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Alex Edye-Mazowita working from the FKRM walking desk office. // Photo by Garrick Kozier

Walking for Work

FKRM has created a communal walking desk office for faculty & staff

January 22, 2016 — 

Yes, your boots (or shoes) were indeed made for walking. And the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management says that’s what they should do.

So, the FKRM created a communal walking desk office for faculty and staff.

The mastermind behind the initiative says walking desks can have immeasurable health benefits for people in office situations accustomed to sitting for prolonged periods of time.

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The FKRM walking office contains a computer, walking desk (a treadmill beneath a height-adjustable desk), a regular table and a window view.

“The simple act of moving increases circulation, improves posture, decreases blood sugar (particularly after a meal), and creates a great way to avoid those mid-afternoon doldrums,” says Alex Edye-Mazowita, BKin, CSEP-Certified Exercise Physiologist.

Edye-Mazowita, a lab technician in the FKRM whom built the work space, warns of the dangers sitting for extended periods of time can have on your health and quality of life.

“Even if a person goes to the gym or adheres to a regular fitness routine, yet spends the majority of their time sitting, they’re not addressing a major health risk factor,” says Edye-Mazowita.

“Research conclusively shows that sedentary activity is an independent risk factor, causing increased rates of death.”

The office, located in the Applied Research Centre, contains a computer, walking desk (a treadmill beneath a height-adjustable desk), a regular table and a window view. People using the space can choose to use it however they wish — whether it’s a combination of sitting, standing, and walking. There’s usually a two-hour limit per person.

While walking desks are slowly becoming more popular in individual offices, it’s certainly not the norm. If you don’t have access to a walking desk, there a few things you can do to minimize your sedentary time while at work, such as getting up every 20 minutes and moving around for two minutes (to get water, stretch, talk in-person instead of emailing).

“There’s a whole lot of potential as far as what you can do to get moving. It’s more so about what appeals to the person,” adds Edye-Mazowita.

“You can get a real boost from being physically active for a relatively short time.”

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