A treadmill desk will go a very long way at helping prevent DVT: deep vein thrombosis.
Perhaps you’ve heard that prolonged sitting during air travel or road travel is a risk factor for developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Likewise, sitting for long periods in general can put a person at risk for a DVT, and this was first reported in the January 1954 New England Journal of Medicine.
And a report titled “eThrombosis” appears in the Feb. 2003 European Respiratory Journal, which describes venous thromboembolism that’s associated with immobility.
Unfortunately, the invention of the treadmill desk didn’t occur until very recently.
More and more office workers are using treadmill desks, the only way to eliminate all their excessive sitting.
The risk of DVT from excessive sitting is no secret, as more and more studies pile up pointing this out, such as the 2010 report in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine titled “Prolonged work and computer-related seated immobility and risk of venous thromboembolism.”
Venous thromboembolism is the term that incorporates both DVT and PE — pulmonary embolism — which can result when the blood clot partially or in whole dislodges and travels to the lungs, causing a potentially fatal outcome.
Long stretches of sitting does slow the blood flow in the legs; it doesn’t matter if you’re on an airplane, at a computer or watching TV.
A report in a 2007 Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis says that after 90 minutes of sitting (without intermittent relief exercise), blood flow to the vein behind the knee drops by 40 percent.
Treadmill Desk Solution to DVT from Prolonged Sitting
You needn’t walk fast on a treadmill desk to make it work against DVT development. Even a one-half-a-mile per hour walk will keep the blood flowing in your legs.
Even if you’re not overweight or not a smoker, not on birth control pills or not over age 50, you still increase your risk of DVT from excessive sitting — an independent risk factor for this type of blood clot.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that desk workers raise and lower their heels while keeping their toes on the floor, and repeating this but with the heels on the floor, and then tightening and releasing the leg muscles.
As a personal trainer, I recommend simply exiting the chair and doing high knee marches, going up and down on the toes, leaning the hands on the desk and extending the legs, or walking about the room.
However, this requires keeping track of time, and for a busy desk worker, 90 minutes can fly by while they sit immobile without them realizing it.
A treadmill desk will solve this problem, keeping you in constant motion. I myself have a treadmill desk, and once you get absorbed in your work, you can easily forget that you’re walking.
Some DVTs have no known causes (i.e., the patient wasn’t recently on a plane, isn’t obese, isn’t on birth control pills, hasn’t had recent surgery).
However, perhaps in some or many of these idiopathic cases, the patients spend many hours seated at desks.
Don’t take a chance; consider investing in a treadmill desk to help prevent DVT.