Victoria Beckham and I try out the treadmill desk – and why sitting down all day is bad for you

Yanar-Alkayat reviews the treadmill-desk at-beautyMART-for Healthista

A few weeks ago Lifespan Fitness sent a press release about a treadmill desk – a health-fanatic’s upgrade to the standing desk – I was hooked. A slow-moving treadmill connected to a height-adjustable desk, a novel way to workout while you work I thought. I buzzed my editor at, knowing she would absolutely love it, and before I knew it my ordinary desk, where I also work at BeautyMART HQ, was whipped away and this mean-machine was put in place instead.

Yanar-Alkayat reviews the treadmill-desk at-beautyMART-for Healthista

Walking and working became my daily grind for a few weeks, with the lulling sound of the treadmill in the background. The girls in the office found it hilarious and loved making videos but I was knackered.

Then Victoria Beckham tried it and tweeted about it. We’re so on the pulse! Although VB and I don’t share the same taste in footwear (see her sky-high stilettos below) we certainly know a good health craze when we see one…

Health benefits of a treadmill desk – it’s meant to be used as an office hot-desk so if you persuade your boss to introduce one, everyone will feel the health benefits. The treadmill is capped at a very slow speed so no chance of flying off and makes multi-tasking more simple than expected. Hop on and off throughout the day and it will wake up all the muscles that have been sitting sedentary for hours and lengthen the spine again. A half-hour burst certainly helps to bust away a mid-afternoon energy slump and minimises a hunched back from sitting at a desk all day. It’s thought just two hours on the treadmill desk, interspersed throughout the day, can counteract the damaging effects of a desk-life.

The downsides – because it was my actual desk for this review, I was literally walking for hours on end which had a knock-on effect on concentration levels. I wasn’t really able to focus on anything more taxing than being on the internet or posting on Facebook.  By 4pm I was crawling to our office sofa, feeling grouchy and losing concentration.

But my legs had turned to steel (I hailed it the secret to red carpet legs on the BeautyMART blog), I felt lighter and I’d zapped away countless calories, although my appetite had tripled. For my review I spoke to Max Henderson, co-founder of Hot Pod Yoga about why sitting at a desk is bad for us and what we can do about it. 

“Hunched over a desk will lead to bad posture, which is intrinsically linked to back and spine problems. Our central nervous system runs alongside our spine, which the spine protects. A curved spine prevents the muscles from protecting the nerves which can cause huge problems for the main trunk of the nervous system,” explains Max. “Plus a sedentary life can lead to wider health issues related to the pancreas and heart.”

So is it worth it? Check out my review in here for the full verdict!

Lost in the 80s with model Nancy Donahue

Nancy Donahue Vogue

Nancy Donahue circa 1980s

The highlight of this week was interviewing Nancy Donahue, one of the most famous models of the 70s and 80s: a regular on the cover of Vogue, Harper’s, Self, Madmoiselle and the go-to model for Cover Girl and Almay cosmetics. She dominated the fashion and beauty scene back then with modelling buddies Kelly Emberg and Kim Alexis, who she is still close friends with today.

Today Nancy is an ex-triathlete and co-founder of BelleCore bodybuffer (available at BeautyMART) – a fitness and beauty gadget that helps to smooth skin, boosts circulation, improve lymphatic drainage and eliminate lactic acid after intense exercise. After her heyday in front of the camera, Nancy went on to become a fitness trainer, competing triathlete and mother and now her bodybuffer is the perfect accessory to her life of health, fitness and wellbeing.

So there we were in BeautyMART’s concession in Harvey Nichols chatting freely about vintage fashion, beauty trends from the 1980s, fitness and triathlons. Far from being a snooty ex-supermodel, Nancy was down to earth, natural and full of  youthful energy.

Having spent today writing up my interview with her for the BeautyMART blog (where I’m the Online Ed) and a guest post for the brilliant Lovely’s Vintage, I thought I’d share some of her most stand out works with some of the world’s best


US Vogue, shot by Eric Boman; make-up artist Alberto Fava… (left)..and photo by Patrick Demarchelier (bottom left)

Nancy Donahue circa 1980s Vogue Eric Boman  Nancy Donahue Vogue

Nancy Donahue in fab 80s clothesNancy Donahue in 80s clothes

Nancy Donahue mag beautymart


Model Nancy Donahue photo Patrick Demarchelier