Can Walking While Working On A Treadmill Under Desk Boost Creativity And Brain Function?


In the quick-paced world of today, the sedentary lifestyle has become an everyday reality for many individuals, particularly those who spend a lot of time at a desk, whether in a workplace or a home setting. The consequences of such a sedentary lifestyle are concerning, as research highlights the detrimental effects on physical health and mental well-being.

In response to this challenge, innovative solutions have emerged, including the treadmill under desk workstations, which allows individuals to combine work and physical activity. But does walking while working on a treadmill under desk truly offer cognitive benefits? Let’s explore the potential link between this work setup and enhanced creativity.

The Rise of Treadmill under Desk Workstations

In response to the sedentary lifestyle challenge, the under-desk treadmill has gained popularity. These setups enable individuals to walk while performing their work tasks, breaking the monotony of sitting for extended periods.

Various options are available, from simple walking mats to more sophisticated integrated treadmill desks that allow users to set their desired walking pace.

Can Walking While Working Enhance Creativity?

Beyond the physical benefits, an intriguing question arises: Can walking while working on a treadmill under desk truly enhance creativity? Let’s explore some of the factors that support the idea that walking while working can indeed foster creativity:

Walking and Cognitive Benefits

Engaging in physical activity like walking has been linked to a wide range of benefits. Exercise has been proven to boost the release of neurotransmitters that affect mood and motivation, including dopamine and serotonin. Physical exercise has also been linked to better oxygenation and nutrient supply to the brain due to increased blood flow to the area.

Impact on Brain Activity

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies demonstrate increased activity in brain regions associated with creativity and problem-solving during moderate-intensity walking. This suggests that the treadmill under desk setup might facilitate neural connections that promote innovative thinking.

Physical Activity and Creative Thinking

Creative thinking thrives on divergent and unconventional thought patterns. Physical activity, especially when combined with an under desk treadmill, can influence creative thinking by altering brain chemistry, promoting the release of endorphins, and reducing stress. This fosters an environment conducive to generating new ideas.

The Role of Movement in Idea Generation

Movement significantly impacts brain stimulation in ways that static sitting cannot achieve. Utilizing the under desk treadmill can help break mental barriers and stimulate ideation. The rhythmic motion of walking might induce a state of flow, where ideas flow freely, and connections between seemingly unrelated concepts become apparent.

Mood and Creativity: The Connection

Employing a treadmill under the desk positively affects mood, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety while enhancing positive emotions. A better mood is associated with increased cognitive flexibility and openness to new experiences, both vital for supporting creative thinking.

Integrating Walking Workstations: Practical Tips for a Creative Environment

Practical tips for creating a creative environment play a pivotal role in nurturing innovation, productivity, and overall well-being within a workplace.

  • Set up the walking workstations with the user’s comfort in mind. Adjust the desk height, monitor position, and treadmill speed to promote an ergonomic posture while walking and working.
  • Encourage users to begin with short walking sessions and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time. This gradual approach allows individuals to acclimate to walking while working and minimizes the risk of overexertion.
  • Encourage users to take short breaks from walking to rest and recharge. These breaks provide moments for creative reflection and prevent mental fatigue.
  • Allow employees the freedom to choose when and how they use the walking workstations. This flexibility empowers individuals to tailor their work routines to their unique creative rhythms and preferences.


The idea of using a treadmill under a desk to exercise while working has drawn interest due to its potential to improve brain function and creativity. For those looking to improve their creativity and general brain function while combating the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, the under-desk treadmill may be a step in the right direction.


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