Mayo Doc Creates Office of the Future: Walk Your Way Through the Day

On Michael Moore's SiCKO page, he recommends exercise as something consumers can do to combat the desiccation of our collective cultural health ("eat fruits and vegetables and walk around").

I'd like to see hospital administrative teams take the lead on this...let's be bleeding edge rather than reactionary on the "move it or lose it" trend.

Executive teams have a nasty habit of not adopting 'new' tech or workflow processes until they've been beaten to death by another industry (FINALLY we're getting to lean? to green design? to non-smoking campuses? how long have we been obsessed with Disney?!?)

This is how Mayo Clinic is addressing the rats-in-a-cube (or corner office) conundrum.

Dr. James Levine's "NEAT" (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) Office of the Future has:
  • 10 Plexiglass areas with standing treadmill desks/computer platforms; treadmills are set to 1MPH to work your heart (100 calories/hour) without working up a sweat
  • a completely mobile workforce - the talent wears mobile phones, and there are no desk/fixed phones
  • a two-lane walking track that brings new meaning to the phrase power chat
  • animated reminders to get up and move projected onto three walls in the work area
  • plastic carpet skates are provided so workers can travel from meeting to meeting in style
Levine is currently researching NEAT classrooms...how I would have loved to walk off some frustration during an algebra exam...

Click here for NEAT office images.

Here's another good article on the NEAT office in USA Today. And here's a good piece on the NEAT Classroom of the Future on Medical News TODAY.

How much did this healthy office cost Mayo? Try $5 to $5.50 per square foot.

But time...time is money...it would take way too much time to put this into place right? So how long did it take to implement?

6 months after Dr. Levine published an article about NEAT in Science the office was up and running (Science, Jan. 27, 2005).

Can you afford to spend this amount amount of time and money creating an environment where health and movement augment productivity and enhance employee satisfaction?

The real question is, can you afford not to?

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