Local company installs new desks to keep employees active at work

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Employees at an Indianapolis insurance company are on the move.

The wellness committee at Brown and Brown Insurance brainstormed ideas about ways to break up the long days employees spend stuck in a cubicle staring at their computer screen.

“We thought about doing standing desks and that’s not something we’ve entirely ruled out,” said employee Meredith Sharp.  “But we thought the more we could get people to move, the better they would feel.”

So the answer was the Tred Desk.

“I’m walking on a treadmill and checking my email at the same time,” said employee Andrew Lockerbie.  “This is super cool.  My goal is to get somewhere between 250 and 350 calories.”

Andrew said he logs about five to 10 miles a week while at work.

When the wellness committee at Brown and Brown first started talking about the Tred Desk at work, they thought only a few people would sign up for it or it would be hard to use the mouse or read e-mail while walking. Well, those fears went away in a hurry.

“The first two weeks we had these in place we logged over 90 hours,” Lockerbie said.  “So it was tremendous.”

Now, the 30 minute spots fill up fast.

“That’s right, you better get in early,” said employee Kyle Riddle.

And everything at their work space can be forwarded to one of the two Tred Desks in the office.

“I can have my phone calls transferred to me here, and I can also see my exact computer desktop on these screens,” said Kyle.

More Tred Desk will start filling up the office soon, and Brown and Brown expects the new desks to help cut down on health care cost as well.

“With declining health rates in Indiana, we found that to increase the employee’s activity it would only be a good idea to bring these machines into our office we wanted to combat sedentary lifestyles here at work and we’ll see that bleed into our employee’s lives,” Sharp said.

So far, Lockerbie said there is only one drawback.

“You end up using backspace a little bit more than normal,” Lockerbie said.  “But, that’s ok.”


  • Ricky H

    Awesome idea! If only more companies were willing to step up and make their employees' health and well-being a priority. It's better for everyone. The company will probably get better insurance rates, the employees will feel better at work and maybe become more aware of their own health, and of course, the work still gets done for the company! Props to whoever at Brown and Brown had this idea!

  • kybo61

    Years ago in the USDA we had an employee wellness program where we could use a couple of hours a week of annual leave and the employer would match it with wellness leave for us to go to the gym. It made all the difference to me as I was battling alcoholism and obesity at the same time. Then they suddenly discontinued it. It was devastating. I could not work out outside of work as I had a 110-mile commute one way to get home and back to work every day. I fell back into my old habits and eventually had to retire on medical as I was unable to work any more. Thanks, USDA.

  • Amber Barnes

    This is absolutely great! We can't deny the fact that office furnitures that suit a working environment are incredibley awesome. These help create a better or let say the best working envirnonent that is vital in the success of a company. Thanks for sharing!

  • fran melmed

    It's exciting to see so many companies consider how they can expand their wellness efforts to support more routine movement and small bursts of activity. I've been pulling together a presentation on employers' approaches to reducing sedentary behavior for an upcoming presentation. This will be a perfect addition.

    Fran Melmed
    Hotseat || Don't Just Sit There

  • L. Holland RN, MBA

    Not sure I am buying into this! Don't get me wrong, I am all for staying active and incorporating physical activity into the workday—but other factors are work-stress balance. Part of the importance of exercise is to be a stress reliever. I am not sure how effective this will be if you are reading e-mails that are making you stressed out with work demands. Additionally, most exercise should be focused so that an individual can maximize their workout and cardiovascular system. If you can read e-mail you are not working out at a high enough intensity to get the benefits of physical activity.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.