Don't Be a Working Stiff

Add some easy energizing action to your workday habits


Scale of happiness: 11     Photo: Ture Lillegraven

Among the many annoyances of having a desk job—Mondays, office "parties," having to change out of your pajamas—the worst can be the impact on your training. Grinding out ten-hour days in front of a computer has a seriously degrading effect on all things physical. Enter James Levine, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist who recently devised a fully functional desk built around a treadmill to bring activity to the office slave's routine. Levine and other Mayo researchers tested the desks themselves, walking one mile per hour while e-mailing, crunching data, and taking calls (including one for this story). The result: They burned roughly 100 extra caloriesan hour. That's a significant number for competitive racers looking to shave some pounds in order to boost finish times—or tie on a workout buzz before filling out another TPS report. Levine is now collaborating with five U.S.-based companies to bring his design to their offices. But for those looking to gain that extra edge right away, do as Dean Karnazes does and add some easy energizing action to your workday habits.

1. Use a wireless headset so you can pace your office during those interminable conference calls.
2. Work at a stand-up desk.
3. Have walking meetings instead of gathering around a table.
4. Skip that third cup of coffee and instead bust out a set of push-ups or crunches.

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