Walk While You Work: A Treadmill Desk May Actually Make You Smarter
Instead of twitching your legs all day, try walking at a treadmill desk: It may make you a better employee.
A study published in Computers in Human Behavior shows those who work while walking slowly on a treadmill have increased powers of retention and focus.
And, you know, they aren't dying quickly from long days spent sitting.
Using 18 local university students, the research team, based in Montreal, instructed half to memorize information while walking at a 1.5 mph pace.
At the same time, the other half of participants attempted memorization of the materials, which simulated a day's work in emails and text, while sitting down.
After 40 minutes, researchers bombarded participants from both groups with questions to gauge how well they retained the information.
Unsurprisingly, the team found those who walked on the treadmill were nearly 35 percent more likely to answer a question correctly than their sedentary fellows.
Strikingly, an EEG recorded during the treadmill session showed an increase in alpha wave activity in the brain, which is often thought to help produce detailed memories.
Those seated, however, showed elevated memory-obscuring theta activity.
The study sample is too small to produce any definitive conclusions, but may lead researchers to undertake the experiment on a larger scale.
Until then, take a favorite book to the treadmill at the gym for a low-stress workout. You might be able to relive those thrilling plot points a little better.