RIVER NORTH — Guests at a River North hotel now can walk while they work without leaving their room.
The Westin Chicago River North recently debuted a treadmill desk, part of the hotel's multimillion dollar renovations, including spruced-up rooms, hallways and lobby bar.
The treadmill desk represents a literal acceleration of the standing desk trend that's infiltrating workplaces across the country. Celebrities including Jimmy Kimmel and Victoria Beckham have used treadmill desks to shed some calories in the office.
Brianna DeJesus of the Westin working out the treadmill. [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
The hotel is the first in the world to offer a treadmill desk in a room, said Ron Wiener of Bellevue, Wash.-based iMovR, which built the Westin's treadmill desk and also runs the website workwhilewalking.com.
"We know all the companies and major innovations. If there is [another hotel treadmill desk] it's never been announced," Wiener said.
The Westin's treadmill desk is in a fourth-floor guest room. The 429-room hotel at 320 N. Dearborn St. opted to install it after fielding requests from some guests, manager Brianna DeJesus said.
"A guest said he didn't have time to get up to the gym," she said. "The whole Westin brand is about wellness. We're the prototype."
Dave Matthews says the treadmill desk room costs a little bit more:
Guests hook up their laptop to the desk and simply hit "start" to run the treadmill. It has different speeds, but none more grueling than a walking pace. Still, guests can order exercise gear from the hotel if their walk-working gets too rigorous for office attire, DeJesus said.
Selawe Tau, the hotel's director of rooms, said the renovations completed earlier this year cost around $15 million. The nightly rate for the treadmill desk room averages $359, he said, about $20 or $30 higher than comparable rooms in the hotel.
Be careful while walking, though. A recent study shows treadmill desks may reduce productivity.
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