How did man come up with such a contraption as treadmill desks? How did this invention come to be? It all started with the double-decker bus.
In 1949, Jerry Morris, a London scientist, made a study of how professions can affect the risk of heart attacks. In his study he saw a significantly higher rate of heart attacks amongst bus drivers than their conductors. This is because although both men (and women) work in the same place, their activity within the day is different from one another. While the conductors are active (since they move around checking tickets), the drivers tend to be more sedentary. Conductors go up and down the stairs of the bus (double-decker by the way) and is on their feet nearly all day, while the driver’s task is to sit and man the steering wheel the whole 8 or 9 hours of their route.
To check if this is true across all professions, he then made another study in 1953, this time focusing on postal men: those who go out and deliver the mail and those who sit behind the counter. The same result occurred. Those who walk constantly are less likely to have heart attacks compared to those who sit on their desks all day long. This study proved to be a breakthrough and the reason behind the eventual birth of treadmill desks.
Before man invented treadmill desks, man became more advanced technologically first. Men became more glued to their desks and spent more than 9 hours a day sitting down. This is according to a study made by the Mayo Clinic in 1970.
The more men spent sitting on a chair, the more pain they feel. This is one of the reasons why man invented treadmill desks. The main goal of this invention is to combine work with exercise, to minimize sitting down and to start walking even while in front of your work in the office. It was in 1996, when Dr. Seth Roberts attached a desk to a treadmill, creating a walking workstation. This became the ancestor of the treadmill desks as we know them today. In 2003, instead of a desk, Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic incorporated a metal hospital tray atop a running treadmill, creating yet another version of a treadmill desk. He made such an invention as a way to counter obesity. His study focused on how even the subtlest movement throughout the day can help lose unwanted weight. Dr. Levine was amongst those doctors who believed in the benefits of walking workstations.
It was in mid-2000 when people started catching the treadmill desk craze. In 2006, Brad Feld, a famous entrepreneur and capitalist, introduced his own version of a walking workstation. He named his invention a treadputer. His invention consists of a working computer complete with all the cords and paraphernalia atop a treadmill whose mechanism is integrated to the computer. The treadmill works when the computer is on, it is off when the monitor is off. Two years after, in 2008, Dr. Levine, collaborated with Steelcase, an office furniture company, and came up with a commercially available treadmill desk. This collaboration cost a bit at $4000 apiece.
Currently a treadmill desk’s price ranges from $500 to $4000 depending on its package. You can have your very own treadmill desk three ways. If you have an old treadmill, you can buy a desk to suit your treadmill. If you have a sturdy working desk, you can go ahead and buy a treadmill specifically manufactured to suit a working desk. And if you have the budget, you can buy a complete package: work desk and treadmill combined.