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Innovators battle obesity with science

Oregon ranks 28th in the nation in overall obesity rates with 27.3% of its adult population classified as obese.

Unfortunately there are no reliable, established state statistics for adult activity levels, which is a large part of the problem according to recent studies out of Stanford University establishing inactivity as the primary culprit causing obesity in America.

Americans spent more than $2.4 billion on diet programs and another $14 billion on weight loss supplements last year, yet are more obese now than ever before leaving the ‘BMI challenged’ despondent and defeated.

Many hold to the belief that the super sizing of America’s diet is the culprit and point to a generation of slovenly, lazy over-eaters who are placing this state and our nation’s overall health at risk. Science says we should not be so fast to condemn ourselves.

The Stanford study, documents a precipitous decline in physical activity over the past decades and an increase in BMI (Body Mass Index) levels set against caloric intake levels that have remained virtually unchanged. It ain’t the food, it’s the chair, say scientists.

Health experts have established the myriad risks of sitting in an office all day, now equating it on the same level as smoking. Many employers remain in the dark as to the damage wrought on workers forced into cubicles throughout the day and the added pounds that mount annually.

The innovators behind the first affordable treadmill desk (the TrekDesk) think they might have a solution. Known as the TrekDesk II, it is a combination desk that can be used as a regular desk, a standing desk, a sit-to-stand desk, or a motion desk (treadmills, steppers, ellipticals) and changes as an individual’s needs and appetites for motion change. This allows employees to ease into moving more during the day in the event they are uncertain about their abilities to walk all day with a treadmill desk.

“Our main goal is to get employees up and out of their chairs,” stated Steve Bordley, chief executive officer of the company. “Once someone starts standing while working, they start weaning themselves from chairs. That strengthens their back muscles and also motivates them to move more. A body in motion tends to stay in motion and people are surprised to learn that they can stay upright and in motion for most if not all of the day. It is, after all, how we evolved so it should not be a surprise that our bodies require and crave motion.”

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