Why Your Tenants Won’t Sit This One Out

Treadmill desk - workwhilewalking.com
Treadmill desk - workwhilewalking.com

Because they’re walking. While they work. And if they aren’t yet, then it’s a safe bet that they’ll soon want to be.

It is big business that business center and coworking owners and operators need to take seriously. We’re not talking about health fanatics; we’re talking about an increasing percentage of workers of all ages who insist on working their brains and bodies at the same time.

OT has written about standing desks in past months, but the trend appears to be more than a passing fad. The combination of younger, more health-conscious workers and media attention is beginning to push standing and walking desks to the foreground. Your prospective tenants are probably looking for them when they pass through your front door.

So we ask – where are your treadmill desks?

We caught up with Chris Olson, a Walk/Stand Solution Specialist with a truly innovative organization called Workwhilewalking.com. Olson considers WorkWhileWalking to be the Consumer Reports of the walking and stand up desk industry, with the largest website in the world dedicated to supporting these workers and increasing awareness and knowledge in the fight against “sitting disease.”

The site posts reviews of standing and treadmill desk products, as well as information for prospective adopters to help them sort through ergonomics, equipment choices, pacing regimens and even office etiquette when on a treadmill desk.

WorkWhileWalking also offer equipment for sale through their online store and retail store/”trialing center” in Seattle, WA, but only those products that are top-rated both by their editors, and users at large.

We thought we’d pass along some of her findings. It may just save a life (and a chair) or two along the way.

Why do we even need standing and walking desks? As you might guess, we’re not moving as much as we used to. On average, according to Chris, we’re burning about 51,100 fewer calories per year than 50 years ago. The reason? Those hundreds of small movements we used to make that we’ve since lost, thanks in a big part to the electronics and internet revolution, and even modern transportation. Think of things like changing the TV channel, opening the garage door, drive-thru banking and you start to get the idea.

Media health gurus like Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Oz have been sounding off about the health hazards of sitting for a long time now. The Mayo Clinic warns that prolonged sitting more than four hours per day (such as in front of the TV) is associated with a 125% increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Ironically, its technology that comes to our aid in the form of ergonomically designed stand-up and treadmill desks. And as they gain in popularity all over the world, the presence of these desks (or lack thereof) are becoming differentiators in the minds of your business center and co-working space prospects.

Savvy business center and co-working space owners and operators are installing sit-to-stand and walking desks in offices, workstations, collaboration areas and conference rooms. Here are a few advantages:

  • Generate revenue: Tenants will swipe for an available walking desk!
  • Attract younger workers: They are making up an increasing percentage of workers
  • Attract boomers: They are out to stay healthy as long as possible; they also spend money
  • Buzz value; healthy is hip: It’s up there with going “green”; providing a healthy atmosphere is a huge draw and gets attention for all the right reasons!

Will we start to see the hammocks and bean bags replaced by café height platforms and treadmills? Chris Olson and WalkWhileWorking are banking on it. Maybe your business center should be too.

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Thanks to workwhilewalking.com for the image

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