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?