Why Spacelab ‘walked to space and back’ for Sport Relief

By Hannah Mellow on 22 March 2016

On Friday 18th and Monday 21st March, we ‘walked to space and back’, within the confines of our workplace.

The Kármán line lies at an altitude of 62 miles above the Earth’s sea level and commonly represents the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. In aid of Sport Relief, we partnered with furniture dealer Tsunami Axis to install a LifeSpan treadmill work point in our Old Street office and endeavoured to walk the 124 miles ‘to space and back’, while working at the same time.

The treadmill, with a height-adjustable desk, is designed for long periods of use at low speeds without overheating, and has a deck suspension to reduce impact on knees and other joints when the foot hits the walking belt.

Throughout the two days Spacelab staff, clients and partners took turns to walk to raise money for Sport Relief as well as highlight the importance of movement at work.

After a small panic, when it became apparent that with a limit of 4 miles an hour on the treadmill, we weren’t going to make it, we grouped together to run the additional miles outside the office to help reach tour ambitious goal. Our ‘satellite team’, attending a conference in the South of France at the time, also contributed by walking and running throughout the excursion.

“Not only does movement in the workplace have benefits for overall staff wellbeing, it can also increase collaboration and productivity across the workforce. Our database reveals that on average only 6% of office workforces are ever moving at one time. The significance of this is rarely appreciated by organisations. By ‘walking to space and back’ we will be increasing awareness of the issue while also raising money for a good cause.”

Rosie Haslem, Director of Workplace Consultancy, Spacelab


Photo: Spacelab staff enjoying a Pilates class in the office’s social hub.

Movement was a central consideration when we designed the office. We conducted a full workplace study to understand staff needs, including for movement and interaction. This led to a design strategy placing the staircase in the centre of the space and positioning amenities around these needs.

“We use in-depth analysis to inform design strategies for the placement of all facilities and functions, as well as identifying interventions that will enhance visibility and encourage movement, therefore increasing the opportunity for unplanned interaction.”

Kara Wood, Director of Interiors, Spacelab

Sport Relief is the biennial charity event organised by Comic Relief, in association with BBC Sport, which seeks to raise money to help people living tough lives both in the UK and around the world. All money raised from the walk will be donated to the event – of which 50% is used to make a difference right here in the UK, and 50% goes towards transforming lives across the world’s poorest communities.

Topics: workplace, treadmill, sport relief, movement, tsunami axis, lifespan