SALT LAKE CITY (NBC/KSL) - At his new workstation, everything Dr. Chris Wood once did sitting, he now does standing -- while walking very slowly on a treadmill.
A telephone, computer keyboard, pencils, pads, papers -- everything you'd find on a conventional desk -- are on this new-generation workspace.
"I feel a lot more energetic," he said. "It's funny. You would think you would spend all your energy at the standing desk during the day, feeling tired in the afternoon and evening. But that's not the case. I find I have more get-up and-go."
Wood made the change following a back injury, when he found it difficult sitting in a chair for any length of time.
"And I find that doing something with my body while I'm working actually helps me focus better," said Wood.
Down the hall, co-worker Joan Golden stands and walks as well.
First- and second-year medical students at the University of Utah are standing and walking.
And at Rowland Hall, headmaster Alan Sparrow hopes his standing workspace is sending a message to students.
"But you also need to give a message that they need to move," said Sparrow. "Movement is good. Movement is healthy. Movement helps. The new book called -- not new -- but a book out called 'Brain Rules and how exercise actually helps your mind develop.'"
And who knows? For many students, sitting desks may be obsolete by the time they grow up.
So why? Why all this standing?
New studies this year paint a dismal picture of what's happening to the body when we sit.
Researcher Marc Hamilton said our muscles become as silent as a dead horse, and our calorie-burning rate drops dramatically.
Insulin effectiveness falls within a single day. The enzyme that vacuums fat out of the bloodstream plunges.
Researching Dr. Liz Joy said our metabolism simply bottoms out.
"If somebody gets up and moves just a couple of minutes out of every 20- or 60-minute segment of their day, they can lower their glucose levels and lower their insulin levels," said Joy. "We need to re-engineer our workplace so that we can re-engineer activity back into our lifestyle."
Those who've made the conversion so far claim it's a piece of cake.
"It took me only about five minutes -- five minutes I was typing almost as fast as if I wasn't moving at all," said Sparrow.
According to data collected from test groups, even 30 minutes of rigorous exercise will not reverse the downfall from sitting five- to six hours per day at the office.
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