The Doctor's Office

Do Physicians on Treadmills Diagnose with Greater Accuracy?

When Mayo Clinic endocrinologist James Levine, MD, was just a few years old, the neighborhood kids called him "Puffer"

"I was so chubby that wherever I ran, I puffed and bobbled along. My weight meant that I also was bullied at school, and my head was shoved down into a toilet"

Fast-forward some five decades. Levine, who specializes in diabetes and obesity, no longer has these problems. Far from it. He's garnered a national reputation as an expert in treadmill desk efficacy for healthcare professionals and others who use them in their workplace.

He's even designed a dozen or so prototypes, sawing off treadmill arms to accommodate desks cobbled with steel and Formica[R] No matter where he works--at the Scottsdale or Rochester Mayo clinics, in his office, or at home, essentially anytime except while seeing patients--one can see him strolling along at 1 mph.

He's also lost weight, so much that at one point his own doctor suggested--needlessly as it turned out--he undergo a workup for cancer.

And he's inspired his colleagues to follow, quite literally in his footsteps. Mayo's cardiologists have installed a treadmill desk for use during the eight to 12 hours they spend in the echo reading room, nicknamed "the bat cave. …

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