Hospital employees test walking while working

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 3 at 5:44 PM

DALLAS — Most of Danielle Hayle's day is spent sitting at a desk, on the computer.

At least that's how it used to be.

Hayle is one of ten participants in a clinical trial at Children's Medical Center. For six months, employees in the hospital's Access Center are testing the benefits of walking while working.

"Sitting for 8 or 10 hours I thought couldn't be healthy for anybody, let alone me," said nurse Connie Choudhury.

Choudhury proposed a walking workstation, a desk connected to a treadmill, to change the atmosphere and energy in the high-stress, low-activity environment.

Access Center employees manage incoming ambulances, insurance, and room assignments. The workplace is dark, filled with computer screens and television monitors.

The study on walking at work will assess worker burnout and health.

"We're monitoring cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels," Choudhury explained. "We're monitoring weight, BMI, blood pressure..."

The walking workstation desk adjusts to the walker's size. The treadmill itself is programmed to go no faster than two miles an hour, so workers are never out of breath while on the phone.

"I love it," admitted Danielle Hayle. "I have more energy throughout the day. My legs don't get restless. Overall, I'm happier."

Because she can do so while she works, Danielle Hayle says she never needs to leave her post to stretch her legs.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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