Treadmill Workstations Bring Fitness to Cubicles

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Many studies have shown a healthy person is generally more productive and happier.  Now, one California company is putting that theory to the test.

Employees at the Blue Shield call center in Redding have the option to work at their desk - or at a walking workstation. The company was been using the stations for about a year as part of their "Wellvolution" program.

"Instead of asking people to find time to go to the gym, to go out and exercise, what about thinking about a new way of doing physical activity?" Wellvolution Director Bryce Williams said. "Bring it to the desktop, literally, so you can work out and do your job at the same time."

Tara Nicholson, who works in Blue Shield's customer service division, quickly warmed to the idea.

"The first week was a little adjusting," Nicholson admitted. "You had to learn how to do the whole walk, talk and type thing. But after that it's a breeze. I like it."

"I'm hoping that they bring it on full time after this, and we can sign up for more than just two days a week," she said.

Meanwhile, researchers at Harvard University and the University of California Berkeley are studying the company's program to see if the treadmills really provide any health benefits.

Should the treadmill workstations prove beneficial, Blue Shield said it would share the findings with other corporations.

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