Do any of your clients use a “treadmill desk” or ask about getting one? If so, they may be curious about the results of a new study in which researchers examined whether the dual-task nature of walking while working impairs cognitive function. Findings were released ahead of print on June 29 (article ID 677289) by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The investigators gave young and middle-aged adults a series of challenging cognitive tasks on two separate days. Participants completed the tasks while sitting and while walking, letting researchers document each condition’s 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 accumulated approximately 4,500 steps while walking on a treadmill for 50 minutes at a relatively slow speed (~1.9 miles per hour). These findings suggest that walking during work does not impair cognitive performance and may increase daily physical activity.