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CONVINCE THE BOSS

When discussing treadmill and standing desks with others, we often hear:

“I wish that I could convince my boss to let me get a treadmill [or standing] desk!”

Darn it! I want that treadmill desk!

Well, we’ve got your back. Here are the five key talking points you need to convince your boss on the treadmill and standing desk bandwagon! We believe in you.

1. SAVE MONEY

First, appeal to the almighty dollar. Providing health insurance for employees is a huge line item. It’s estimated that for many companies, health care costs eat into half of company profits. A recent report estimates that employers contribute an average of $4,885 for health insurance for a single person and $11,786 for families. A major factor in health care costs are increasing rates of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer in the adult population. We are not getting any healthier and it may be due to the amount of time we spend parked in our chairs.

Reducing the amount of time sitting has been associated with lower chances of developing these chronic diseases and gaining weight. If employees are less likely to develop these health problems, then employers can see declines in health care costs. Workplace wellness programs focused on improving employee’s health and well-being have been shown to be very effective in reducing costs. Standing and treadmill desks can be an integral part of workplace wellness.

As Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said:

“Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.”

2. INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY

In addition to driving up health care costs, increased rates of chronic disease also have lead to less productive work places. A study by Gallup-Healthways concluded that health-related absenteeism among professionals costs the U.S. $24.2 billion a year. Of the participants in the survey, 77% were overweight or obese and had at least one chronic health condition.

People who spend most of their day sitting are at higher risk for these chronic diseases that are keeping workers at home. Reduce sitting time and reduce those risks. The long-term payout may be fewer sick days and more productive employees.

In the short-term, standing or walking can increase productivity for even the healthiest of employees. One company conducted their own experiment with standing desks to track productivity levels and found standing desks improved productivity, focus, and energy. As for treadmill desks, a study found that after an initial adjustment period, productivity of employees using a treadmill desk exceeded baselines.

Another study done by the University of Minnesota proved a substantial increase in productivity when using treadmill desks. Forty employees of a financial services company were given treadmill desks to use exclusively, at the maximum speed of 2 mph for a year. Their productivity was measured to have increased by 10% on a 10-point scale. As a bonus, the employees burned an extra 7-8% calories more per day than when sitting.

3. SMILING, HAPPY EMPLOYEES

No one wants to work in an office with a bunch of grumps. If you’ve noticed a lot of frowning faces in your office, it might have to do with those office chairs. A recent study showed that slouching forward in a chair (something that is hard to avoid after you’ve been sitting for hours on end) can “send ‘sad’ signals to our brain, darkening our mood.”

Even more troubling, are the results of another study:

Women who sit for more than 7 hours a day are 50% more likely to report depressive symptoms than women who sat for 4 hours or less.

Yikes. Neither of these findings are good for employers, as unhappy employees can mean less productivity, lower morale, and more workplace tension. Again, if one of the culprits is sitting, then remove the culprit and replace it with a standing or treadmill desk!

4. THE COOL KIDS ARE DOING IT

If your boss is interested in making your workplace one of the best spots to work and attracting top talent, then offering standing or treadmill desks is a must. Treadmill desks have been named one of the top job perks. Younger workers, most of whom already have spent years behind a computer, are on the look out for these kinds of alternatives to a desk chair.

With new and top talent, you’re looking for the most creative and motivated individuals. A recent study looked to find a correlation between treadmill desk use and creativity levels by giving participants complex tests at a regular desk and at a treadmill desk. What they found was that on average, the participants saw approximately a 60% boost in their creativity just from walking. A staggering 88% of participants who walked at a treadmill desk were more creative walking rather than sitting.

5. CLOSING THE DEAL

Here’s how to address the last few concerns that your boss might have.

Are these treadmill desks safe? No need to fret, treadmill desks are very safe. The Rebel Treadmill 1000 is designed to go only 2 mph (unlike some other brands that can go as fast as 4 mph). Most people walk even slower than 2 mph. There is a safety clip that will automatically shut off the treadmill in the unlikely event you inadvertently step off of it. You can use the desk to rest your arms for balance as needed.

Can people type while walking? Yes, not a problem. Check out our blog post on this topic for some samples of things that people typed while walking.

Do I have to buy one for every office? Nope. Put a few standing or treadmill desks in a common space or conference room. Employees can sign up for time slots and get in some movement in during the day for a relatively low investment.

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