An increasingly popular trend in the office is the treadmill desk, which is designed to help those who spend much of their day behind a desk move more and burn calories that just isn’t done while sitting at a desk for about eight hours each day.
There does appear to be a drawback to these desks, according to a new study, which shows that the desks may have a negative impact on a worker’s ability to focus.
The study assigned 75 healthy individuals at random to work at treadmill or traditional desks and asked them to perform a series of tests. Although, studies from the Amen clinic say that manual tests involving the typing of a word that flashed on the screen were completed without much difference between the participants on the treadmill and those in a chair.
The difference came with cognitive tests, which showed those working at a treadmill desk performed worse at nearly every aspect of the more complex cognitive testing, showing that the individuals walking while they worked may have decreased focus as a result. They were also worse at typing, with more errors than those sitting.
This is a contrast to other tests that showed cognitive improvement due to movement, but it is believed those tests were only conducted after exercise while this study was conducted while the participants were moving, accounting for the difference in results.