Office workers are forced to live a sedentary lifestyle filled with prolonged sitting times and the inability to catch up with a healthy, active lifestyle.
Putting them at risk for everything from heart disease to obesity to high cholesterol and blood sugar levels. But experts have been working on a solution to the problem, according to Market Business.
A recent study earlier this year in the journal Medical News Today suggested that prolonged sitting could possibly lead to the development of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Researchers from the University of Iowa claim they have found a solution. A foreign idea now, could become mainstream sooner than later. They’ve suggested installing portable pedaling devices under office desks to induce physical exercise from workers while they concentrate on mental tasks.
The team installed similar devices in offices and after observation, found that office workers that used them were actually healthier. They lost weight, increased brain power and had fewer sick days.
In the past, companies have provided fitness facility memberships to encourage physical activity, but that approach has been found to fail because people do not have enough time outside of their jobs to go to the gym.
Co-author of the study, Lucas J. Carr is the assistant professor of human physiology and health and member of the University of Iowa’s Obesity Research and Education Initiative.
“It’s a great idea in theory, but it doesn’t work over the long haul for most people,” He said.
He added that these fitness centers, “typically get used only by the most healthy employees”, and not by the “people who need to improve their health the most.”
The study followed 27 obese and overweight office workers that had pedaling devices for 16 weeks that had monitors attached to them to see how much the workers used it.
The study found that the workers used the devices for up to 50 minutes a day.
With sedentary lifestyles becoming a problem, experts have dedicated further studies to alleviating the unwanted side effects.