How & Why?
Walking a marathon whilst working may seem like a crazy idea. The first question I thought is ‘why’ but then considered that maybe she is onto something here.
Kristie is a TikToker and lifestyle influencer who has amassed a following of over 270k followers talking all things healthy, lifestyle and city living in San Fransisco.
Though the one thing that seems to have really taken off are videos of her using her at-home walking pad and stand-up desk whilst also tackling her 9–5 work. She started walking a 1/2 marathon and then set herself the challenge of walking a full marathon during her work day.
I’m now seeing these walking pads all over my TikTok page. But with any viral fad, let’s dig into whether they are really worth the hype and of course the investment.
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The Walk A Marathon Schedule
Kristie started her walk at 8.15 am to make sure she could fit it all into her day, she puts her apple watch on her ankle to track the movement and started walking.
Apart from eating and toilet breaks, she walked consistently until about 11.40am. This was her longest stretch as she had the most energy in the morning and racked up 12.23 miles in 3 hours and 4 minutes.
She then took a diet coke break, ate and relaxed a little before heading into her afternoon walking, despite starting to develop a blister she powered through her next block of 1 hour 2mins and 3.22 miles.
She took another break to eat and oil her walking pad, then was back on for another long stretch of walking whilst logging into work meetings.
At 21 miles she had to pause and take a stretch as her glutes and quads felt really tight.
Getting back on to finish the final 5-mile section looking a little hotter and sweatier by now, she says she had to put on some serious music get her through this section, so she doesn’t say if she is still actively working at this point. Ending this section at 3 hours 3 minutes and 10.56 miles.
Her total mileage at 4.30 pm was 26.41 miles and 47,877 steps!
She says she will likely never do this challenge again as she was completely exhausted but also really accomplished.
Kristen says in another of her videos (as she doesn’t walk a marathon every day) that she realistically walks around 3–6 miles per day. This would equate to around the 10,000 step target.
Why Walk At Work?
So are walking pads yet just another fad people are using for TikTok virality?
Will it end up with yours just gathering dust under the couch?
Or are they the amazing tool that can help improve the health and wellbeing of desk workers across the globe?
Roughly 80% of Americans work desk-based jobs and can expect to average around 50 hours per week of sitting. That’s a lot. Prolonged time spent sitting is linked with negative health outcomes such as obesity, cancer, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
I couldn’t find exact world data, but you can guess that many developed countries follow that same upward trend of more sitting.
One study also showed that those who sit at their desk throughout the day also tend to sit more at home too and don’t tend to compensate when away from work. What we can see here, is that sitting just becomes a habit.
In general terms, it’s pretty conclusive that people who are more active are healthier, tend to live longer and have reduced incidences of many chronic issues. All around, it’s always going to be good advice to keep active.
In comes the at-home walking pad.
These compact treadmills are designed specifically for walking. They are light and compact enough to move around and store away.
Combine that with the use of a stand-up desk and voila. You can be getting your steps in whilst working from home.
A recent study recorded that the average step count in the US is 4,744 steps a day. But that average does vary from country to country. This a clear indication that many people should be trying to increase their step count to get with the recommended target of 10k steps per day.
How many steps do you actually get in your day?
What is actually physically possible for someone who has a full-time sedentary job as well as a million other responsibilities in their lives?
Maybe it is possible. Many people manage to find a way to make it work, but it’s not easy. It’s going to take a certain amount of intention, motivation and determination.
So, maybe getting in some steps whilst also at your desk is a more convenient answer?
Give Your Ideas Some Legs
We already have some pretty convincing evidence that moving more is going to be better for your health.
He also did an experiment around writing an article whilst walking a marathon. He concluded that walking was great for having diffused ideas, but not as practical for focused thinking.
I know I have some of my best ideas while out walking with the dogs and am often writing notes down on my phone. But when it comes down to doing focused work, I do like to be at my desk.
I already had plans of getting a stand-up desk just to break up some of the sitting with standing and more easily moving around and have a break from the bad posture that desk sitting promotes.
I think my main problem with this is that I now have this vision of people walking in their homes plugged into the matrix, with no need to go out into the outside world.
That vision is starting to feel a little bit too dystopian.
Humans also need to be connected and immersed in nature. We need to get outside and expose our bodies and skin to natural sunlight. We need physical connection with other human beings and real life too.
But I’m not the first one to say that. She has had comments from many people with the same thought, a registered dietitian saying she has an eating disorder or that the walking will lead to bad posture.
I think maybe if it’s done in isolation and the only type of activity that you do without ever leaving your house.
So if you need to be at your desk for a set number of hours a day, a walking pad could be the next best thing, as long as you are getting outside when you can too?
Final Thoughts & Actions
Realistically we don’t need to walk a marathon to get the desired result of better health and improved creativity.
Finding ways to add more movement into your day can help to boost creativity, improve fitness and also help us with weight management too.
So maybe this is the route that desk workers could get positive benefits from both for health and fitness, and in creativity and productivity.
I feel the walking pads can be a great solution for people who want to add more movement into their day with more convenience. But we need to make sure we aren’t neglecting the added benefits of getting outside too.
You can add more movement by following the simple action steps:
- Know how many steps you are currently getting and work on increasing gradually over time.
- Get up often to move. Go to the toilet, make a fresh cup of tea. Pace while taking meetings or calls (when that’s an option).
- Take the stairs more often.
- Park further away when out and about.
- Take a short walk on your lunch break.
What do you think? Would you like to walk whilst you work?