Radiologists and pathologists often lead sedentary professional lives. However, some radiologists have hit on an innovative solution to help correct this problem. They work standing up and also install exercise equipment in their reading rooms. Details were provided in a recent article (see: Exercise equipment in reading room gets radiologists moving) and below is an excerpt from it:
Ever feel like you're on a treadmill? Some radiologists at the University of Washington get that feeling every day, especially after exercise equipment was installed in their reading room. It's all in the name of keeping radiologists healthy by improving their physical activity....Evidence suggests that too much sitting increases a person's risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and because radiology tends to be a sedentary profession, radiologists would do well to change their work habits. ....[One way to remain more active] is to use a standing workstation.....At the University of Washington, the radiology department uses a treadmill under a standing workstation desk, as well as an elliptical trainer that fits under a sitting desk; both of these devices are used by two faculty members and by about one in five of the department's residents....[Such] devices do not negatively affect radiologists' diagnostic performance or contribute too much additional noise to the reading room
This same topic was raised in another article about sedentary work patterns (see: Sitting too much, not just lack of exercise, is detrimental to cardiovascular health). Here is a key passage from it:
“We also found that when sitting for prolonged periods of time, any movement is good movement, and was also associated with better fitness,” said...[an author of a paper on fitness] “So if you are stuck at your desk for a while, shift positions frequently, get up and stretch in the middle of a thought, pace while on a phone call, or even fidget.” To stay active and combat sedentary behavior, UT Southwestern preventive cardiologists recommend taking short walks during lunch and throughout the day, using a pedometer to track daily steps, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, hosting walking meetings at work, and replacing a standard desk chair with a fitness ball or even a treadmill desk, if possible.
I am particularly intrigued by the idea of placing microscopes in surgical pathology reading rooms on stand-up desks. This seems like a reasonable option but would certainly take some getting used to. If any readers of this blog have opinions about this, I would appreciate hearing from them via a comment to this note.