Friday, July 29, 2005

Office of the Future

So, I'm getting ready for work this morning and realize how much slower I am at putting on my make up etc if I sit down to do it. There's something about standing up that makes me whiz through it. (*note: I am hopelessly near-sighted and either have to lean waaaay over the sink so my nose is two inches away from the mirror, or I sit down with a hand-held mirror to do it. C'est ca.) Which got me to thinking about what my life will be like when I get out of the training portion of my new job and head into the work-a-day world of a call center. Now, I'm used to having a job where I was not chained to my desk. Although I was chained to the phones, I was frequently up and out of my seat, due to other job requirements, several times an hour. If I wasn't, I became restless, bored and achy. Moving around frequently was good for me. Apparently I am not the only person to feel this way.

Dr. Adam Levine, an obesity researcher at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn has been developing a new work environment that encompasses NEAT, non-exercise activity thermogenesis. You may recall my old post about sleeping on top of the covers to make our bodies burn more calories. In effect, our bodies are like big, old factories requiring heat energy to keep us warm. This heat energy is produced by the burning of calories. Simple science. Dr. Levine capitalizes on this fact by designing workstations that require workers to participate in a very low level of activity while they work. For instance, a work station may be attached to a treadmil set at 1 mph so the employee walks at a slow pace while working, without breaking a sweat or becoming winded. This low level of activity yields some big results. Dr. Levine estimates that the average person will burn an additional 100 calories per hour with as much as 1000 calories per day. Overall, this could result in a fifty pound weight loss per year with no other changes either to diet or exercise. What obese person wouldn't jump at the chance to do this?!? Hellow, one of the biggest hurdles to my weight loss is finding a way to fit in the time to get it done with everything else I'm doing. Voila! Problem solved. Thank you, Dr. Levine.

Now another of Dr. Levine's innovations is the moving meeting. Instead of sitting around a table discussing strategies and solutions, meeting-goers would pace the track together looking at the whiteboard walls as they go around. Now, as wonderful as all of this sounds, I can't help but find myself feeling very skeptical about the potential for success here as I look around the training room and my fellow trainees. Now, I certainly could be throwing the first french fry here, but most of the women in my class make me look petite. I'm talking two to three Muskegon units each. And extra large chairs.

However, all hope is not lost. I've noticed a marked prediliction for all things sweet and squishy by the fellow trainees. So, using the old donkey following a carrot scenario, I can totally imagine my coworkers chasing the donuts around the track. How's that for the office of the future?

14 comments:

Mom said...

I hope you haven't given your co-workers your blog address.

bunnyjo georg said...

As if....

DCveR said...

One great way to loose weight while working would be thinking. Yes! It is true! Intelectual activity does consume a lot of energy. Maybe that's why so many people get fat due to their lifestyle: thinking is not something they do much...

DCveR said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chill Daddy said...

Muskegon Units!? I thought that was a term only we in the medical field used.

bunnyjo georg said...

Mom: I'm naughty, I know. But my coworkers are safe from the ugly truth. So far.

DCvR:That is one reason for my svelte, yet curvy, figure. :)

Deleter: chicken

Chill Daddy: I first read it in Tracy Lorenz's column. He estimated a Muskegon unit to be approximately 100 lbs. Was he right?

Chill Daddy said...

That's what the local docs all say, it may be a little more nowadays.

bunnyjo georg said...

Do you hate me, Chill Daddy?

Obligatory Poster said...

I am sorry I am not familiar with the term "Muskegon Units"...Can you explain what this is?

shortensweet said...

Ok..I'm cheesed. I had a great response that I put on here and it never ever showed up. Maybe it's a good thing, I'm at work and my fingers need the excersise. Yawn.
DCVR..I'm too tired to type let alone think. That must explain my own Muskegon Units.
Bunnyjo..we all hate you, that is part of your charm.
I'm tired. Think we can arrange for a national, "Take a nap at work day?"

bunnyjo georg said...

Hello, obligatory poster. A "Muskegon Unit" is approximately 100 lbs. So, if a person were 2-3 Muskegon Units, he/she would be about 250 lbs. Savvy?

Jamie: It is ok to hate me. I don't mind. After all, if I didn't do things that pissed people off...however, life would just be toooooo boring if I refrained. C'est moi!

Bonnie Blithe said...

Dr. Levine is an ass, and obviously doesn't have a desk job. Walking 1mph all day standing at my desk? I'm sure it would slim down my hips, but talk about repetitive motion injury! The problem is the CULTURE that makes it okay, even obligatory, for a person to sit in one spot for 9 hours per day. The cutesy 3-minutes-per-hour stretches offered up in every "modern-day woman" magazine are WAY Orwellian. Big Brother wants you just healthy enough to man the phones, just unhealthy enough to require pharmaceuticals.

bunnyjo georg said...

Oh, you are SO RIGHT. While I like the idea of losing 50 lbs this year while enjoying junk food and hours-long mindmeld sessions in front of the TV, I'd rather dread going into work - can you imagine, we'd be like gerbils on the proverbial exercise wheel. And can you imagine what this slow-motion would do to the already undreadable handwriting of most fellow employees? Handwriting would practically have to be outlawed. As much as I agree that Dr. Levine is an ass, I have to admit I really wanted to see my coworkers chasing the donuts! Blast!

Mom said...

Here is my solution. You sit down at your work station. Your chair weighs you. If you have gained, your chair sprouts bike pedals and you pedal until your chair determines you have burned enough calories to quit. My alternate idea for the chair is to have it sense cleanliness and turn itself into a bidet, but that if a whole different subject. (It's late, I'm tired, my apologies.)