I set up DIYTreadmillDesk.com after getting tons of daily traffic over at DadisLearning.com about my treadmill desk. There are obviously tons of people who are interested in treadmill desks. To be specific, at time of publication Google was receiving 15,000 search queries per month about treadmill desks. I think it is a great way to work!
walking treadmill desk I have been walking and working for 6 months now and I have 98% positive things to say about my new active work station. I feel like ‘a million bucks’ at the end of the workday instead of feeling like a bloated, fatigued blob. My creativity, focus and productivity have all increased. I can’t give you a specific measure on this because I did not set a baseline measurement for productivity since the treadmill desk was built on a whim. But I am cranking out material at a volume and quality that I have not produced in some time.
The first week I started working on the treadmill I was walking around 2 to 2.5 miles a day at a pace of about 1.3mph. I now work at 1.5 to 1.6mph and do 3 or 4 miles on the typical day. My best week was over 30 miles of walking and working. That kind of mileage isn’t anything new to my body. When I was in my early 20’s I ran 4 marathons and would hike 20-25 miles a day on my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail…and that was carrying a backpack with gear. Alas, time and laziness have caught up and I would be doing well to run 1 mile…but I can still walk like a beast!
The only thing I have found that is bad about working on the treadmill is a nagging foot injury that flares up every now and then. Some minor discomfort is a fair trade for the productivity I have been enjoying and the increased energy. I think my wife really enjoys when I come home now because I’m upbeat and ready to play with the kids and help around the house…instead of needing to sit down and rest for a while. Plus I almost always come home in an overly happy mood…I might need to tone that down a bit 🙂
Some have asked…are you losing any weight? I guess my answer would be no. I’ve noticed that I haven’t put on any weight. I do feel ‘trimmer’ though. My belt has tightened up a notch and clothes feel a bit more loose. I would assume that walking while I work combined with reducing the amount of soda I drink would lead to a bit of weight loss in the coming months. But working on a treadmill doesn’t get the heart rate into the target zone for someone my age. I have to go slow so I can keep my hands still for typing and my head still for reading.
Speaking of reading…many have asked how challenging it is to read and write while walking. Again, if you go slow enough you kind of forget that you are walking. The first day was the only day I had a bit of adjustment to the rhythm of walking and reading. It’s nothing like when I would try to read textbooks while on the elliptical machine at the gym. At the gym I was trying to go fast enough to stay in the zone and that does not combine well with reading…at least for me.
I have mentioned to some that I don’t feel motivated to get to the gym, but I didn’t feel motivated before the treadmill desk either, so I wouldn’t count that as a problem of the treadmill desk. I have added in some pushups to my workday. No set number just a few pushups every now and then to change things up. Got the idea from “The One Push-Up Challenge” which talked about small changes making a big impact. I already have enough BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that I am working on. None of my co-workers have walked in on me doing push-ups, they still get a chuckle when they come down and see me walking and working but they are super supportive!
As I’ve mentioned before, good footwear is a MUST. I love my Merrell shoes that I wear to work everyday. Getting your keyboard, mouse and monitors at the proper height are essential too. The first few days my keyboard and mouse were too low and I strained my wrist in just a matter of hours. Took about 4 or 5 days for that to stop hurting. I really enjoy the height of my monitors. The placement makes me stand up straight when I’m walking.
Is a treadmill desk for you? I can’t say. I am blessed to have an employer who let’s me do crazy things like this in my office. I still have my traditional desk where I probably spend an hour or so a day doing other projects. I couldn’t imagine having a big setup like this in my house. If you’re in the DFW area you’d always be welcome to come by and give my setup a try!