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Study puts health-care workers on treadmills to track health, productivity

Posted: 11/19/2013 1:05 PM | Comments: 0

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Some employees at the Misericordia Health Centre are working a little harder these days.

Exploring ways to promote healthier work conditions and get people out of their office chairs, a researcher in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba is studying the effects of physical activity in the office.

"Over the last decades, a shift towards the service industry has meant that jobs requiring physical activity in the workplace have reduced from 50 per cent to 20 per cent," researcher Danielle Bouchard said in a statement.

"Today, it’s been proven that it is important to reduce sitting time at work, even if you exercise regularly."

With this in mind, the Misericordia Health Centre has purchased four treadmills to replace some of the desk chairs in its Provincial Health Contact Centre so that the staff -- 22 workers in all -- can take turns walking while working. Employees will each take a 2- to 4-hour shift on the treadmills, while researchers monitor usage, sleep patterns, job satisfaction and productivity, along with vitals such as blood pressure and heart rate.

"I expect that sharing treadmill workstations will help reduce sedentary behaviour in the workplace, increase employees’ health and job satisfaction and maintain or increase productivity," Bouchard added.

 

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