Debby Carreau is a leader, an entrepreneur and an author who provides Human Resources solutions to companies across North America. She is the Founder and CEO of Inspired HR, a firm that has been recognized as Canada’s Top HR Consultancy. Debby herself has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.
Debby's book, The Mentor Myth, teaches others to take control of their own careers. She also advocates for women helping women to advance in the workforce through through her involvement in various not-for-profit organizations. She appears regularly in the media across North America, providing expertise on women in the workplace and optimizing workplace effectiveness.
In addition to her outstanding career, Debby is a devoted mother of two children, and a role model for living a healthy, active lifestyle. She is one of those people whose list of accomplishments can leave you wondering how she finds the time to do it all.
At Fitneff, we were pleased to learn that Debby uses a WalkTop Treadmill Desk, and that she has incorporated it into her weekly routine. I spoke with Debby to learn more about how she manages her work, family and personal life so effectively, and what role the WalkTop plays in allowing her to achieve her goals.
Q: You advocate for combining activities to maximize time. Is this philosophy what prompted you to purchase a WalkTop?
Before hearing about the WalkTop, I was aware of the dangers of sitting too long, and had been toying with other ways to avoid sitting at work. I had tried other things, like using an exercise ball at my desk, but when I saw the WalkTop, I thought it was fantastic.
The team at Fitneff was doing an event in downtown Calgary, demonstrating the WalkTop. When I saw the WalkTop, a lightbulb went off. Immediately I knew it was the solution I was looking for. I agree that people spend too much time sitting at their desks, and love that this allows me to continue to focus on my work while walking.
Q: Can you share some other examples of how you combine activities to be efficient, and make the most of your time?
Yes, I have a number of ways that I do this everyday:
At work, when scheduling meetings, whenever possible I plan to meet while engaging in other activities, such as a spinning class or a walk outside. There is a small lake with a walking path across from our office. In the time it takes to walk once around the lake, I am able to conduct a staff meeting. We get fresh air and exercise, and we are able to focus on the meeting at hand.
At home, when spending time with my kids, I always ensure that our time is spent doing something active. For example, we go skiing, we shoot hoops on the driveway, or we jump on the trampoline. Quality time with family doesn’t only have to be at meal time. Doing fun physical activities together is a great way to bond with our kids.
Q: How often do you use your WalkTop, and for how long?
I use my WalkTop in my home office, a few times a week. Generally I walk for an hour at a time.
Q: What kinds of things do you do while walking and working?
Because we have offices across North America, I find myself on a lot of conference calls. Rather than taking these conference calls sitting down, I like to be set up with my WalkTop so that I can participate on the calls while walking on my treadmill. It allows me to be walking when I would otherwise be just sitting.
As well, I do my general scan of emails in the morning while walking. This is a time when I’m checking into my computer and doing an early morning review of the day ahead. I find I can walk while doing anything that does not require active typing, such as reading, catching up on articles or white papers, or watching a web-ex or video. Walking helps me to focus on the content, and I love that I’m moving at the same time.
Q: What kinds of benefits have you realized since you started using your WalkTop?
Firstly, I find an improvement in my mood, thanks to the walking. If I’m sitting for too many days in a row, I can really notice it in my mood. When I’m been more active, I feel much more engaged and happier.
I also find that I am less stiff when I have been moving. This means that physically, I feel better.
Finally, I find that working at my WalkTop keeps me focused. It prevents my mind from wandering, and instead of surfing web I actually focus on the task at hand, and am able to get my work done more efficiently.
Q: What is your advice to those who are hoping to incorporate fitness into their daily life, and to maintain a healthy lifestyle despite a demanding career?
My best advice is to put it into your schedule. This reserves the time for yourself, and lets others know that you are not available at that time. If you plan for something, you are more likely to make it happen.
Also, it is important to make a habit of the activities that you are hoping to maintain. For example, I have made a habit of walking on my treadmill while checking my emails in the morning. It is now simply what I do, so it happens regularly.
Thank you, Debby Carreau, for taking the time to speak with us about your perspective, as well as her experience using the WalkTop Treadmill Desk. Your success is an inspiration to all of us, and we are honoured to share your experience with our audience.