Jan 8 2013

If you’re like me, you’ve seen a bunch of research in the past 2 years about how horrible sitting all day is for your health.

Sitting for More Than Three Hours a Day Cuts Life Expectancy – WSJ
Your Desk is Making You Stupid – Inc
Stand Up While You Read This! – NYT

Most of them talk about a level of activity to shoot for is 10,000 steps per day.

In April of 2011, after seeing some of this, I bought one of the first generation FitBits. I wore it for a week. It tacks your steps, and daily, shows a chart like this (mine from day 1 of FitBit Sunday April 24, 2011):


I walked 6,593 steps that day. And when I saw that first pie chart, my reaction, was “holy shit.” For 95.3% of a 24 hour period, that little magical device of accelerometers and technology tracked 0 movement. Zip, nada, big ol’ goose egg. Taking a test in college? 95% = muy bueno. Tracking your movement? 95% SEDENTARY = you die young and can’t backpack into your 80′s (a life goal).

I bought a NordicTrack treadmill and a TrekDesk less than a week later. In 2011 I used it ok, but coming into 2012, I set a goal, a New Year’s Resolution: to walk 10,000 steps per day, averaged by month, for all of 2012.

It’s the only time in my life (38 yrs) where I set and kept a New Year’s resolution. Here are my charts:



The reason I kept this goal is simple: as long as I remembered to clip on the FitBit, goal was tracked and reported. And then I just had to get up and move, and walk, or run, or hike.

Over the course of 2012, here are my stats:

Days with recorded steps: 366 (leap day!)
Total Steps: 4,123,067
Average Daily Steps: 11,265
Total Miles: 1,901
Averages by Month: Jan 11,985 Feb 10,924 Mar 11,341 Apr 12,010 May 11,604 Jun 11,593 Jul 11,538 Aug 10,094 Sept 12,118 Oct 10,258 Nov 10,642 Dec 11,088

We are now in the process of rolling out treadmill/walking desks for anyone at who wants them. Of our 16 team members, 4 of us currently use walking desks and 1 uses a standing desk. We have several more we’re buying. If an employee wants one, we will get it.

For 2013? I’m upping to a goal of 12,328 steps average per day. That’s 4,500,000 steps this year. Days like this from last Friday where I hit over 25,000 steps, covered more than 11 miles, and moved my Lightly/Fairly/Very Active % from 5% to 32% (WHILE WORKING!!) are going to help:



Active. It’s the opposite of Sedentary. And if you sit for work, it’s impossible. So get Active! Get a FitBit. Get a walking desk. (LifeSpan of Utah is where we’re buying ours). Life’s too short to not walk while you work.

Bookmark and Share
  • Adam Barrett

    Just a few months ago I started using a standing desk. I am not sure how I would handle a walking desk. What kind of noise level comes with such a thing?

    • Jeff Poulton

      Love the recommendation (and links) for the walking desk. I’ve been alternating between sitting on a ball and standing, but it’s time to up the ante.

    • jeremyhanks

      not bad noise at all. I walk at 2 mph just normal work, drop to 1 mph for calls on my speaker phone. (cause they do hear it, it’s been described as a quacking duck like sound). It’s an adjustment, took me months, but finally ditched my backup desk, so I walk or stand all day long.

  • facebook-1178540743

    Great post. Inspirational for those of us with desk jobs just trying to force ourselves to take the stairs more often. Which of the desks do you recommend?  Is there a vast difference between the 800 model and the 1600 model?

  • facebook-1178540743

     Weird that my name and pic didn’t come through… This is Maile…

  • Matt Hodson

    Love this. I could totally use something like this. Will have to adjust my habits until I can make it happen. Thanks!

  • Pingback: – Standing Desk: 3 months later