Forget the Walkstation. Try the Hula Chair

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Last October, I posted about a so-wacky-it’s-brilliant workplace invention called the WalkStation. Steelcase, the workspace designers, came up with this answer to productivity-hobbling obesity: a treadmill equipped with a computer and stationed right inside your cubicle, so you can walk as you work. Check it out:

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Steelcase collaborated with Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic:

Designed to encourage more movement by walking slowly at work, Dr. Levine estimates that users of the Walkstation have the potential to increase energy expenditure by 100 calories per hour when walking at a 1 mph rate. Thus, if obese individuals were to replace time spent sitting at the computer with 2-3 hours per day of walking computer time, and if other components of energy balance were constant, actual weight loss may result.

In my earlier post, I sort of wrote off this gadget as an example of employers going overboard in their efforts toward a fit workforce. But I stand corrected. I got 62 comments (and more directly via e-mail) from readers who said they had designed their own versions of the Walkstation, had been using it for years, and swore by it as a weight-loss/productivity-gain tool. (Check out their innovations via their links in the comments section of my post.) Steelcase, fire up thy patent lawyers.

So this time, I shall refrain from making fun of the revolutionary (to me) new office product I am about to introduce you to. This comes from my husband’s friend Janey Choi, who does not let her gigs playing violin in Kanye West concerts interrupt her habit of spending hours a day on YouTube.

Behold: the Hula Chair.