Kansas State Prof Walks While She Works


From the “Why didn’t I think of this?” files comes the following report – a Kansas State University professor decided to do something about the inordinate amount of time she spent sitting on her posterior.

Sitting Adverse Prof

Dr. Deb Sellers, an assistant professor of family studies and human services and an extension specialist at KSU, grew tired of sitting for 10 hours each day – at her desk and behind the wheel of her car – and with the help of her husband, Mark, built a treadmill desk to allow her to stand on her feet and keep moving.

And not just any treadmill, mind you – this one is connected to a standing desk, allowing the professor to work — and walk – for as long as she wants.

“I noticed in the four years I have been at K-State my physical activity had decreased,” Sellers said. Previously she was in the field, serving elders in acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, retirement communities and government agencies.

Sellers’s treadmill desk was modified for her needs with the rails removed and the monitor, which tells the professor how far she walks, placed on a custom built stand on top of the desk. The idea for this particular unit comes from the Mayo Clinic where doctors designed a similar desk. Sellers’ husband, who is a commercial woodworker, designed the desk treadmill which allows the professor to work and walk.

Made to Order

The treadmill desk is made of wood and laminate and was built by the Sellers off campus. The two then hauled the unit to the third floor of Justin Hall where the professor has a private office. Concerned that her colleagues might be disturbed by her constant movement, the professor conducted noises tests and got the okay from her co-workers.

Next, the professor wanted to see if the treadmill consumed too much electricity. It turns out that a treadmill eats up as much electricity as a mini refrigerator – Sellers was good to go and go and go….

Sellers keeps an even pace when working, by walking about 1 mile per hour for at least an hour each day. The combined activity of walking and working is ideal for checking email, but she knows when it comes to writing a journal article the work has to be done in a more stationary position – behind a desk and on an office chair.

Source: Kansas State University


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