Treadmill Desks to the Rescue – Weight Control and Activity Critical in Preventing Heart Failure

A study recently released and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the extra fat around the waist dramatically increased the risk of premature death in individuals. Even individuals with normal BMI Indexes were at higher risks if their hip/waist ratio indicated the presence of excess abdominal fat. This increase in fat storage is due primarily to lack of exercise throughout the day, such as that provided by standing desk treadmill.

This extensive study, conducted in Europe, followed more than 360,000 individuals from nine European nations. On average the study participants were 51 years old at the beginning of the ten year study. Even with normal BMI (Body Mass Index) rates each 2 inch increase in belt size equated to a 13% and 17% increase in death risk for women and men respectively.

Why are individuals with normal BMI’s but disproportionate hip/waist ratios still at risk? The answer seems to lie in the nature of abdominal fat. It is theorized by Dr. Tobias Pischon of the German Institute of Human Nutrition that abdominal fat may trigger “messenger substances” that lead to chronic diseases.

A previous study found that sedentary lifestyles and lack of movement throughout the day may be the heart of the problem. More than 50% of American’s now spend their entire work day seated at a desk. A University of Missouri study showed that while sitting, our bodies metabolic furnace virtually shuts down and enzymes normally produced to break down fat are released in diminished amounts. Calories that would normally be routed to our muscles for fuel are directed instead to adipose tissue for storage resulting in the weight gain referred to in these studies. Most of us are fighting a losing battle even if we can manage to fit in an hour of exercise three times a week, when on average we sit for more than 40 hours a week.

A majority of these studies have the same message: lose weight. Too many Americans are stressed already and have been unable to lose the weight. We need to emphasize that walking at work on a treadmill desk can activate the body’s mechanisms for burning fat and keep it burning. Continual movement throughout the day has extraordinary health benefits, fat loss is just one of them.

Treadmill desks allow individuals to combat the very lifestyle that is leading to their decline in health. The challenge initially is to provide enough information for people to decide on the right course of action for their long term well being.


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