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Evaluation of a Workplace Treadmill Desk Intervention: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Schuna, John M. Jr PhD; Swift, Damon L. PhD; Hendrick, Chelsea A. BS; Duet, Megan T. MS; Johnson, William D. PhD; Martin, Corby K. PhD; Church, Timothy S. MD, PhD, MPH; Tudor-Locke, Catrine PhD, FACSM

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: December 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 12 - p 1266–1276
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000336
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a 3-month treadmill desk intervention in eliciting changes in physical activity and sedentary behavior among overweight/obese office workers.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted among overweight/obese office workers (n = 41; mean age = 40.1 ± 10.1 years) at a private workplace. Participants were randomly assigned to a shared-treadmill desk intervention (n = 21) or a usual working condition control group (n = 20). Accelerometer-determined physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured before and after the intervention.

Results: Compared with the control group, the intervention group increased daily steps (1622 steps/day; P = 0.013) and light physical activity (1.6 minutes/hour; P = 0.008), and decreased sedentary time (−3.6 minutes/hour; P = 0.047) during working hours.

Conclusions: Shared-treadmill desks in the workplace can be effective at promoting favorable changes in light physical activity (specifically 40 to 99 steps/minute) and sedentary behavior among overweight/obese office workers.

From the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences (Dr Schuna), Oregon State University, Corvallis; College of Health and Human Performance (Dr Swift), East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina; and Pennington Biomedical Research Center, (Ms Hendrick, Ms Duet, Dr Johnson, Dr Martin, Dr Church, and Dr Tudor-Locke), Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Address correspondence to: Catrine Tudor-Locke, PhD, FACSM, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 (

This research was supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Dr Catrine Tudor-Locke and her husband (Mr. Gerald Locke) are co-inventors, and thus intellectual property holders, of a workstation alternative device not discussed in the manuscript.

The authors declare no other conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine