Sitting at work no good, so GSK employees try standing and new treadmill desks

More people seem to be ditching office chairs in favor of standing desks. A recent article in the New Yorker even tackled the trend of treadmill desks.

A mounting body of research suggests that sitting is bad for you — really bad for you.

Even if you’re healthy, a trip to the gym won’t erase the negative health impacts of a workday spent sitting in front a computer.

One major company in the Philadelphia area is taking that research to heart.

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Active at work

With its new office building at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, GlaxoSmithKline is going all-in on keeping people active at work.

“The whole concept is to get people to actually feel energized by enabling that in the design of the building,” said Bob Carr, the senior VP in charge of the well-being of GSK employees.

The new building has a handful of design quirks that keep people moving. One of the bigger things is that every workstation is a fully adjustable standing desk.

Carr says about half of the building’s 1,300 employees use them that way, the rest sit.

“As time goes on, you’re seeing a greater proportion of people standing versus sitting,” said Carr.

For the true believers, there’s even a handful of treadmill desks where you can walk and work at the same time.

“Because I’m basically walking, I’m continually energizing my body, my muscles and my mind,” said Carr, walking. “Studies have shown that you’re clearer, you’re more engaged, you’re more focused — and actually you feel better.”

That investment in feeling better isn’t cheap. Carr says the treadmill desks cost about $1,800 each and the standing desks cost about $1,000.

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