Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is Your Chair-Based Lifestyle Affecting Your Memory?

Working in the Software Development industry, it’s common to see developers reclining in their "souped-up” office chairs writing code that ultimately shapes the direction of our technology. Even our other departments are seen spending numerous hours sitting at their desks taking phone calls and typing up emails. However, with more research coming out about the negative impacts of living a “chair-based lifestyle”, it is time to consider making changes within the workplace. The impacts of sitting all day go deeper than the well-known physical damages that result from reduced metabolic rates. New research has shown that in addition to reduced energy levels, being sedentary for extended periods of time also reduces overall mental activity and memory. As a result, more companies are taking the first steps towards creating wellness programs for their employees.

I understand that there will always be some individuals that prefer sitting at their desk all day, and that is a choice they can make. However, others feel the negative impacts of sitting and, I believe this creates the potential for depression and unhappiness. I often hold “walk and talk” meetings with individuals from my team while walking outside whether with a destination in mind or just as a means of getting out of the office. In addition, as part of Mortgage Cadence’s new wellness program, we are currently testing out a treadmill desk that will allow employees to make phone calls via a headset while utilizing the desk to set their laptops on. If this proves to be successful, more will be phased in. My hope is that those who test the treadmills out will experience increased focus and a feeling of improved productivity, which will ultimately lead to a happier and healthier work environment. What do you think of these new treadmill desk, and what other changes do you think would help get people up and moving while at work?


  1. A few employees in the Edina office have experimented with replacing their chairs with exercise balls:


    or switching to a standing desk:

  2. I have really started to feel the effects of sitting all day.....time to get up.

  3. Well put. I think another possible idea to make offices/cubicles that are suited to standing while working on a computer. People could have the option of sitting or standing as they see fit.

  4. That is another option. Thanks Bryan.