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跑步机办公桌有用吗?

更新时间:2014-3-20 21:28:46 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

The Long-Run Benefits of Treadmill Desks
跑步机办公桌有用吗?

Trendy treadmill desks might actually help improve job performance - after employees get used to working while walking, according to new research.

A yearlong study of finance workers at a company in St. Paul, Minn. found that the productivity of 40 treadmill users dropped at first as they struggled to master typing and manipulating a mouse while walking at speeds of up to two miles per hour.

But within four to six months, all three measures of performance-quality and quantity of work, and quality of interactions with colleagues-rose steadily, according to weekly surveys of participants.

At the end of the survey period, workers with treadmill desks rated their overall performance 0.69 points higher than before the project began, on a 1-to-10 scale. Performance ratings given by their supervisors, who filled out weekly surveys rating both treadmill users and non-users, rose for walkers by a full point by the end of the year.

For tasks like solving problems or taking conference calls, 'a little bit of walking is useful because it means there's more blood flow to the brain,' said Avner Ben-Ner, a professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management and an author of the study, which was published last month in the online journal PLOS ONE. 'You get more oxygen and it increases the ability to think.'
Treadmill desks have gotten attention amid research findings about the negative effects of sedentary lifestyles and jobs that leave workers sitting all day. But data on the effectiveness of the desks has been relatively scant. Two recent studies have shown that treadmill walking reduced a person's accuracy in fine-motor tasks such as typing and mouse-clicking.

There are other downsides, too, as The Wall Street Journal wrote last year, including the possibility of falls and injuries and, according to some online complaints, painful shocks from the machines' build-up of static.

Mr. Ben-Ner noted that treadmill users need some time to adjust to the ergonomics of walking while working, including the proper monitor and keyboard height. His team provided no training to study participants, and he said that employers who provide such desk should offer help to get users set up and comfortable on the machines.

'This wouldn't be very good for people who thread a needle for their jobs,' he said. 'But everyone who does brain work knows that if you're stumped or need fresh ideas, take a walk.'

新的研究表明,时髦的跑步机办公桌或许真的有助于提高工作表现──在员工习惯了一边行走一边工作之后。

对明尼苏达州圣保罗(St. Paul)一家公司财务部门员工展开的为期一年的调查发现,40名跑步机使用者的工作效率在开始的时候出现下降,因为他们很难做到一边以最高每小时两英里(约合3.2千米)的速度行走,一边打字、操作鼠标。

但这项每周一次的调查还显示,在四到六个月内,三个衡量绩效的指标都稳步上升。这三个指标分别是工作质量、工作量,以及与同事互动的质量。

一年的调查期结束时,拥有跑步机办公桌的员工给自己打出的绩效评分(按一到10评分)相比项目开始前提高了0.69个点;由管理者给出的绩效评分上升了整整一个点。管理者每个星期填写一次调查问卷,同时给使用跑步机的员工和不使用跑步机的员工打分。

相关论文于2月份发表在网络期刊《公共科学图书馆·综合》(PLOS ONE)上。论文作者之一、明尼苏达大学(University of Minnesota)卡尔森管理学院(Carlson School of Management)教授阿夫纳·本-内尔(Avner Ben-Ner)说,对于解决问题或参加电话会议之类的任务,“适当走走是有用的,因为这会加快大脑的血液循环。你会获得更多的氧气,从而提高思考的能力”。

跑步机办公桌之所以引起关注,是因为研究揭示了久坐不起的生活方式以及让员工整天坐着的工作所存在的负面效应。但有关这类办公桌是否有效的数据一直相对稀少。最近的两次研究已经表明,在跑步机上行走会降低人在执行打字、点击鼠标等精细动作任务时的精确性。

正如《华尔街日报》去年有文章所写的,跑步机办公桌还有其他一些不好的地方,比如摔倒、受伤的可能性,以及一些人在网上抱怨的跑步机静电造成的电击。

本-内尔提到,跑步机使用者需要经过一定的时间才能适应边走边工作的人体工程学,比如显示器和键盘的合适高度。他的研究团队没有为参与者提供培训。他说,提供这类办公桌的雇主应当主动帮助使用者习惯这些机器并自如使用。

他说:“这种东西对于正在着力解决工作难题的人不是非常适合。但所有脑力劳动者都知道,如果你被某个问题难住了,或者是需要全新的点子,那就不妨走上一走。”

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