Tampa, Fl. - Your desk may be killing you. A new study shows sitting all day may not just be making you fatter, it may also be making you dumber.
We recently met with employees of a company that took that study to heart and got on their feet.
How many steps does it take to change a work place? For Suncoast Coffee Service and Vending, it's 10,000, every day.
"It's about 2,000 equals a mile, so the other day I had 12,000 steps, so I was very happy about that," says Jason Sluka, co-owner of Suncoast Coffee Services and Vending.
If you do the math, 10,000 steps equals 5 miles. How do they know? Employees are now sporting a new tool.
"When you have a pedometer, you have mindful walking. So if I look down and I say, oh, it's 10:00 and I only have 100 steps, then I get up and move around and add to it," says Heather Delafield who has been wearing a pedometer for years.
Her habit inspired Suncoast to buy the gadgets for each employee to get them away from their desks and make time for fitness.
"Ultimately, it benefits the employer too because it eventually lowers insurance rates and makes healthier employees," says Sluka.
Researchers recently looked at the effect walking has on memory. They found the more you walk, the more energy you have to think.
For Allison Lee, who finds herself at her desk most of the day, the pedometer keeps her productive.
"This really motivates you to, ok, get up and walk around the office a couple of times and go back to work. When you're more conscious of what you're doing, you're more apt to say oh, I only did 500 steps? Next hour I want to do like 700. You challenge yourself like that."
And she's not just seeing the numbers add up to good things on her pedometer.
"I definitely stepped on the scale this morning and noticed a pound down, so that's always positive! So that motivates you to, maybe lose two next week, says Lee.
The thought of losing weight isn't the only thing that's getting these employees on their feet.
"The cool thing about it is if you're having a less productive day, you're seeing it in your steps. And people are disappointed. They're shooting for that goal of 10,000 steps a day," says Sluka.
Creating a culture of health, one step, at a time.
Suncoast also has a free healthy lunch program and offers free snacks throughout the day like fruit and yogurt.
It is also delivering the healthy goods to its customers - for free. The co-owners say it's a culture that creates happy employees - which in turn makes their customers happy.