6 For Your Health

Walking & Working

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Updated: 11/26/2012 8:12 pm

In today's 6 For Your Health headlines... we're back to reality from the Thanksgiving holiday today. Are you looking for a way to burn off some of that turkey you ate last week. Some people are walking it off... while they work.

Ed Yeates has more on standing workspaces that promote good health.

Ed Yeates, reporting: "When we think of the traditional office space, this is what it's all about. The comfort of a chair and more. But this isn't the future. Out with the old - in with the new."

Dr. Chris Wood, works at standing desk: "And I find that doing something with my body while I'm working actually helps me focus better."

At his new work station, everything Dr. Chris Wood once did sitting... he now does standing while walking very slowly on a treadmill.

Dr. Chris Wood: "I feel a lot more energetic. It's funny. You would think you would spend all your energy at the desk during the day and then you would be tired in the afternoon or evening. But that's not the case. I find I have more get up and go."

Down the hall, co-worker Joan Golden stands and walks as well. 1st and 2nd year medical students at the University of Utah are standing and walking. And at Rowland Hall, headmaster Alan Sparrow hopes his standing workspace is sending a message to students.

Alan Sparrow, works at standing desk: "But you also need to give a message that they need to move. Movement is good. Movement is healthy. Movement helps. The new book called - not new - but a book out called "Brain Rules" and how exercise actually helps your mind develop."

Who knows - for many students like Jimmy and Anna, when they grow up - sitting desks may be obsolete. Why? Why all this standing?

New studies this year paint a dismal picture of what's happening to the body when we sit.

Researcher Marc Hamilton says our muscles become as silent as a dead horse. Our calorie burning rate drops dramatically.

Insulin effectiveness falls within a single day. The enzyme that vacuums fat out of the bloodstream plunges.

Dr. Liz Joy says our metabolism simply bottoms out. But...

Dr. Liz Joy, researcher: "If somebody gets up and moves just a couple of minutes out of every 20 or 60 minute segments of their day - they can lower their glucose levels and lower their insulin levels. We need to re-engineer our workplace so that we can re-engineer activity back into our lifestyle."

Those who've made the conversion so far claim it's a piece of cake.

Alan Sparrow: "It took me only about 5 minutes - 5 minutes I was typing almost as fast as if I wasn't moving at all."

According to data collected from test groups, even 30 minutes of rigorous exercise will not reverse the downfall from sitting 5 to 6 hours per day at the office.

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