We know that walking is great for your health. Not only does it help you to burn calories warding off potential obesity and help reduce your risk of developing heart disease — but a stroll on the treadmill desk might also have significant stress-relieving benefits.
Stress greatly affects the hippocampus part of the brain, which is mainly responsible for memory, so when your stress-levels are elevated they have a detrimental impact on this part of your brain and as a result make you more forgetful.
Exercise forces the body’s physiological systems - all of which are involved in the stress response - to communicate much more closely than usual. The cardiovascular system communicates with the renal system, which communicates with the muscular system. All of these are controlled by the central and sympathetic nervous systems, which also must communicate with each other. The more sedentary we get, the less efficient our bodies are in responding to stress.
Interestingly, a recent study found that walking can actually trigger a medative state within the brain called “involuntary attention,” meaning that it holds attention while also allowing for reflection. Which may explain why those in a creative role seem to thrive with a treadmill desk. A different study also discovered that a brisk 20-30 minute walk was actually just as effective at calming the body down as a tranquiliser!
So why is walking so good a relieving stress? it all comes down to basic science, when your body engages in exercise it releases endorphins - potent brain chemicals that relieve pain and stimulate relaxation. Simply put, the higher your level of endorphins, the greater your sense of calm and well-being.
So for a calmer, happier work place why wouldn't you consider installing a treadmill desk?