Scientists are learning what many may already sense intuitively regarding the relationship between health and activity levels: more activity yields better health results. A recent study of the relationship between exercise and heart health showed this to be the case once again.




The new study published in the Journal of Proteome Research shed more light on the inner workings of a cell’s power production facility, the mitochondria, and how activity impacts heart health.


TrekDesk previously reported on the importance of activity and its effect on the mitochondria in muscle cells throughout the body. That study showed a direct correlation between activity levels and the number of mitochondria produced by the body. The more an individual exercised the greater the number of mitochondria produced by their muscle cells. The more we move the more energy our bodies are capable of producing, conversely the more we sit the lower the number of mitochondria and subsequent energy levels.


Focusing on the heart specifically this new study found similar results in heart cells as was found in muscle cells. Studying mice that were exercised on treadmills they found an increase in the number and efficiencies of the mitochondria in the heart cells. The medical community has long known of the heart health benefits of daily exercise but this study was the first to document its effect at the cellular level.


As in the previous study an increase in levels of two proteins, kinases known as RAF and p38, were noted as important components in the increased energy proficiency of the heart cells.


Science is continually unlocking the secrets as to how the body operates and a central theme emerges time and time again. Movement is critical to optimal health. There are no shortcuts, no quick fixes, no magic pills to compensate for a lack of physical activity.


Unfortunately, a majority of Americans achieve less than ½ the daily minimum recommendation for walking set by the Surgeon General (10,000 steps per day) as a result 70% of the adult population is overweight with 35% classified as obese.


Most Americans cite a lack of time and motivation as the main reasons that they fail to hit the minimum movement recommendations. A treadmill desk from TrekDesk has helped thousands overcome these two obstacles. TrekDesk allows individuals to get the necessary movement their health requires without taking any extra time out of the day and requires no extra motivation. Employees either stand while they work or activate the treadmill and stay in motion while attending to work tasks.


The results of staying in motion throughout the day are significant. Walking has been shown to drastically reduce the risk of major illnesses such as cancers, stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Walking also has been shown to have significant mental health and cognitive advantages as well as boosting productivity and creativity levels in workers.




Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States accounting for more than 380,000 deaths annually. Approximately 5,700,000 Americans currently suffer from congestive heart failure, half of which will die within the first five years of their diagnosis. Those are very sobering statistics by any standards however on the brighter side these risks could be reduced as much as 46% if Americans walked an hour more each day according to a recent study on heart health and exercise


The study followed 39,805 people aged 20-90 years old (not suffering from heart failure) beginning in 1997. Swedish researchers measured their total and leisure time activities and then assessed the overall relationship between their activity levels and risks of developing heart failure.


Their findings should encourage anyone to lace up the sneakers and go for a walk.


Walking Helps Reduce Risk of Heart Failure


The more active men and women who averaged at least an hour of moderate activity (such as walking) daily had a 46% lower risk of developing heart failure. The group with the highest risk factors were older, less educated males with high body mass index and waist to hip ratios along with poor health histories including heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. It should be noted that each of the poor health outcomes listed above can be reduced significantly by a regular daily program of walking.


“This study is one of hundreds that proves the health benefits of walking and it’s impact on heart disease, many of which we report in our Research section,” stated Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desk. “Every major disease category affecting the developed world today is affected by sedentary habits and environments yet very little is being done to change this.”


Walking has been shown to lower the risks of not only heart disease but also stroke, cancers, diabetes and a host of obesity and inactivity related diseases yet Americans walk less today than just a few decades ago.


Walking has been shown to be more effective in preventing heart attacks than statins yet this preventative measure is rarely prescribed as heavily by physicians as are pharmaceutical remedies. Health initiatives such as the American College of Sport Medicine's "Exercise is Medicine" campaign are urging physicians to monitor activity and inactivity levels in their patients.


Inactivity has already been proven to be the single greatest risk factor for heart disease in women over 30 and there is little doubt that the same holds true in the male population as well. 


Summary: Numerous studies have cast light on the health hazards of prolonged sitting but new research shows the damage starts much sooner than expected. Think twice before you take a seat!




Prolonged sitting has now been firmly linked as a major contributor to the top disease categories that plague the nation: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity. While there is no disputing the health hazards of sitting too much – just how much is too much? A new study out of Indiana University found that the negative impact on health starts within the first hour of sitting down. There is a silver lining to this cloud of bad news however.




While the study established sitting’s negative effect established sitting’s negative effect on the endothelial function of arteries (the ability of arteries to expand to allow optimal blood flow) it also discovered that short walking breaks of just five minutes out of every hour could reverse the effect and prevent this negative effect on arterial flow.


Circulatory System




That’s great news for those who are not yet allowed a treadmill desk in their office. Endothelial impairment is an early harbinger of cardiovascular disease so it is important to prevent the damage caused daily in office cubicles across the country by encouraging more movement at frequent intervals.




This was one of the first studies to actually to measure the “dosage” of activity and frequency necessary to counteract one of the components complicit in the deterioration of sedentary employee’s health. Previous studies out of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center found significant deterioration in muscle function with just 15 minutes of sitting. Bottom line – sitting is bad on a variety of levels and movement is critical to good health.




Just how much of an impact sitting have on an artery’s normal capacity? The study revealed that sitting for just ONE hour led to a 50% reduction in femoral (leg) artery capacity as measured by ultrasound and blood pressure cuffs.




It is confusing for many to understand that the body needs to be in motion throughout much of the day. While a five minute walking break can undo the endothelial impact of sitting for the previous 55 minutes this cannot not be extrapolated to mean that during an eight hour day an employee needs only to get up and move for 40 minutes total at specified intervals, nor did this study imply that. However, some studies have shown that a mere 15 minutes of daily walking can comparatively extend life expectancy by as much as 3 years! 






It should alarm employees and employers alike that the negative health consequences of sitting begin rapidly and that movement should be encouraged at every opportunity within the confines of their respective work environments.




Summary:  TrekDesks have been used in university health studies across America. An ASU doctoral candidate's research reports findings regarding the effect of walking on employee’s blood pressure.


Zach Ziegler, a doctoral student at Arizona State University has been studying the impact of walking and working with the assistance of eight donated TrekDesk Treadmill Desks. The study findings have been significant according to a recent interview published online in the State Press.

“I met with Zach and ASU exercise and wellness professor Pamela Swan a number of years ago and was impressed with their knowledge of what is now being labeled ‘sedentary science’ and their desire to uncover more about the health hazards of sitting and how walking at a desk could impact that,” stated Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desk. “We felt compelled to help in any way that we could and were happy to donate the TrekDesks for the study.”

The results were significant. Zach’s research has won awards and acclaim across the scientific community. “His research is exceptional, because it shows for the first time that this very easy kind of exercise, which is hardly exercise at all, because it’s just typing standing up and walking very slowly, can actually make a big difference in somebody’s health,” Swan related in the interview with the State Press.
Zeigler used the eight donated TrekDesks to measure the effects of mild exercise on study participant’s blood pressure at various intervals during the workday.
Just how profound Zach’s findings could be for public health are further detailed in the State Press article. His findings added to the growing body of evidence of health benefits of walking at a desk at work. In his analysis he found that simply walking at a low speed of 1 mph had a significant impact in the reduction of blood pressure rates among study participants.
“If our population changed to make our jobs more active, if we saw that kind of reduction on a population basis, we could reduce rates for stroke and cardiovascular events by 10 to 12 percent,” Zach related. “On a population basis, that would be pretty successful.”

Sedentary lifestyles and work environments are significant contributors to all major disease categories that afflict every industrialized country across the globe. The major killers in the United States -heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer all have a direct link to inactivity levels, which have risen precipitously in the past decades.

Obesity, shown to be caused primarily by low levels of activity among Americans (more so than dietary factors), has been linked to 54 specific diseases that plague the nation’s health. Despite this fact there is very little focus on patient’s activity and inactivity levels during health screenings. Major initiatives such as the Exercise is Medicine campaign out of the American College of Sports Medicine hope to change that through education to primary physicians.

Moderate activity such as walking has been shown to strengthen the immune system, restore health and prevent disease and Zach Ziegler’s research is a great example of studies which add to an overflowing body of evidence that support the need to mitigate inactivity on a daily basis for optimum health. More information on the health benefits of restricting the amount of inactivity in an employee’s day may be found in the TrekDesk Benefits and Research sections.



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