547)
    I guess you don't know much about genetics, do ya? :-)
    It's a simple formula: calories in - calories burned = fat stored.
    If calories in - calories burned = fat stored * magic_genetics_modifier then you've invented energy creation from nothing or destruction without release.
    In either case, the genetics excuse for obesity is incompatible with the conservation of energy. The genetics track really means some people have faster metabolisms and burn the calories or don't have as efficient a gastro system to extract calories from food. Other people have slower metabolisms or more efficient gastro systems to get every bit out. People in the latter group need to eat a lot less and/or find a way to burn off more (exercise). Convincing people of formula #2 above is just more helpless victim mentality.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:07AM (#19145627)
    >>I don't like being fat, but I refuse to have surgery to deal with it. I have an elliptical machine in my house and a bicycle which I barely ride, but I find I don't ever have enough time.

    Frankly, the only reason you don't have time is that you don't prioritize your health. You can't fit everything you want to do in life. You must prioritize. If you work so much that you don't have time to exercise, you might be in the wrong line of work.

    Yeah, it's hard. I lost over 100lbs, but I had to change my lifestyle, not try to 'fit it in.'
  • by bwcarty ( 660606 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:09AM (#19145655)
    Let's see, you have an elliptical machine and a bicycle, but don't have enough time to use them; however, you also have a Nintendo Wii, which you do seem to have time for, and you're considering a machine that works in conjuction with video games.

    Sounds like video games are a higher priority than health for you. 30-60 minutes a day on the elliptical or bike a few times a week would be a good start. The weight won't disappear overnight, but over time, it will have some positive benefits.

  • No, not entirely. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:14AM (#19145709)

    Exercise has important health benefits and you should be doing it. But to lose weight, you need
    to control your food intake. All the fad diets and pills are bullshit and possibly harmful as well.
    OK. 2 things...

    1: Don't worry about your weight, it isn't what matters. What matters is your size. Muscle is five times more dense than fat. You exercise, you physically shrink though you may well stay the same weight or even put some on.

    Use a tape measure, not scales.

    2: When you exercise, the muscle you build requires energy to run it 24/7 day. You may only expend 200 calories during the exercise itself, but if it makes your body consume 5% more calories while resting you are going to lose weight automatically if your intake remains constant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:39AM (#19146197)
    Actually, the formula is more like:
    calories_in - genetically_determined_natural_calories_burned - controllable_through_exercise_calories_burned = fat_calories_stored

    So, both sides have some point. In your favor, the formula is simple. Your detractors would claim that they have such low levels of natural metabolism, that they cannot burn enough in the controllable category to make up for it. I would say that that is false, they'll just have to work harder or work less. Unfortunately for them some will have to work alot harder, or eat alot less. But generally yes, if you are determined, it can be done, I would imagine.

    It is just a matter of priorities. People would be better off saying, "Yes, your formula is right, but due to my genetics, my return on investment for exercise isn't high enough for me to do it, so I'm going to choose to be heavy. I would rather spend that time with my family." In place of family you can substitute girlfriend, hobbies, games, whatever. It is more accurate, and would hit home that they are responsible for their weight. It might not be a fair decision, but it is a decision.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle