Johnson County dispatchers get treadmills at work

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. - Many of us made New Year's Resolutions to get more active and even joined gyms. But for a group at the Johnson County Communications Center, they just have to go to work to keep up with resolutions to be fit.

Johnson County installed treadmills at a couple workspaces to give their dispatchers an alternative.

"We did have the option before to stand, which would help, but really, adding the walking really makes a big difference in our energy levels and the health benefits too," Heather Beabout said, a dispatcher with Johnson County.

Dispatchers work anywhere between eight and 12 hours, sometimes without a break. Many found getting up and moving can reduce stress.

"These dispatchers at times are listening to people die on the other end. They're listening to very tragic things," Tom Erickson with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office said. "If I want to walk for an hour or two hours, even just 30 minutes, it's easy to walk over here and just get on and walk a mile."

The fastest dispatchers can go is two miles an hour.

"It's not like they're running a marathon while they are trying to dispatch. They're adjustable, the dispatcher can take them down to as slow as they need," Erickson said.

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