Stepping To Health

Maria walking at workI spend way too much time sitting. I have murmured this to myself many times. My self-talk is supported by a growing list of
<a href="http://http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/business/stand-up-desks-gaining-favor-in-the-workplace.html?_r=0“>research reports research reports that indicate that too much seated time is harmful.

On a typical day my times is spent seated, talking and collaborating with staff and community partners. At the end of the office day, I frequently leave for other community activities. Too often I head home with a headache, stiff back, neck and achey quad and hamstring muscles. Off to bed, I frequently awaken during the night stiff and in pain. Less sleep means less energy for meaningful physical exercise. It’s a downward spiral with seemingly no way out. So I have spent more and more time standing at my desk.

As a Registered Nurse (RN) working in a home health organization, much of my discussion with staff focuses on evaluating the health and wellness of our patients. We provide guidance and educational resources to help improve the quality of the lives that we serve.

SeateWhat constantly gnaws at me is how well I address my own health. What I am doing for myself? A flaw of most nurses, I take far better care for others than I do for myself. Too many of the 3 million nurses working in this country have fallen into the same pattern as I have. It’s a major flaw of many nurses’ character.

An idea that first came to me about 12 years ago while surfing the internet, I have been intrigued by the notion of a walking desk. At the time I first heard about the treadmill desk, all that was available was blueprint drawings and pictures to build the beast. The thought of a regular treadmill with a table built around it was nice, but I knew that attached to a regular treadmill would result in alot of bouncing and vibration on the surface of the desk. Today, it’s possible to buy a treadmill and table which are engineered as two separate units meant to work together, but remaining separate prevents the desk surface from bouncing due to vibration.

I have had time to ponder a change in my office configuration and came up with a plan a number of months ago. I committed to giving up my beautiful executive desk and using a treadmill desk when the time came to moving our offices into new space.

The time has arrived for the treadmill to become a reality. Health Calls moved to new space a week ago. My treadmill is erected from the boxes in which it arrived several weeks ago.

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Right now my goal is to go slowly enough that I can complete desk tasks safely. My family will tell you chewing gum and walking at the same time is a challenge, so slow and steady deliberate practice will go a long way to assure that I leave the office safely, in one piece each day. In due time, I will pick up speed from my current 1.8 mph.

The fastest the treadmill will go is 4 MPH. This treadmill desk is not for interval training. Recent research findings indicatethere are many health risks associated with sitting too much. My hope is that my activity changes will have a positive effect on my health and reduce my health risks.

I will keep you posted…

3 thoughts on “Stepping To Health

  1. I was just thinking how great it would be to be able to stand and move while finishing my documentation. Love the idea of the treadmill desk.
    I start my day with a sun salutation (yoga). You can perform one or multiple reps at a time, change the speed of the movement, to work on flexibility vs strengthening. Even if you only have 1 minute in the morning you can run through the sun salutation poses and it is a great way to warm-up and get your body moving.

  2. Pingback: Prolonged Sitting | At Home with Health Calls

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