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Research Article Open Access
Recently, the amount of time dedicated to sedentary work-related tasks has increased. Further, this trend toward decreased physical activity in the workplace is expected to increase. Active workstations such as treadmill desks provide health benefits; however, concerns for the ability to walk safely and work efficiency remain unclear. The purposes of this investigation were to: 1) compare kinematics of treadmill walking (TW) with kinematics of walking while performing computer mousing tasks (WC) using a treadmill desk, and 2) examine work efficiency in terms of the time to complete computer mousing tasks during WC compared to standing (SC). Trunk and lower-extremity kinematic data were obtained from 9 males (23.4 ± 4.2 yrs; 81.7 ± 16.4 kg; 176.3 ± 5.5 cm) and 7 females (23.0 ± 3.3 yrs; 58.4 ± 6.5 kg; 171.7 ± 9.0 cm) using a 10-camera motion capture system. Kinematic data were normalized to the gait cycle and were divided into sub-phases for analysis. Kinematic data of the first and last 10 WC strides were compared to identify shortterm kinematic adaptations (α=0.05). Neither computer task performance (p=0.071) nor walking velocity (p=0.089) was sacrificed during WC compared to SC and TW, respectively. Significant kinematic changes occurred in response to WC (p<0.05). Significant differences were identified between the first and last 10 WC strides (p<0.05), which revealed that some participants trended toward a return to normal gait as exposure to WC increased. Results suggest that active workstations do not diminish computing performance, and that walking safety is not sacrificed after initial exposure. We suggest gradual introduction to an active workstation, particularly if the computer task is challenging.
Cognition, Dual-task, Kinematics, Locomotor safety, Exercise, Parkinsons Disease, Physical Activity, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation