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Surprising Science

Workplace Workouts

More and more jobs are increasingly confined to sitting at a desk all day. This isn’t how it used to be. Americans are burning fewer calories than ever at work—so what can be done?  

What’s the Latest Development?

Resent research indicates that Americans are more sedentary than ever when they are at work. The nation is losing many of the jobs that once kept us mobile. Tim Church, an exercise researcher at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, “found that the number of people in jobs requiring moderate physical activity decreased from 48 percent in 1960 to 20 percent in 2008. The researchers also found a match between the drop in calories burned and increase in average weight during the past five decades.”

What’s the Big Idea?

What can we do to stay healthy in the modern workplace? A number of machines and routines have been devised to keep our muscles moving, such as a small gear and wheels which requires you to pedal to use your mouse. But a simpler solution may be more effective, says Church: use a pedometer. “‘You don’t appreciate how sedentary you are until you start using a step counter,’ Church said. The device can shock people into changing their behavior as well as help them achieve their fitness goals.”


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