Participants Needed for Weight Loss Study

Dr. Bassett at treadmill workstationTwo UT researchers are putting a potential weight loss strategy to the test and need your help. Already spreading across corporate America, employers are installing treadmill workstations that allow you to walk at a slow pace while you work. Dinesh John, a graduate student in the Department of Exercise, Sport and Leisure Studies, and Professor David Bassett currently are seeking faculty and staff members willing to participate in UT’s own treadmill workstation experiment to determine if it really leads to weight loss or prevents weight gain.

The treadmill workstation is a modified treadmill attached to a desk-like platform which allows for computer and telephone access. The desk is height adjustable and allows users to alternate between sitting and slow treadmill walking (1 mph).

The researchers are seeking participants who fulfill certain selection criteria. To be eligible for the study, you must:

  • Have a sedentary desk job
  • Be approximately 35-80 pounds overweight
  • Be able to walk slowly for an hour
  • Have an office that can accommodate a 7×7 ft. workstation

The duration of the study is from June 2008 through June 2009. The researchers will conduct period measurement of several variables including body fat, bone density and cholesterol levels. Participants will have to visit the Exercise Physiology Laboratory in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building three times throughout the study: before the installation of the workstation, after three months of using workstation, and after one year of using the workstation.

This one-year weight loss study will examine whether using a treadmill workstation results in weight loss and improvement in cardiovascular risk factors. Research has shown that individuals who sit for many hours per day gain more weight on average than those who sit less. Walking while you work can burn three times as many calories as sitting.

The University of Tennessee Obesity Research Center and Baker Manufacturing, maker of the electric height adjustable sit-to-stand desks, are funding the study. If you are interested in becoming a participant for this study or would like more information regarding the experiment, contact Dinesh John at 974-5091 or djohn1@utk.edu.