Law Practice Management

Treadmill Desks Gain Traction at Chicago Law Office

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Last year, in an effort to lose 40 to 50 pounds, Texas lawyer Ross Robinson paired a $700 low-speed treadmill with his stand-up desk.

Less than a year later, the Winstead partner is 40 pounds lighter, reports the National Law Journal in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.). He estimates he walks four miles each workday in the firm’s Dallas office. While he also watched what he ate, Robinson credits walking while working for much of the weight change.

Although not every law firm is embracing the new technology, a growing number reportedly are interested. Among them, Milwaukee-based Quarles & Brady has installed a motorized “sit-to-stand” desk that can be used in either position for all associates in its new Chicago offices, the legal publication reports.

D. Scott Watson, who serves as managing partner for the Chicago office, says the desk-design shift wasn’t that difficult to accomplish, since sit-to-stand versions cost about the same as standard office desks.

At the suggestion of several associates, the firm has also purchased a couple of $4,500 treadmill desks, which are centrally installed where everyone can use them.

“The new wave of lawyers are tech-savvy, and they’re the ones saying ‘Why can’t I have this stuff?’ ” architect David Fournier tells the NLJ. “These types of desks appeal to younger lawyers. That’s part of what we’re seeing right now.”

Related coverage: (2008): “Another Lawyer Identified Who Walks and Works Simultaneously” (2008): “Multitasking Winstead Lawyer Exercises While He Works” “Like Pilot in Cockpit, Lawyer Needs Low Shelves, Organizer Says”

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