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Using a treadmill desk to get “free exercise” while working

Treadmill Desk
Posted by on February 26, 2013

Treadmill Desk

Today it’s snowing and cold in Denver.  While it’s tempting to use that as reason for not getting some exercise, using a treadmill desk in the office makes it almost as easy as getting outside for a walk.  And in some ways it’s better, since I can easily type, read, talk on the phone and do just about any other typical office activity while I’m exercising.  And for me personally, I tend to have better concentration on the treadmill desk.  It must be the improved blood circulation.

Now I’m only moving at 1 mile per hour, so it’s not like  a typical workout.  But it is free exercise that I’m getting (covering a mile each hour) relative to the usual “sitting in an office chair” approach which usually just leaves me slouching with bad posture and a sore back.  Working on the treadmill desk actually helps me maintain my focus, and I think it feels better on my back.

Attached are a couple of pictures of the set up.  It takes a few times to get used to the gently motion of walking this slow, but that passes pretty quickly.  A few pointers if you take the plunge and try one out:

  • Resist the temptation to increase the speed beyond about 1.5 MPH.  It’s tempting to go faster, but things get a bit unstable at that speed.  Plus you’ll start to sweat and make obnoxious noises (see below)
  • Walking at a slow speed (I usually set it around 1.2 MPH) lets you walk at a pace that keeps you from sweating, and it keeps the treadmill quieter
  • Walking at a slow speed means you can walk in your work shoes, without having to worry about changing your shoes.
  • Don’t try to spend a full day on the treadmill desk, especially at first.  Start with shorter (1 hour) sessions.
  • Remember that the purpose isn’t to be getting a vigorous workout.  You’re just trying to replace some sedentary work time with some much needed motion.
Have fun!

Close up of the treadmill desk work area

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