Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 29, 2014
A hot topic in the news these days is how sitting all day can be bad for your health. It is estimated that 86% of adults spend most of their day sitting. Prolonged sitting has been independently associated with increased mortality (i.e. an early death) regardless of a person’s physical activity levels. Excessive sitting also has been shown to increase the risk of developing chronic diseases, experiencing back pain, and getting blood clots. Even slouching in a chair can make it more likely that a person develops depressive symptoms.
The mounting research on the dangers of sitting is particularly bad news for lawyers. The lawyer's workday always has been fairly sedentary. With the rise of the billable hour, however, the average attorney’s workday has become longer, often continuing long into the evening hours. Compounding the problem, technology has eliminated the need to get up and move. These days, nearly all legal research is done on the computer. Lawyers no longer need to walk to the library down the hall or down the street. Gone are the days of standing in a room sifting through boxes of documents. Now those documents arrive in electronic form and are reviewed on computers. With lawyers often ranking among the unhealthiest and unhappiest of professions, many attorneys are on the lookout for different ways to improve how they spend their day.
For an increasing number of lawyers, the answer is a treadmill desk. Cassandra Meynard, an attorney with Mesch, Clark & Rothschild in Tucson, Arizona, was experiencing health issues before she found an alternative to her office chair. “I had circulation problems last year due to hours upon hours of sitting,” Meynard said. She knew something had to change, so she took a chance on a treadmill desk by the company, Rebel Desk.
Treadmill desks, like those sold by Rebel Desk, are meant only for office use. The Rebel Desk treadmill has a maximum speed of 2 mph. Lawyers can walk while in work attire and not worry about getting sweaty or being out of breath. Meynard reports that it took her “very little time to get used to walking and working at the same time. I find that combining the two actually helps my focus.” She attributes her treadmill desk to her better posture, increased core strength and positive energy levels.
Rebel Desk is the vision of Kathleen Hale, a former lawyer herself. Hale enjoyed her work as an attorney but hated sitting all day: “I would hand edit a brief and pace in my office to get a break. When I clerked on the federal court, I managed to bring a yoga ball into chambers to replace my chair.” Eventually Hale started using a treadmill desk that she hacked from a running treadmill. “I loved walking while working but I wanted to create a treadmill desk that was sleeker and quieter while still being affordable.”
Rebel Desk estimates that about 10% of its customers are attorneys. Hale is not surprised by the growing popularity of treadmill desks among lawyers: “It is hard to find time to exercise when you have billable hour requirements and client demands.” Attorneys also often have private offices that lend themselves well to treadmill desks. Some law firms invest in a few treadmill desks for a shared space. Whichever the setup, attorneys are looking to improve their health, energy, and focus throughout their often long days.