Dairy Queen Gives Its Workers Treadmill Desks

Dairy Queen has installed treadmill desks. Everyone knows that sitting at your desk all day is not good for your health. In fact, researchers coined the term "sitting disease" to describe the many ailments that can result from the common workplace custom. So in a bid to help workers' health, the fast food chain Dairy Queen Inc., has introduced treadmill desks in their corporate offices near Minneapolis, reports local television station KARE-11.

The concept at Dairy Queen headquarters in Edina, Minn., is simple: A workstation is placed above a treadmill so that workers can type away as they walk off calories. At Dairy Queen, the treadmills were placed in a conference room on the company's ground floor, as the photo above shows. Megan Weisel, who manages Dairy Queen's wellness program, said the hope was that the treadmills also would be a "recruitment tool."

Can you really get work done while on a treadmill? In an interview with KARE 11, Weizel conceded that many Dairy Queen workers are dubious about their ability to get work done while using treadmill desks. "The one thing that I hear in that skepticism piece is that people say 'I have no time to go down there and use the treadmills,' " Weizel said.

But not everyone feels that way. Dairy Queen employee Craig Bader said the treadmills made sense. "I feel like there's no interruption in the work that I'm doing, so there's really no reason not to do it." Another employee, Heather Peters, who was on the wellness committee, said, "You can really accomplish a lot of work at the same time as walking," said Peters. "And it really helps you get through those more tedious tasks."

Many employers are jumping on the wellness trend. Even some traditional employers, such as financial and health care consulting firms, have installed treadmill desks. Some employers, including AOL, also have nap rooms, saying that sleep deprivation hurts workers' health and productivity. Last year an annual employer survey by professional services company Towers Watson showed that the number of companies offering financial incentives to get healthier has doubled from 36 percent in 2009 to 61 percent in 2012.

At a time of soaring health care costs, employers see the wellness programming as a worthwhile investment. There's a "need to find solutions," Weizel told KARE-11. As a result, Dairy Queen also plans to soon add yoga and fitness classes on site.

What about the fast food workers? In the last year, the fast food industry has come under fire for its treatment of workers. As AOL Jobs has reported, fast food workers have organized strikes in six U.S. cities to push for their wages to be almost doubled to $15 an hour. Dairy Queen cashiers and team members also tend to earn salaries approximating the minimum wage -- about $18,809 a year, according to the salary information website Glassdoor. News reports didn't mention whether the treadmills will be available to these workers.

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July 08 2013 at 5:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I bet they are really for powering the generator . kind of like hampster wheels.

July 02 2013 at 4:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@marsha Dairy Queen does not offer nor provide any type of health insurance to employees or management that actually work in the stores.

July 02 2013 at 2:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I invented a way to hardwire a ribbon cable address bus into the computer keyboard so another computer
electronically presses the keys. Then you don't need the treadmill, etc. at all.
My new system is worth around 200 billion dollars.

July 01 2013 at 6:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James G. Banks

Dariy Queen headquarters (IDQ) is just a franchising entity. IDQ is so far removed from Dairy Queen. Most of the time IDQ works against the Dairy Queen owners. IDQ owns no Dairy Queen. They are a governing body that make Dariy Queen owners buy advertising, upgrade the buildings, expand their freezer and cooler sizes to fit unwanted new product. IDQ is spending money for their convenience from revenues received from the overblown dues they make the owners pay. Dairy Queen owners and those they wmploy work on a tight margin while IDQ does nothing to promote the owners.

July 01 2013 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to James G. Banks's comment

Otherwise known as the owner and franchiser. sheesh.

July 01 2013 at 9:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

could just have bought some real chairs that are designed for long periods of time

July 01 2013 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does Dairy Queen offer health insurance to their employees in the stores or just in corporate headquarters?

July 01 2013 at 1:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Awesome idea. At my work, I try to get in a couple of exercise/stretch breaks every day. I'd love a treadmill desk. Less swollen feet and more energy at the end of the day. I always said if I'd had kids, I would hook an exercise bike up to the computer and TV. No pedal, no play.

July 01 2013 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good idea! I would rather have a bike desk though.

July 01 2013 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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