People-oriented design as the basis of a healthy workplace

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People-oriented design as the basis of a healthy workplace
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April 16, 2023
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People-oriented design as the basis of a healthy workplace

For the past two years, walking room  has been working on the development of the world's largest treadmill. A revolutionary innovation based on human-centered design that you can walk on with a minimum of 8 people at the same time.

Office workers move too little

In 2018, walking room started conducting research among office workers. First by interviewing office workers about health, productivity, lifestyle, office environment and organizational culture. Later by conducting targeted research into challenges in the field of a healthy lifestyle. Challenges were performed both physically and mentally. Soon the following three things stood out:

  1. Office workers move far too little, where there is a desire to move more;
  2. Office workers' lifestyle is strongly influenced by the organizational culture;
  3. Office workers change their lifestyle faster when they work together in groups.

The last point is particularly interesting. When a group of colleagues goes for a walk after lunch, others who normally wouldn't join in the fun. The same applies to a healthy lunch or a boxing lesson facilitated by the employer. Employee activity increases, resulting in increased productivity and creativity.

An inspiring work environment

Where the biggest gain can be made after analyzing the results was in the field of movement. No less than 69% of office workers indicate that they want to move more. Walking room set to work with this theme in mind. Several ideas were thrown on the table that should ensure that office workers move more. Soon the office came into view, where the change must take place. Human-centered design, also known as “Human Centered Design”, came into play here. According to Ergos human-centered design focuses on the user as part of the production system. Fundamental elements of this are: a systems approach, a design-oriented approach and a focus on both 'performance' and 'well-being'. Based on this principle, the first sketches of a large treadmill were made. It should be a place where office workers can come together to walk and work. An environment that invites you to move with several people at the same time.

The largest treadmill in the world

First of all, a treadmill of no less than 35 square meters was developed. This treadmill offers space for 15 people to walk at the same time. In order to connect more quickly with offices in the Netherlands, a treadmill of 12 square meters was developed in the summer of 2020. At least 8 people can walk and work on this treadmill at the same time. The treadmill has a green artificial grass surface to simulate a natural environment. In addition to the green artificial turf, the moss wall is also green. This ensures, among other things, sound dampening, an important aspect for a healthy working environment. A desktop at the front of the treadmill ensures that you can work while standing or walking. An active meeting is possible with about 10 people. The working environment also consists of a platform, water taps and a fruit bar.