Reinventing the Office: How to Lose Fat and Increase Productivity at Work

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(Photo: watz)

If you’re a white-collar worker, hacking your body isn’t limited to the gym. In fact, what you do outside of the gym might be more important that what you do inside the gym.

Recent research suggests that those who sit from 9-5 (more than 6 hours daily) and exercise regularly are more likely to have heart disease than those who sit less than 3 hours per day and don’t “exercise” at all. ff Venture Capital, a New York early-stage technology venture capital fund, recently moved into a new NYC location, and they’ve documented their experiments and findings in rethinking the office for physical optimization.

David Teten of ff VC contributed this detailed post, which provides a laundry list of ideas for transforming your office–home-based or otherwise–from a liability into a performance enhancer…

If you have any fantastic tricks you’d like to share, please do so in the comments.

Enter David Teten

When Arnold Schwarzenegger first came to America, he and fellow bodybuilder Franco Columbu worked during the day as bricklayers. Their work was their workout. When they weren’t laying bricks, they were hitting the gym hard and heavy.

Unfortunately, most people aren’t so lucky, and ass-in-chair time has costs:

- As the New York Times recently wrote, sitting kills.
– In a study that tracked over 17,000 Canadians for 12 years, researchers found that people who sat more had a higher risk of death, independent of whether or not they exercised.
– According to a 2003-2004 U.S. survey, Americans spend over half of their time awake sitting.
– In an article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researcher Elin Ekblom-Bak found that “after four hours of sitting, the body starts to send harmful signals” that cause the genes regulating glucose and lipose levels in the body to shut down.

A small number of offices across the country have slowly begun to endorse the idea of exercising during work (e.g. walking on a treadmill while doing your job at Mutual of Omaha). Besides the obvious fitness benefits, exercise also increases productivity (according to research done by the Vermont Board of Education — PDF download).

Most surprising of all, remaking the workplace into a healthy, exercise-supportive environment has a cost benefit. Many of the design changes we have implemented cost little or nothing.

Below is a list of the key features of our office. We hope that more companies will embrace this alternative way of working, and ultimately improve the well-being of all their employees.

Desk Setup

Every person in our office has a choice of three desk setups:

1. Standing desk ($200-$750) with anti-fatigue comfort mat ($20-$40).

We use electronically adjustable desks, built from an IKEA top and Workrite frame and legs (ordered through WB Mason). These were the most attractive standing desks we could find at a reasonable price. They move up and down at the push of a button, making it easy to change to a sitting position when needed. For another look at a typical standing desk configuration, click here.

2. Exercise ball ($40) to sit on in lieu of a conventional chair. Exercise balls help build core stability muscles, thereby reducing lower back pain and injury. We particularly like the Trainerball ($35), which has ball exercises printed directly on the ball. We also have yoga ball bases ($11) to prevent the balls from rolling around the office. The cost for this combination is much less than a conventional office chair.

3. Conventional seated office chair ($150-$800), with the optional balance cushion ($15).

We’re happy to report that, after working in this environment for more than three months, a majority of the people in our office have chosen to use standing desks or exercise ball chairs. Many folks, including myself, periodically switch between the two.

We encourage having multiple large computer screens ($180 each) at each desk, space and budget permitting. Multiple computer screens increases productivity and efficiency.

We strongly suggest using a monitor stand ($25). The GTMax stand ($60) supports up to 30 lbs, is fully adjustable up to 22 inches, and allows for desk space usage underneath the monitor. Unfortunately, it’s only strong enough for laptops, not stand-alone monitors. There are countless stands that provide a few inches clearance from the desk, but for anything higher, the only options we’ve found thus far are either not adjustable or not strong enough.

Everyone in the office is offered an ergonomic keyboard. We recommend one of these, in ascending order of distance from a conventional keyboard:

- Kinesis Advantage Keyboard ($269)

- Goldtouch Adjustable Keyboard ($95)

- Datahand ($995)

For a mouse, we really like the Designer Appliances E Quill AirO2bic mouse ($90), used with a TrainerBall Mousepad ($10), which includes suggested ergonomic exercises.

We also suggest people consider using:

- Hand grippers ($20) for relieving stress and improving grip strength. A tennis ball is a cheaper alternative.

- Wobble boards ($12-$55) for use when at a standing desk. These work out your lower body continuously.

- Pedometers ($20) or pedometer apps, for tracking miles walked per day. People wearing a pedometer walk about 27% more per day than people not wearing a pedometer.

Shoes

Many of us wear minimalist (a.k.a. ‘ barefoot’) shoes, which have very thin, slipper-like soles. I particularly like Sockwas ($40-$50). The black Sockwas Amphibian is my all-time favorite shoe for both work and weekend wear: it has a minimal sole, is inexpensive, and doesn’t draw unnecessary attention to itself. I also wear Vibram Fivefingers ($83-$92), which look like gecko feet, for training/outdoor activities.

Sergey Brin has appeared at several conferences wearing his Vibram Fivefingers. As the old joke goes, “What’s the difference between ‘crazy’ and ‘eccentric? A few million dollars.”

Of course, we understand that not all offices will be as tolerant of idiosyncratic footwear. When I’m in a fundraising meeting or a more conservative environment, I use my Bally Pakos Lace-up ($500) which have the most comfortable minimal sole of any men’s business shoe we’ve encountered. For women, we suggest VivoBarefoot shoes.

Conference Rooms and Meetings

We have four conference rooms: one room has exercise balls ($40-$150 each) in place of chairs, and three conference rooms have conventional office chairs ($175 each).

We considered having a conference room with a standing conference table ($950 on up) and anti-fatigue mats. We’ve seen research that indicates standing meetings run much faster than sitting meetings, and we often have more informal standing meetings at our standing desks, discussing screen-dependent documents and individual projects. In our experience, the standing-only work set up has increased active participation and sharing of ideas.

The Galileo room features many spheres. It has been a favorite among visitors.

When the New York weather allows and when a meeting topic doesn’t require taking extensive notes, we have walking meetings. This is an easy way to integrate more exercise into the day.

Office Layout

There is significant evidence that people need exposure to natural light, so we’ve designed the office to maximize windows and natural light. [Check out this article for ways to do this.]

Our office has almost no walls; it’s primarily set up in an open-floor layout. The walls that we do have are made of glass, which allow us to write notes on them. This way, we don’t need any whiteboards. We believe the transparent layout helps to create a more transparent culture. If we didn’t have so many writeable glass walls, we’d use IdeaPaint ($50), a new kind of paint that allows any wall to be used as a dry erase board.

Given that social capital correlates with physical health (see Bowling Alone), we want to encourage people in the office to get to know one another. At the front of the office, we’re creating an office map showing the names of our portfolio companies, and the photos of the employees that work at each.

Some other ideas we like, but can’t yet execute in our current office for logistical reasons:

- Sprung floors, ($15/square foot). This flooring absorbs shocks, and give it a softer feel. Such floors are considered the best available for dance and other indoor sports. They enhance performance and greatly reduce injuries. Although we don’t do too many jetés in our office, these floors are a pleasure to use, particularly when wearing minimal shoes. A wobble board ($12-$55) or balance cushion ($15) is a much cheaper substitute.

- Pull-up bars ($30), for periodic pull-ups/muscle-ups when you have an occasion. In our office most of the doorjambs are glass, but if we expand to another floor we may have the option of installing pull-up bars on doorjambs made of wood. New York startup Workmarket has a pull-up machine at the front of their office, next to a list of the records set by people who have visited the office.

- Treadmill desks ($400-$2,000). The user walks slowly while talking to clients, writing proposals, checking email, or any other activity one would normally do at a desk. You could integrate ReRev into these treadmills; the company retrofits exercise equipment with a device that recycles excess energy created. At least for now, we’ve rejected this idea because of our concern about noise pollution.

- Showers, for people to clean up after jogging or biking to work.

- Nap room, for when our team needs a little rest.

Food and Snacks

In the holistic spirit of our initiative, we wanted to introduce healthy food options into our office environment. But like most offices, we have a range of dietary preferences: slow-carb, paleo, vegan, kosher, vegetarian, and ‘don’t care.’ Finding a solution that keeps everyone happy is non-trivial.

We turned to our favorite health authors (such as Michael Pollan) for guidance, each of which suggested all-natural unprocessed alternatives to the more common industrialized foods. In Pollan’s words, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Here is a list of snacks that we think are consistent with our food philosophy and appropriate as hors d’oeuvres, for instance, when we host periodic idea dinners, intern lunches, etc.:

- Organic vegetables: Edamame, avocados, carrots, celery
– Organic fruit (fresh and dried)
– Organic dips: Guacamole, bean dips, hummus, sugar-free applesauce
– Whole cottage cheese, or whole yogurt
– Mixed nuts (unsalted)
– Mini-brown rice/sesame cakes (unsalted)

We also serve free beer and red wine on Fridays. Studies suggest that light to moderate alcohol consumption can be quite healthy, particularly for the heart.

Finally, we have a list of local healthy restaurants and recommended meals (which we keep in our office Dropbox folder), and are considering signing up for Foodzie to find new exotic foods.

Einstein, the main conference room, includes a wine rack. We hold regular idea dinners, intern lunches, board meetings, and other events in this room.

Culture

Every office has a culture; the question is whether you create and influence that culture, or if it just happens haphazardly.

We’re trying to create a health-focused culture, without making people feel pressured and uncomfortable. In a traditional office, a single person using a fitness setup (e.g. ball chair) might draw unwanted attention, but we’ve designed the culture of our office to encourage experimentation. If someone turns down an opportunity to work with us because they’re uncomfortable with our culture, that’s okay. We consider this the price of having a clearly defined culture.

Other Ideas

We have a lot of ideas that are probably too radical for our office; implementing them would likely make some people uncomfortable. However, you might be able to use some of these ideas in your own office or home:

- ”Shoes-discouraged” policy, with a shoe shelf ($30-$300) at the office entrance. In most Japanese homes, no one wears shoes. Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, famously used to wear just his socks around the office. Victor Niederhoffer, a prominent trader, had a sign at the entrance to his Park Avenue office, saying, “Please remove your shoes.”

- Squat toilets ($450). These are extremely common in Asia, but highly unusual in the States. Squatting while going to the bathroom is significantly healthier than sitting on a conventional western toilet.

- Group morning exercises. Many Japanese workplaces start with a fixed set of morning calisthenics. Our portfolio company Kohort does a group daily pushup routine.

Rejected Ideas

We explored many other ideas, but ultimately abandoned them for not being based on research or sound reasoning. For instance, we looked into full-spectrum lighting after hearing that this new technology (which mimics natural sunlight) was supposed to enhance productivity. We rejected it after reading multiple studies which found no conclusive evidence on its benefits.

We also rejected having air purifiers and ionizers, which remove pollen, dirt, dust particles, and allergens. A prominent study showed that such air purifiers often emit ozone, which damages the body and thereby negates the benefits.

We considered buying health-oriented vending machines (h.u.m.a.n. Healthy Vending, 2bU), as often the choice to eat unhealthily is one of convenience, not conviction. Most of the products available in these machines were too processed for our preferences, but if you can’t provide some of the healthier food options listed above, these vending machines are certainly better than the conventional ones.

Finally, we thought about using e-readers to reduce eye strain, but the data is lacking on whether e-readers or reading on paper significantly reduces eye-strain (versus reading on a traditional monitor).

Closing Thoughts

Winston Churchill said, “The Americans will always do the right thing… after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.” We’ve now reached the point where 63.1% of adults in the U.S. were either overweight or obese in 2009.

In other words: We’ve exhausted all the alternatives.

As my wife says, the US doesn’t have a debt problem; we have a healthcare problem. The rebounding movement towards a healthier lifestyle in the office will create significant investment opportunities, and we’re actively looking for companies that fit our portfolio. For instance, our investment in BetterWorks was in part driven by our belief in the importance of employee benefits for highly qualified people.

If you know of a product, service, or company that’s working towards improving the office environment, please tell us about it in the comments section below!

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Special thanks to Duncan MacDonald-Korth and Matt Fairbank for their help researching this post.

Posted on: March 12, 2012.

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226 comments on “Reinventing the Office: How to Lose Fat and Increase Productivity at Work

  1. Great article and interesting studies. As someone who has worked in occupations where I primarily sat for the better part of the day and in another occupation where I was essentially upright and moving for most of the day, I can attest to the fact that I felt healthier with the occupation where I was moving most of the day. Nothing about my eating or exercise habits was different while at each of the different occupations. The only difference apparently and according to your article was the length of time sitting each day.

    Like

  2. There are some awesome ideas in here that I am now looking into. I’ve tried the exercise ball as a chair before, and that seems to work somewhat well. I was surprised to find that people actually chose standing desks, which, as someone whose feet get sore fairly quickly from standing, seems like it would get very tiring or painful after a while. But great ideas and I hope to use some of them in my own office.

    Like

  3. Your bio: “Tim has packed more lives into his 29 years [at time of publication] than Steve Jobs has in his 51.”

    This this should be removed, because Steve Jobs is dead.
    So it’s inadequate and respectless to Steve.
    Thank you for your understanding Tim.

    Like

  4. This seems like a good place to tell you because I know you check this more than email. Look at 4hourbodyapps.com. It looks like something that you would make and it’s really well done even though it’s not you. Do what you want to do and let me know how and why, I’m curious of your reasoning on this type of thing. Thanks!
    -Daniel

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  5. Modern Chairs however ergonomically designed are a killer. Actually standing for long periods of time can also create lower back pain and cramp your legs and hamstring muscles. As a top skin and anti aging doctor from Mumbai, I often advise my patients to get back to the way the ancient Indians spent most time of the day – in the cross legged padmasana (lotus pose). This pose is also one of the basic poses of Yoga but it’s too bad that most people just do this pose at their yoga studio and forget about it the rest of the day. Sitting cross legged on a soft mat on a solid floor has many advantages. Besides increasing your powers of concentration, sitting this way stimulates the metabolism and increases the vitality. Begin by sitting in this posture for just three minutes and gradually increase the time up to 10 minutes or till the time you do not feel uncomfortable or experience cramps in your legs. You can sit in the Padmasana (Half and Full lotus postures) even while reading, writing, watching TV. It makes sense to buy or create a low level table for your computer or laptop to ensure that the screen is at eyelevel and undue straining or bending of the neck or back does not occur. Good luck!

    Like

  6. Hey Timmy,

    Going on a month for a new post or any reply. Now that you’re a bigshot author I guess you forgot about the people who put you where you are today.

    You may as well let this blog go to shit and take it off line since you’re posts and replys are vrtually non existent.

    Like

  7. Hello Mr. Ferriss.

    My question is regarding D-Ribose & using it as a sweetener. According to studies, it actually lowers blood sugar & possibly aids in muscle repair. Do you think this would be a viable addition to the slow carb diet??

    BTY, thanks for the book – I read it front to back with the exception of the superhuman stuff (just not what I’m interested in right now). Big thanks for the 1/2 inch loss from my waist & 3# from the scales in less than 2 weeks (okay I wasn’t that strict with it for the first 6 days).

    Hope to hear from you!!

    Like

  8. Dear Tim

    I read your book 4 hour work week, and it completely blew my mind. Somewhere in the book, you said that you got admitted into Princeton University with an unorthodoxed college application. I’d

    Can you suggest me how I should go about the admission process so that I get admitted in Princeton?

    Like

  9. Great post again Tim, makes me want to work in one of these offices! Sadly my office is the roofs of England, poor me eh. Although I do use a nice thick rubber cushn to protect my arse from icy cold slate roofs.

    Anyway, Michael Mosley has done some great research for his BBC programme ‘The Truth About Exercise” that might be interesting too…http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17177251 He talks about how doing three 20 second bouts of intense exercise 3 times a week is enough to give the body all the benefits of toiling away in the gym……very interesting angle I thought.

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  10. Very good ideas on healthy alternatives to office work. aka sitting on your butt all day. Ive seen some pretty crazy contraptions at some offices I have worked in. Some listed here.

    btw I noticed your website layout on this page is broken. Looks like the main div (content) area isn’t closing or being cleared after your floats. The comments are breaking outside that div halfway through the comments. Some black on black text ect. I am using Firefox 9.0.1 btw, so not sure how other browsers are effected.

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  11. ok is a useful way to lose weight, one that looks very uncomfortable chair and balls are also a bit uncomfortable, excellent natural light option to say do not stress at work you get up every 20 minutes I gets a bit exaggerated but it could be a good choice too.

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  12. I’m hoping to open our first office soon and looking forward to these tips. one non-negotiable for choosing our space it having windows. we’re a lean startup so we’ll be getting most of our furniture, etc second hand, but I already have a yoga ball that we’ll keep handy and if the space allows, I’m really hoping to have the conference room double as a nap room. I especially like the idea of rotating between different positions at the desk (standing, sitting, ball).

    Thanks as always for sharing Tim & David

    Like

  13. Hi Tim,

    If I want to use 4HB for weight loss, is it too damaging to add back whole grains (non-processed oats, quinoa, brown rice) after I meet my goal weight? I’ve done searches but cannot find the answer to this. I love the book, and thank you for your time.

    Like

  14. It’s another example how things are changing around us. One of the worst things my generation faced, being in an office whole-day, was does not getting any exercise or physical movement, which was often offered as an excuse for not being in shape!

    I would personally like to own a standing desk, but not sure how much I would be able to use it.

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  15. This is such a valuable article in terms of micro-ergonomics for office life. From being 22 and quite athletic to working in an office 9-5 I have noticed I get sick almost once very two months. My eyes started to deteriorate and I now find I have to get up out of my seat and look through our door to train my eyes to focus on long distance things also and to at least suck in 5 minutes of sunlight which I know is important for us but I find really hard to do while working in an office. I used to have 20/20 vision, I now need to wear glasses and I used to have a job where I walked around half outside/inside, I was sick once within the whole year!
    I have always had a feeling that how we are expected to work and what is “common” within offices was not at all healthy. I think it may be different in Australia, I get the feeling we haven’t caught up with what a lot of the European and American office procedures pertaining for staff health.
    Nevertheless I will forward this article on to my boss. I definitely will get myself one of those hand grips and begin to implement some of things talked about in this article. Thanks

    Like

  16. Plants, as has already been mentioned by Jack:

    “Check out this book – http://www.amazon.com/How-Grow-Fresh-Air-Plants/dp/0140262431

    Not only do the purify air, but green plants (aka a window to the outdoors) have been shown to reduce hospital stay time. Green nature is also known to calm/relax us. If you get the low maintenance variety of plants (like pothos, spider plants, mother-in-law’s tongue), it’s a no brainer.

    Like

  17. I have a random question I am a high school discuss thrower and i would like to be throwing much further than i am now how would I do that with out pushing myself to much. What is the fastest way to throw further.

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  18. The tips are great, but there is relatively new research that states the DISadvantages of using an exercise ball are greater than the advantages of using them. Because no one likes someone who simply points out a problem without a solution, I suggest maintaining a dynamic seated position or using a vestibular disc instead of an exercise ball. Cheers, JZ,

    Like

  19. All of us eat. It just a matter of control, control of what we eat and control for our self. Taking into consideration, losing weight would be challenging and difficult thing to do. However, with a little discipline for your self making a routine of exercise, and meal planning i think you will eventually achieve what you’ve desire. It nice to see changes in your self with your own effort.:D

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  20. I am from Europe(Slovenia) and have to tell you that a lot of adults here is also either overweight or obese.
    My friend (weighting over 200 kilograms-440 pounds) just started to experiment with ice packs and Slow carb diet, will see what his results will be :)
    His grandma actualy made him a pocket on a T-shirt so he can put a cold gel pack in it.
    It wasn’t actualy his idea, we saw “LOOSING WEIGHT WITH ICE T-SHIRT” on EBay and she made the same shirt, but BIGGER :)

    Like

  21. Hi Tim and David,

    I completely agree with you on everything. Office health is so important for your personal well being and your productivity. More employers should embody your beliefs.

    all, I use twitter for a lot of my health tips. Here are some of the people I like to follow for office tips if you’re interested
    @MensHealthMag (Men’s Health Magazine)
    @office_wellness (Daily office wellness tips – nutritional and physical, some mental)
    @themjroh (an exercise physiologist and nutritionist)
    @pendaflex (have some good tweets on organization which I find important for my office health…)

    Let me know if you all are interested in any more and I will respond with more twitter accounts!

    A

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  22. My husband Bryan and I are both fitness minded professionals who home office. With the progression of our careers, we have spent more and more time behind a desk and were experiencing the disease processes that plague this country; pre-diabetes (me), high cholesterol (both of us), weight gain (Bryan). Bryan was being badgered by one of our sons to get out of the office and get more exercise. Not unlike the majority of us, his responsibilities to is employer kept him at his desk for 10-12 hours a day and short of winning the lottery that situation was not going to change. As a solution he built a desk around a stationary bicycle and his results have been very encouraging.

    As a registered nurse I was more interested in the positive metabolic changes Bryan experienced than his weight loss (20 pounds in 9 months). His total cholesterol dropped 16%, his LDL dropped 21%, his triglycerides dropped 32% and his HDL increased 54% (he did not change his diet). This piqued my curiosity and lead me to my own research. I learned that when skeletal muscles are active they produce an enzyme, lipoprotein lipase, that removes fats from the blood. When people are sedentary and the skeletal muscles are inactive that enzyme is suppressed and fats build up, producing a cascade of conditions leading to metabolic diseases such as diabetes, inflammation (which damages organs and blood vessels), cardiac disease and weight gain. One researcher found that spending 4 or more sedentary hours per day lead to a 125% increase risk of a cardiac event (his article is referenced in the attachment).

    At 5’7″ and 120-125 pounds most people would look at me and say that I was healthy, but I struggle with high cholesterol and increasing blood sugars. After I realized the benefits Bryan achieved by using his exercise desk I had him build one for me. From January 2012 to July 2012 my total cholesterol dropped from 239mg/dL to 210mg/dL. The other lipids dropped as well, but what is of interest to me is that when I ride 30 or more miles during a work day my fasting blood glucose the following morning is under 100mg/dL. The message? Being thin does not provide protection from the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.

    This information is our story, but the articles sited in the paper support the results. There are no scientific studies to support our position, but we are excited by the response from a Professor of Epidemiology and Kinesiology, (School of Public Health, Regional Campus Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences Center for Healthy Living) who wishes to remain anonymous.

    “Dear Ms Wassom –

    Thank you for taking the time to write to me and sharing your terrific story. I wish that more people would be able to make changes such as you and your husband have done. We are pretty sure much of the metabolic health benefits of physical activity is centered around its effects on lipoprotein lipase. Additionally, the skeletal and functional benefits are truly astounding. I often ask people if they could take a daily pill that would have all the benefits that physical activity brings, would they?

    Best wishes to you for continued success.”

    I am passionate about this message. The recommended hour per day of exercise does not un-do the damage caused by sitting all day. We are not going to go back to being farmers and busy in the field all day; technology is here to stay and it extracts a toll on our health, individually, as a nation and globally. I know that not all organizations have the space or budget for exercise desks, but the message is that the way we are addressing the growing population of sedentary workers has to change in order to achieve health and wellness. We must find a way to keep moving.

    Like

  23. Interesting idea with the squat toilet. Perhaps an alternative would be to get those “squatty potty” stools and have them available in each bathroom stall. This way, people could choose whether to sit or squat. Just a thought. I really like all of the ways you have incorporated fitness and health into your office!

    Like

  24. I think going out of your way to exercise at your place of work is just going to lead to procrastination, although there are other things you can do around your work, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking/riding your bike to work instead of driving.

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    • Also, I know the most of us are pushed for time when it come to work, but preparing your own healthier meals the night before work, rather than going for the favorable pub lunch will make the pounds drop off. Heavy meals combined with a lack of exercise can be a lethal combination!

      Kind Regards,

      Jimmy Jones | office king

      Like

  25. I notice that most of these solutions would be great for people who are already healthy, or those that have health issues that are recoverable with exercise and diet (some blood sugar issues, weight issues, etc). However, for many people who have health concerns your set up would preclude doing business with your organization. You state in the article that you don’t mind loosing ‘business’ because of the culture, but what this would easily turn into is that only the able bodied will work there or do business with your organization. You may not realize how much self selection is going on (I’m assuming that this is unintentional), but it is happening. How do you address those issues? I find your ideas interesting, but would probably eliminate myself from ever attempting to work for or with you because of RA.

    In addition, shoes are meant to protect our feet. I agree that our feet where not designed to wear shoes, but neither were they designed to defend against the trauma awaiting them in the average workplace.

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  26. Thanks for this post– I LOVE your office! As far as the comments here go that claim standing is not really that much better than sitting, well, I agree: You really have to try it for yourself to know the benefits.
    I stared standing at work several months ago with a NextDesk adjustable height desk and I LOVE it. I feel more energetic, healthier, more productive, and it’s the strangest thing, but I’ve noticed my appetite has decreased. Has anyone else noticed this?
    I do like that it is adjustable, though, because I do take “sitting” breaks throughout the day, but very rarely.
    Anyway, thanks for a great post. Your office is beautiful!

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  27. I am of opinion that apart from the above the important part of designing is ‘ergonomics’, incorporation of the ergonomics is vital and indispensable part of designing a workstation. I have also emphasized upon the ergonomics in my blog. The idea is to communicate the importance of ergonomics for the overall health benefits of employees. I like the way you have conveyed the idea of healthy work environment & personally feel that ergonomics is more than important part of office health.

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  28. Of all the alternatives you give, the Pedometers is the best in my opinion. Studies has shown that people who wear a Pedometers increase 27% of their physical activity. So if the problem you have is not standing up too much, then make it a goal to walk 10,000 steps per day by using the Pedometer (to keep track of your steps), so let’s say for every hour of sitting down you can take a break of 5 minutes and walk around 300-400 steps or maybe take a break every 2 hours and walk 600-800 steps. That’s 3,000 or 4,000 steps while working (I work 10 hours a day btw), plus my everyday workout and the things I do daily it will up to 10,000 steps. It will be hard for some people to achieve this, but in my case which I work at home (I’m a web designer), I’m my own boss, and I can take breaks anytime I want, this will work best for me. The best part of this is that it will only cost me $20 for the Pedometer, and a commitment of course, which by the way is not that hard to achieve.

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  29. Fantastic article.

    Tim, thanks to introducing us to these crazy experimenters. I am going for 3 walks during the day and it increases focus a lot. I am also making my own standing desk to work at home.

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  30. The way in which most people stay in shape is fundamentally broken. They work a desk job for 8-12 hours, and then go to a gym three times a week for 45 minutes to attempt to mitigate that desk job. As the New York Times recently wrote, sitting kills. In a study that tracked over 17,000 Canadians for 12 years, researchers found that people who sat more had a higher death risk, independently of whether or not they exercised. According to a 2003-2004 U.S. survey, Americans spend over half of their time awake sitting.

    Like