“Good Brisk Sits” and Other Ways to Get Fit and Work Out at WorkMay 24, 2013
Trying to get in a workout at work? Had too many workdays where the only exercise you seemed to get was jumping to conclusions, running down the competition, side stepping responsibility and pushing your luck?
Then, how about a desk chair that could provide what comedian Phyllis Diller called “a good brisk sit.”
While Diller was most likely being facetious, more than a few health experts over the years have come up with health-enhancing, vibrating super chairs.
One of the first was Dr. John Harvey Kellogg whose vibrating chair could allegedly move the bowels, clear headaches and eliminate back. problems. Whether Dr. Kellogg set this chair up before his own desk is unknown, but it may have helped him live to the grand old age of 91 though it didn’t seem to have done much to diminish his corpulence or decrease his desire for daily enemas. The deal killer for me though is the chair was notoriously uncomfortable.
Thankfully, there’s an alternative product from the same era. Known as “The Health Jolting Chair,” it was marketed as nothing less than “the most important health mechanism ever produced” and “a practical household substitute for the saddle horse.” I like that this particular chair was not only “comfortable” but “indispensable for health and happiness” and even “a conservator of nervous energy.” On the downside, it looks like hands go on the handles and not on the keyboard. And while jolting might knock some sense into me, this “saddle horse substitute” would probably make my mouse really skittish.
What to do? In 2008, a product called the Hawaii Chair debuted and seems just the thing to provide that “good brisk sit.” Sometimes called “The Hula Chair,” its advertising slogan is “If you can sit, you can get fit.” While the picture suggests its curviness, you’ll need to see it turned on to fully understand how you’ll get the abs of a belly dancer. Watch Ellen DeGeneres in the hysterically funny video here. Watching Ellen, I have absolutely no doubt that it will do exactly as advertised and “take the work out of your workday.”
And therein lies the problem. I actually want the work in my workday. So until a workable “brisk sit” device comes on the market, it’ll be a walk on the wild side with a treadmill desk for me.
What’s that? It’s the latest thing in office fitness furniture — a standing desk combined with a treadmill that allows walking as you work. Fast enough to get in a good 40 miles of walking every week yet slow enough — at just one to two miles per hour — to move a mouse, write, edit, surf and even talk on the phone.
While I still like to go to the gym for strength training and the dojo for Dahn yoga, it’s a painless way to write, work and keep fit. I don’t think Dr. Kellogg would be boweled over by it, but it does seem to eliminate back problems, stiff neck and sore shoulders, and burn off some of my “nervous energy” without jolting too much sense into me. I do want to keep that naughty edge, after all!
For more info about the LifeSpan treadmill desk that I use, click the Amazon link below.
The picture of Phyllis Diller came from picsdrive.com
The pictures of John Harvey Kellogg’s vibrating chair and the health jolting chair can be found at shapewatch.org, weirdvintagetumblr.com and at lifeaura.com/vintage-fitness-equipment-weird-workout-machines-from-the-past/
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