May 242010

As technology has changed the composition of paid work, we’ve come to a stage where around 70 percent of Australian workers now sit down on the job.

And it seems this is causing serious national health problems as more and more research reveals that spending upwards of eight hours a day perched on one’s buttocks is terribly bad for one’s health.

In fact, even if you religiously engage in jogging, aerobics, pilates, gym stuff or other noble physical pursuits, the mere act of regularly sitting still for prolonged periods raises your risk of death from cardiovascular disease by a whopping 18 percent, according to a 2010 Australian study published in the Journal of the American Heart Foundation.

Enter the Treadmill Desk. This rather enormous contraption was designed with help from the Mayo Clinic’s Dr James Levine. Walking slowly (at around two kilometres an hour or so) on a treadmill while working at the attached desk burns an extra one hundred calories or so an hour. It also stops muscle wastage and other side-effects of sedentary labour. And if you walked at this rate for eight hours a day, five days a week, you could lose about 25 kg of weight in one year without making any other changes.

The “fully integrated electric height-adjustable worksurface” moves between 62 and 132 cm in height and includes a built-in palm rest, digital readout and runs very quietly.

The mere thought of wrestling this contraption into the standard grey cubicle is highly amusing. And just imagine the look on your co-workers faces when you yawn and stretch at the water-cooler and say, “Ah well, back to the treadmill!”

Treadmill deskers should also spare a thought for the person on the other end of the phone and wind the speed down a bit before dialling – nothing worse than a phone call that start with lots of heavy breathing.

Bottom line: Work out while you work


How much : US $ 4199

Sep 222009

Despite our over-the-top consumption of fizzy drink, double caramel macchiato soy lattes and alcopops, it seems that plain old H2O still plays a fairly important part in the average human diet.

Until recently, however, water had fallen from grace in our consumption-driven society; possibly because marketing-types were focused on water-with-added-value, not imagining that people who lived in a society rich enough to have clean drinking water literally on tap would be silly enough to part with good money to buy it.

Well, we live in a society that is indeed astoundingly, unbelievably silly, to the tune of about $ 400 million spent on bottled water in Australia alone (and more on the evils of the disposable plastic bottle in tomorrow’s post.)

Meanwhile – we have the Swiggy. These reusable plastic water bottles attach to each wrist and hold up to 5.5 ounces (that’s around 160 mL) of water, although there’s no reason they couldn’t hold an equal quantity of vodka, gin or both.

The Swiggie was invented by a Texan woman who collapsed from dehydration while running on a hot day.

Clearly running on a hot day in Texas without water is somewhat foolish; however despite its silly name and that loud yelling video that launches the instant you click on the website, there’s something kind of cool about Swiggies.

In fact, for extra cool, the Swiggies people suggest you can even pop your swiggies in the freezer before you go out jogging. (Though that sounds like a bad idea to me; wouldn’t they become really heavy and uncomfortable and freeze your wrists?)

Bottom line: Break the drought and accessorise with water
How much : US $ 12.95 for a set of two,  plus postage