Treadmill desks put to the test

We've all heard that sitting all day is bad for our health. So what are the options for those of us who work at a desk for hours and hours?

Consumer Reports tested what could be the desk of the future -- a treadmill desk. Some people have already made the switch.

Like many of us, Chris Brown felt sitting at a desk all day drained his energy.

So he made a change. For the past six weeks, Chris has been working -- and walking -- at his new treadmill desk.

It's not really for exercise, but to keep your metabolism above a resting rate. The recommended speed while working is less than 2 mph.

"I can do pretty much anything at the treadmill desk that I can do sitting down behind a desk," said Brown.

Consumer Reports tested two treadmill desks, using a panel of 12 staffers.

"We had them read and type on the computer, we had them talk on the phone, and we had them surf the Internet," said Linda Green with Consumer Reports.

The Workfit 1030 by Exerpeutic is less expensive at $750, but for some it wasn't comfortable.

"It's not an ideal height for a short person. Because, as you can see, my shoulders are hunched up, and if you type for any length of time, it's just, it's not doable," said panelist Sue Byrne.

And several panelists complained their feet kept hitting the motor casing.

Panelist Gayle Williams said, "Ergonomically, it was just easier to walk and work on the LifeSpan."

LifeSpan's DT5 costs twice as much -- $1,500 -- but most panelists preferred it.

"The overall stability of this machine is very sound," said panelist Dan DiClerico.

As for Brown, he says switching to a treadmill desk is worth it.

"I just feel better about myself both physically and psychologically," said Brown.

Consumer Reports found it takes some time to get used to walking while you work.

The panelists say surfing the Web was easier than trying to write with a pen or using a computer mouse.

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