The new death march or walking to work?

Walking on the job, while working on a computer or on a teleconference…a NEAT 😉 concept (see below), but can you imagine it being implemented in a cubicle farm? (Update: I just ran across Brain Death by Dull Cubicle which casts an interesting counter-point.)

This article about Dr. James Levine has more details (

. . .based on a theory nicknamed NEAT, or
non-exercise activity thermogenesis, founded on the idea that
people burn energy on mundane, day-to-day tasks and movements.

Using NEAT, Levine has designed offices to keep workers on
the move, with treadmills outfitted with desks, computers and
telephones, and office walking tracks, marked by lines on the
floor, so colleagues can walk while they hold meetings.

. . .

One fresh convert to walking while working. . .estimates he has walked about 120 miles on the job since [January 2006].

"People do look at you weird or funny," he said. "It takes
a little effort to do it, so a lot of people just aren’t going
to going to bother.

Another advocate is Dr. Joseph Stirt, an anesthesiologist
in Charlottesville, Virginia, who estimates he spends eight to
12 hours a day working and walking on his treadmill in his home

"You will become addicted," he said. "When I turn the
treadmill off at night, it’s so unpleasant. Sitting in a chair,
working, is so unpleasant, you might as well be dead."

If you want more info, here are some links to Mayo about the study Levine did, and about his redesigned office. Here is the link to his research lab. It’s interesting some of the "tools" that they used:

Custom-made, data-logging undergarments that all participants wore 24
hours a day, exchanging a new pair every morning at the hospital at
breakfast. The bottoms look like bicycle shorts and the women’s tops
look like sports bras. The men’s tops look like undershirts…Jet fighter control panel motion sensing technology embedded in the
special underwear to monitor every tilt and wiggle of the participants.

Shades of the "company of the future" shown in the movie GATTACCA with the monitored company gym activites?

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