Thinking on Their Feet - Literally

Posted by: Drexel University    |    Thursday, January 5, 2012 7:00 am

Walk into Dr. James Herbert’s office and you’ll likely see him walking too; amidst the books, papers and occasional coffee cup, he is hard at work—on his treadmill. Taking the phrase “thinking on your feet” to a whole new level, Herbert, professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is one of a growing number of professionals who’ve swapped out their traditional desk and chair for something a bit more unconventional. Called a “TreadDesk,” this novel workstation is comprised of an elevated desk that sits above a treadmill. Sound like a feat only the highly coordinated can master? Not according to Herbert, who logs an average of 2.5 to 3.5 miles each day at a 1.4 mph pace. “It took a little getting used to at first, but I adjusted surprisingly quickly—within a couple of days,” he says. As a second-degree black belt and avid runner, Herbert purchased the TreadDesk to complement his healthy lifestyle and help manage back pain. “After sitting at my desk for hours at a time, I was having a lot of lower back pain, a common consequence of excessive sitting. Evolution didn’t design us to sit; we were built to stand, walk, run and squat, but not to sit. So I was hoping that by drastically reducing the time I spent sitting, I would ease my lower back pain.”

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"I've been using the TreadDesk for quite some time now and I can't say enough good things about it! The tread itself is quiet, responsive, compact, and sturdy. Working while standing up and walking has been an easy adjustment, and my base speed has increased steadily. I'm a college professor, and have spent the last twenty years sitting at my desk. I set up my computer at my TreadDesk so that when I'm working on it I'm standing or walking. I really wish I had this arrangement from the very beginning. I can't imagine ever going back!"

Alison S. - Bloomington, IL