A new exercise initiative has been announced today by a group called WellFit4Work which is designed to reduce the sedentary aspect of many people's jobs. WellFit4Work is a joint venture between the Government and industry to combat obesity and lack of fitness in the workplace.
The initiative uses computer virtualisation techniques, a power diminishment program and several additional workspace changes to increase the exercise element of people using computers all day.
The first element is based on a principle known as 'hot desk auto-reallocation'. In a shared workspace, the computer users access their systems as normal. After a random time, somewhere between ten and forty-five minutes, the WellFit4Work software halts the tasks on every system, and then re-allocates each user's display to another workstation. In order to continue working, the users must all go and find where their work is now being displayed and carry on working there. As they are responsible for ensuring the security of their work they have to find it quickly before any damage can be done.
The second element is also a power-saving feature. The display screen for each system will be powered from a generator in one of the user's chair wheels. In order to keep the screen at maximum brightness, they will have to push their chair backwards and forwards continuously.
Finally, there will be several other changes to augment the system:
- A change back to rotary-dial telephones
- A winding handle fitted to all printers and copiers in place of the motorised feeding mechanism
- Computer keyboard keys and mouse buttons fitted with much stiffer springs
- Coffee machines and toilets moved to an area only accessible by several flights of stairs
- Internal mail to be distributed on a relay basis from one employee to the next and so on
WellFit4Work say that these changes will be voluntary, and anybody wishing to be excused can collect a request form from the finishing line of the London Marathon.