Local company installs new desks to keep employees active at work

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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.”

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