Death In A Cubicle (And How To Avoid It)
By Perry Michael Simon on February 15, 2011
This might not be how you want your life to turn out.
A Los Angeles County Department of Internal Services employee, a compliance auditor, died while working in her cubicle at some point on Friday. This fact was not discovered until sometime on Saturday:
Yes, she died in her cubicle. It’s like “Office Space” directed by Ingmar Bergman.
They don’t know why she died, and for all they say in the report, she may have been quite content in her work. But with the office cubicle being synonymous with soul-crushing ennui, dying surrounded by those fabric-covered half-walls ranks pretty high on the list of depressing exits.
If you’re looking to avoid that fate, cubicle denizens, you’d best get moving on some exercise. LiveScience reports that a study — you know, you can get funding for a study on pretty much anything these days — of people who work in offices suggests that all companies need to do to turn sedentary employees slumped in their cubicles into exercising juggernauts is to stick one of those pedal machines under their desks.
Seriously. Those little bike pedal things. In the test, people clamored to be part of it, and they pedaled from one to 73 minutes per day, with the average at 23 minutes a day. One subject burned an extra 500 calorie per day just by pedaling, although the average was more like 180. Everyone liked them, although usage declined over time.
And no wonder. It seems like a good idea, but it gets tiring, and I’d have a hard time staying in pedaling rhythm while trying to type and read and talk on the phone. But if you have to sit on your butt for 8 or 9 hours a day, I guess it couldn’t hurt. Perhaps, though, they could set up work stations where you could use those jiggle belt massagers like you’d see large women using in 1930′s comedies. You might not be able to do much work, but the entertainment value would be off the charts.