Newswise — Active workstations have become a popular way to get people to sit less, move more, and potentially accrue health benefits. However, it is unclear whether the dual-task nature of walking while working impairs cognitive function, which may limit adoption of treadmill desks in the workplace. In this study, the investigators had young and middle-age adults complete a series of cognitive tasks on two separate days. Participants in the study completed several challenging cognitive tasks while sitting and walking to document effects on aspects of cognitive function believed to be important for work and productivity. Regardless of age, no differences in cognitive performance were found between walking and sitting conditions. Importantly, participants were able to accumulate approximately 4,500 steps while walking on a treadmill for 50 minutes at a relatively slow speed (~1.9 mph). These findings suggest that walking during work does not impair cognitive performance and may increase daily physical activity.

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American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) annual meeting