Roanoke company gives workers chance to stand up to their health - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke company offers employees chance to stand up to their health


David Thomas isn't taking his health sitting down. "I've had it like this for about three weeks," he said standing in front of his stand-up desk.

He's part of a growing number of people sitting less and standing more, especially now that his employer Advance Auto Parts is offering its employees stand-up desks. "A stand up desk burns about 20 calories an hour," explained Wayne Barnes, Director of Facilities at Advance Auto Parts. "It's certainly better than sitting down so it's catching on more and more."

It does more than burn calories. Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic found sitting too long can literally kill you. Sitting for more than four hours a day he says, increases your risk of death from any cause by nearly 50 percent and boosts your risk of heart problems by 125 percent.

Other Advance Auto workers are having a ball with the company's focus on health and wellness. Some even traded their chair for a fitness ball. It can help with your posture, balance and tone your core.

Jane Taylor is taking steps for her health three times a day at work. "Two 15 minute breaks and about 30 minutes at lunch," she said in between a brisk walk around the building. Being able to walk around the corporate campus indoors is one of the better benefits she says she has working at the Roanoke office.

"It's wonderful," she said. "It's a wonderful place to do it especially in the winter time when it's cold and raining and in the summer when it's really, really hot."

When David isn't standing around his desk, he takes his laptop around the corner for a walk. The company's treadmill desks max out with a speed of 2 miles per hour. "Pretty much anything faster than that you wouldn't be bale to type or scroll through." It gives him a way to get in exercise and still get the job done.

"It's sort of guilt free exercise at work," said Barnes.

If your boss isn't budging on the stand-up or treadmill desks, the Mayo Clinic offers other tips for way you can burn calories while at work.

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