Pin It

In August 2014, at the XX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work: Drs. Luc Carr and Chris Leonhard presented three papers on Active Motion Sitting. This included results from the first study on activeLife Trainer, a three months randomized controlled study making activeLife Trainer available to 30 desk-bound office workers. Results show that having an activeLife Trainer at your desk significantly increases physical activity throughout the work day. However, a dose response analysis showed that only more frequent utilizers of activeLife Trainer realized measurable health benefits after three months.

Here are the presentations (PDF):

Pin It

A team of US researchers has conducted a comprehensive ‘Proof of Concept’ study on Active Motion Sitting. First volunteer office workers tried out Active Motion Sitting for a half hour while they performed standard work tasks such as reading, typing, and making a phone call. Results showed participants enjoyed the experience, were able to do their work, and generally liked Active Motion Sitting (96% wanted to use it daily). Encouraged, the researchers then gave a second group of office workers access to Active Motion Sitting and took careful measures of their cardio-vascular and muscle activation. They also asked them to perform a battery of cognitive and find motor tests designed to simulate demanding office work. Results showed that even at low resistance (level 4 of 24) participants more than doubled calories burned while still being able to perform all simulated work duties….only when the speed of mouse pointing was measured was there a difference about 1/10th of a second (mouse pointing accuracy stayed the same.)

Reference: Carr, L.J., Maeda, H., Luther, B, Rider, P., Tucker, S.J., & Leonhard C. (2014). "Acceptability and effects of a seated active workstation during sedentary work: A proof of concept study". International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 7, 2-15.

Pin It

A research team of German and Dutch government scientists compared work performance such as reading, typing, mousing, and telephoning while using a traditional seated work station, a standing work station, a treadmill desk, and an Active Motion Sitting work station (LifeBalance Station). Results show that participants that used the Active Motion Sitting work station were substantially able to complete work tasks just about exactly like the seated or standing participants. Participants using a treadmill desk showed some deterioration in their ability to perform tasks that require fine motor coordination, such as typing or mousing – especially as walking speed increased.

Reference: Eva-Maria Burford, Juliane Botter, Dianne Commissaris, Reinier Könemann, Suzanne Hiemstra-van Mastrigt, Rolf Peter Ellegast. "The Effect of Dynamic Workstations on the Performance of Various Computer and Office-Based Tasks" In: Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Health, Safety, Ergonomics, and Risk Management. Human Body Modeling and Ergonomics - Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Volume 8026, 2013, pp 205-212; New York: Springer.

Pin It

In a comparison of a seated work station, a standing work station, a treadmill desk, and an Active Motion Sitting work station (LifeBalance Station) a team of Dutch and German government researchers found that Active Motion Sitting lead to significant increases in energy expenditures over sitting and standing work stations. In comparison with the treadmill desk, Active Motion Sitting had the added advantage of not unsteadying the body thus better permitting desk work. Also, the highest energy expenditures were measured with Active Motion Sitting compared to the Treadmill Desk.

Reference: Juliane Botter, Eva-Maria Burford, Dianne Commissaris, Reinier Könemann, Suzanne Hiemstra-van Mastrigt, Rolf Peter Ellegast. "The Biomechanical and Physiological Effect of Two Dynamic Workstations," in: Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Health, Safety, Ergonomics, and Risk Management. Human Body Modeling and Ergonomics Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Volume 8026, 2013, pp 196-204; New York: Springer.

Pin It

A recent study 1 from Berkely shows that people who walk for excercise get the same health benefits in terms of blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease as people who run IF they burn the same amount of calories - i.e. you have to walk longer to get the same health benefit because running burns calories quicker than walking.

This provides additional evidence that low intensity physical activity, such as using activeLife Trainer™, is beneficial especially if done for extended periods of time - like the time you spend sitting at your desk ... or sitting at home!


1 Paul T. Williams and Paul D. Thompson. Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, April 4 2013 DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.112.300878

Pin It

Carr, LJ Luther, B, Rider, P and Leonhard, C. (2013) Comparing the Physical, Cognitive and Work Performance Effects of Using an Active Elliptical Machine Desk versus a Standard Desk. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 45(S2):B159.

A controlled scientific study published in the 'Annals of Behavior Medicine' and presented at the 2013 meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine on the use of Active Motion Seating - the same technology as in activeLife TrainerTM among sedentery overweight office workers had the following results:

  • Completing work tasks during light intensity pedaling on LifeBalance Station resulted in significant increases in heart rate, systolic BP, energy expenditure and activation of the biceps femoris and vastus lateralis leg muscles compared to the desk/chair condition.
  • No group differences were observed for activation of the multifidus back muscle.
  • No differences were observed for cognitive measures of learning, memory or attention.
  • No group differences were observed for simulated work performance task measures of typing speed, typing errors or mouse drag time.
  • Mouse aim time performance was better while completing work tasks in the standard desk/chair compared to using Active Motion Seating

While this study used our former device, LifeBalance Station, these findings are scientific evidence that Active Motion Seating - which is what you do on activeLife Trainer™  - allows office workers to double metabolic rate while safely completing a full range of office tasks - and without strain on the back muscles

Download PDF

Pin It

The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed activeLife Trainer™ inventor Chris Leonhard as part of an article on possible safety and work productivity problems with various treadmill desks and workstations designed for exercise. For example, many people find it harder to type while walking, and there is some concern that sitting on a "stability ball" is bad for your posture.

“Some companies have asked their employees to sign waivers before using the equipment, say treadmill desk manufacturers. Issues include whether it is OK to drink hot beverages while walking on a motorized machine and appropriate footwear. The LifeBalance Station [the model that preceeded activeLife TrainerTM ] is designed to be used with high heels, says its developer Christoph Leonhard, a professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.”

Where the Wall Street Journal article falls short is in recognizing that seated active motion, such as activeLife TrainerTM or LifeBalance Station™ successfully solves these and other inherent problems of treadmill desks: Because users are safely seated while physically active, there's virtually no risk of slips and falls and users' mental and typing abilities are fully intact. Also, because activeLife TrainerTM uses a gentle, low intensity motion WHILE SEATED, it is very joint friendly which further reduces the risk of being injured while using an "active work station."

activeLife TrainerTM ~ Active at WorkSM!

Pin It

How can activeLife Trainer™ help with Diabetes?

Regular exercise can help you successfully manage your diabetes. Exercise helps your body use insulin better, it lowers blood glucose levels, it helps you control your weight, and more. Trouble is, many of us spend way too much time at our desks and find it hard to get away to exercise. If you make activeLife Trainer™ part of your physical activity plan, you have to spend less time away from work ... or play... to get the exercise you need.

This is because activeLife Trainer™ allows you to get joint friendly, low intensity exercise WHILE you get all your desk work done, watch TV, or read a book! Individuals with diabetes should also get aerobic exercise, stretch, and weight resistance exercise. Especially if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s always a good idea to get your doctor’s approval when you are starting a new exercise program.

Pin It

How can activeLife Trainer™ help with Restless Leg Syndrome?

Many who have been diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) experience symptoms only at night. But a good many also experience an uncomfortable urge to move their legs during the daytime. Often this makes it hard to complete desk work. Moving the legs often helps restore comfort.

Only activeLife Trainer™ allows you to move your legs AND sit comfortably at your desk so you are able to complete all your work.

 

Play the video above to find out how activeLife Trainer™ works.

Visit the order page to get your own activeLife Trainer™.

Pin It

Yesterday on NBC in an otherwise outstanding piece featuring James Levine, Rock Center with Brian Williams covered the threats of sitting too much but missed the real problem: sitting still. It was an excellent presentation on the threats of sitting still, but no word on the ability to combine physical activity and sitting -- such as you can do on activeLife TrainerTM.

With activeLife Trainer you can get healthy activity and get you work done....or have fun playing video games or watching TV.

Pin It

This recent article from Psychology Today discusses the concept of "Optimal Defaults" as it applies to preventing obesity by improving diet. The core notion in "Optimal Defaults" is to make the healthy option the de facto default option. If you want to eat unhealthy food you'd then have to go out of your way to get it. ... as opposed to having to go out of your way say to find fruits and vegetables. This got me thinking about Active Motion Sitting as an "optimal default" for desk work. Right now 'sitting still' is the (unhealthy) default and you have to literally go out of your way to get healthy physical activity. If you use an Active Motion Sitting machine such as activeLife TrainerTM, your (optimal) default is "moving all day" ;-)

Pin It

Koster A, Caserotti P, Patel KV, Matthews CE, Berrigan D, Van Domelen DR, Brychta RJ, Chen KY, Harris TB.  Association of sedentary time with mortality independent of moderate to vigorous physical activity. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e37696. Epub 2012 Jun 13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22719846

This study followed about 1,900 normal Americans aged 50 or above for about three years during which time 145 people died. The study found that those that were more sedentary had a much higher likelihood of death than those that were more active AND that moderate or vigorous exercise did not reduce the risk of death due to low levels of physical activity. I.e.  being physically inactive is bad for your EVEN IF you exercise at other times. Of course moderate to vigorous exercise IS healthy for you – it just can’t undo the damage you do to yourself by sitting still too much.

But wait, I love playing video games, and I am chained to my computer to make a living and can’t exercise or work out!

This is where activeLife Trainer,TM comes in. With activeLife TrainerTM you can gently move your legs while being securely seated on your favorite chair.  With activeLife TrainerTM you can truly exercise at work ... and play .... to improve your wellness. The exercise is very low intensity – about doubling your calorie consumption vs. sitting still – this ensures that you do not sweat and do not become breathy while you use it. Unlike with treadmill desks, when you use your activeLife TrainerTM you are comfortably and safely seated so your hands and eyes are steady. This allows you to be productive ... or have fun ...all while getting exercise!

active Life TrainerTM ~ Active at WorkSM

Pin It

van der Ploeg HP, Chey T, Korda RJ, Banks E, Bauman A. Sitting time and all-cause mortality risk in 222,497 Australian adults. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Mar 26;172(6):494-500. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22450936

This longitudinal study of more than 200,000 adults aged 45 and over living in Australia  found that those sitting for more than 11 hours per day increase their risk of dying from any cause by more than 40% compared to those sitting less than 4 hours a day …. And that finding applies WHETHER OR NOT you also exercise. I.e. this study shows that sitting still too much is always bad for you. The finding applies also to all age groups in the above 45 years-old crowd. Even if you’re only 50 years old, your risk of dying is 40% higher if you sit still too much!

Of course most of us don’t just sit for leisure, most of us have little choice because our work demands that we work at a computer or use a phone – we’re chained to our work stations.

This is where activeLife Trainer comes in. With activeLife Trainer, you can gently move your legs while being securely seated on a comfortable chair.  With activeLife Trainer you can truly exercise at work....and play.... to improve your wellness. The exercise is low intensity – about doubling your calorie consumption vs. sitting still – this ensures that you do not sweat and do not become breathy while you use it. And with activeLife Trainer, your upper body is perfectly still for computer work, reading, or watching TV.

Pin It

Katzmarzyk PT, Church TS, Craig CL, Bouchard C. Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41:998-1005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19346988

A recent long term study of ca. 17,000 Canadians found that the more you sit still, the more you are at risk from dying from any cause. This study found a very “nice” linear relationship, that is even sitting still for a bit longer definitely increased participants’ risk of death.

Of course most of us don’t just sit for leisure, most of us have little choice because our work demands that we work at a computer or use a phone – we’re chained to our work stations.

This is where activeLife TrainerTM comes in. activeLife TrainerTMconverts your office from a 'death trap' to a wellness tool because it allows you to gently move your legs while being securely seated on your comfortable chair. With activeLife TrainerTM you can truly exercise at work to improve your wellness. The exercise is very low intensity – about doubling your calorie consumption vs. sitting still – this ensures that you do not sweat and do not become breathy while you use it. Unlike with treadmill desks, when you use your activeLife TrainerTM you are comfortably and safely seated so your hands and eyes are steady.

activeLife TrainerTM is the innovative way to increase wellness without taking you and your employees away from work duties.

Pin It

Thompson WG, Levine JA.Productivity of transcriptionists using a treadmill desk.Work. 2011;40:473-477. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22130064

A recent study from the Mayo Clinic shows that medical transcriptionists were able to do their desk work at a treadmill desk after being trained for 4 hours. They did consume about 100 kcal more per hour compared to sitting on a chair, but their productivity was also about 16% lower.

So active motion at work does help, but if you use a treadmill desk that physical motion may come at the cost of a decrease in activity. If you think about, it makes a lot of sense: it’s just not that easy to type and mouse while you’re walking – even if you’ve had a good amount of training  – in this study four hours.

activeLife Trainer,TM may help overcome this problem. Slip activeLife TrainerTM under your desk and roll your favorite office chair in the connector. Now you can gently move your legs while being securely seated on a comfortable chair. This keeps your arms and eyes working and ensures that your productivity doesn’t go down as your physical activity level goes up.

With activeLife TrainerTM you can be productive AND truly exercise at work ... and play ... to improve your  health and wellness..

activeLife TrainerTM ~ Active at WorkSM!

Pin It

A growing body of research shows we all sit too much – A recent study shows, those of us that sit more than 11 hours a day actually have doubled our chance of dying from any cause – and that’s regardless of age – compared to those that sit four hours or less.

So what’s the alternative? Standing all day? Taking short walks every now and then? Maybe …

…at the risk of sounding obvious, we sit for good reasons: To have a steady vision and good fine motor control. This way we get work done, read, surf the internet, watch TV, eat, etc. So mostly we sit because we need a steady upper body for work and play.

As any foot wiggler will tell you, your lower body doesn’t need to be still during sitting – though most of us  were taught early on to “sit still” and aren't wiggling all that much while sitting.

If the reason I sit is because I need a steady upper body, is there a way to move my lower body while sitting to avoid the detrimental health effects of sitting still? At this point, we have translated the problem of 'sitting too much' into an engineering problem: How do I sit with a steady upper body while giving myself the freedom to move my leg muscles since these don’t need to be steady?

Crafty engineers have thought of two popular approaches to this – and there is now a very promising third one:

First approach, creating so called passive motion chairs that allows some body motion while seated, such as the Airis Implusmoebel’s Swopper stool, Wilkhahn’s On!,  the popular Swiss medicine balls for sitting on, etc. Trouble with these devices is that research either finds that they lead to no additional muscle movement[1], or that the added motion effect is so small as to only burn about 4 extra calories an hour[2]. At that rate, you’d have to sit on an exercise ball (vs. an office chair) for about 850 hours to burn enough calories to lower your weight by one pound. Ouch!
 
Second Approach, and also very popular: Sit-to-Stand height adjustable desks which unfortunately, suffer from similar effectiveness problems: Spending some time standing and some time sitting may have marginal benefits for your spine, but in terms of increasing physical ACTIVITY standing falls far short. You’d again need to stand for about 850 hours to burn enough calories (vs. sitting still) to lose one extra pound of weight. Also, statistically speaking, workplaces who purchase Sit-to-Stand desks for their employees do NOT see a decrease in sedentary behavior among their workers[3] - most workers just don’t end up using them that much.
 
Enter the third approach: Active Motion Seating. The first device to allow you to sit and exericse your legs was the LifeBalance StationTM - though at ca. $ 3,000 to $ 8,000 (depending on options) it was expensive and it also required a ton of space. But now there is activeLife TrainerTM. This elliptical machine connects to your favorite office chair and because it's small it slips right under your existing desk. So you can convert the work station you already have into an Active Motion Work Station that allows you to do gentle, low intensity leg motions all day long DURING work .... and play.  And while keeping your upper body perfectly still. activeLife TrainerTM gives you all you need from sitting (stable vision and fine motor control) and nothing that you don’t (sedentariness).

activeLife TrainerTM ~ Active at WorkSM!


Pin It

To lower your weight by one pound, you need to either burn another 3,500 kcal, eat 3,500 kcal less … or a combination of both!

Standing while your work or sitting on an exercise ball are popular options for desk workers who try to lose weight. But how many more calories do you actually burn while seated on a ball or while standing up? A recent study[1] found that sitting on a ball or standing at an adjustable desk burns an additional 4 kcal per hour. So to lose one pound of weight, you’d have to sit on a ball or stand at your desk for about 850 extra hours!
 
Contrast that with activeLife TrainerTM.Active motion seating - with gentle, low intensity leg motions- burns about 130 kcal per hour and that’s about 65 kcal more than you burn just sitting still. To burn up an additional 3,500 kcal, you’d need to sit and use your activeLife TrainerTM for about 50 hours.
 
850 hours of standing vs. 50 hours of sitting while pedaling gently.

activeLife TrainerTM ~ Acitve at WorkSM!


Pin It

John D, Thompson DL, Raynor H, Bielak K, Rider B, Bassett DR. Treadmill workstations: a worksite physical activity intervention in overweight and obese office workers. J Phys Act Health. 2011;8:1034-1043.

Study of 12 overweight office workers which shows that when you give office workers the chance to actively move at their work station – in this study by giving them a treadmill desk – they lose weight and generally improve their health over a 9 month time span.

This means that it IS feasible to become physically active WHILE doing other work. Then the only question is which device is best suited for this purpose. While some may be able to walk perched on a treadmill and get office work done, with activeLife TrainerTM you make gentle, low intensity leg motions while safely seated on your favorite office chair.

And activeLife TrainerTM slips right under your existing desk so you don't need to find space for a huge treadmill / desk combo in your work space.


activeLife TrainerTM ~ Active at WorkSM!

Pin It

Koster A, Caserotti P, Patel KV, Matthews CE, Berrigan D, Van Domelen DR, Brychta RJ, Chen KY, Harris TB. Association of sedentary time with mortality independent of moderate to vigorous physical activity. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e37696. Epub 2012 Jun 13.

This study followed about 1,900 Americans for about three years during which time 145 people died. The study found that those that were more sedentary had a much higher likelihood of death than those that were more active and that moderate or vigorous exercise did not reduce the risk of death related to low levels of physical activity. I.e. another study that shows that being inactive is bad for you even if you exercise at other times.

Pin It

van der Ploeg HP, Chey T, Korda RJ, Banks E, Bauman A. Sitting time and all-cause mortality risk in 222 497 Australian adults. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Mar 26;172(6):494-500.

A longitudinal study of more than 200,000 adults aged 45 and over living in Australia. Among other findings, shows that those sitting still for more than 11 hours per day increase their risk of dying from any cause by more than 40% compared to those sitting still less than 4 hours a day …. And that finding applies WHETHER OR NOT you also exercise. I.e. this study shows that sitting still too much is always bad for you.

activeLife TrainerTM allows gentle, low intensity physical activity throughout the day WHILE completing unrelated seated activiites, such as computer work or watching TV. Using activeLife TrainerTM means you never have to sit still again!

activeLife TrainerTM ~ Active at WorkSM

Pin It

Thompson WG, Levine JA. Productivity of transcriptionists using a treadmill desk. Work. 2011;40:473-477.

This study shows that medical transcriptionists were able to do their desk work at a treadmill desk after being trained for 4 hours. They did consume about 100 kcal more per hour compared to sitting on a chair, but their productivity was also about 16% lower.