My fascination with standing desks and treadmill desks has led me to read everything out there on the topic. I really try to look at the different studies, opinions and trends with an objective point of view. But I also end up comparing what’s being said to my own experience and I’m finding I really want to discover: is this a fad or for real? I’m not questioning the health facts or obvious concept that sitting for long periods of time can’t be good for us. But I sense a grassroots movement of home and corporate office workers that are adding standing or walking to their daily screen time. More and more of us are either rigging our own alternative desks or we are buying nice pre-built products. Are we on the verge of a massive adoption of standing and treadmill desks or will this max out at as niche group of standers and walkers? I honestly invite your feedback and I’ll give you my opinion in the comments.
Excessive sitting icreases your risk of heart disease by 30%. Insulin works 40% less while sitting. Dang! We’ve got to stand up.
I don’t sell these treadmill desks or any treadmill desks. I just think this is a good introduction to anyone who is new to the idea of treadmill desks. Dr. James Levine is the pioneer of the treadmill desk.
When I talk to people about treadmill desks one of the most popular questions is “can I really work on a treadmill desk?” I think people are picturing a middle aged, overweight, bald man with a sweatband and high tops running on a treadmill while trying to type, talk and tweet. Someday I’ll create a video spoof of that. I walk at 1-2 mph on the treadmill desk. 1 mph is a leisurely stroll at best. Your grandma walks faster than that. When you are walking that slow you can do just about anything on a treadmill desk that you could do seated. Here are a few things.
- Read – I have no problem reading while walking on the treadmill desk. I find I can walk a little quicker while reading a longer article.
- Type – You have to try it to believe it but I have found no issues typing while I walk on the treadmill desk. I do find I rest my wrists on the desk surface while I type. But I don’t think my typing speed or accuracy suffers much (it’s not that great anyway).
- Talk – I’ve carried on full phone conversations while walking on the treadmill desk. The treadmill isn’t loud and I’m not out of breath, so it’s not a problem. I do recommend a hand-free setup for sure. Earbud headphones with a built in mic is how I roll.
- Watch – Watching videos or movies is the ultimate feel-good multitasking while on the treadmill desk. I work on a 24” iMac and pretty close range so I find that I tend to walk toward the back of the tread for the best viewing experience.
Post your experiences in the comments.
Walk it out!
In this interview from earlier this year (little dated as he is now with Google Ventures), Kevin Rose tells tells Fast Company’s Amber Mac how he manages email overload and the benefits, and dangers, of the infamous treadmill desk. http://www.fastcompany.com/1815525/kevin-roses-work-flow-how-cofounder-digg-organizes-treadmill-desk [video]
My wife hates sitting at the computer. She has a couple of hours of work to do on the Mac each day, but she just can’t stand to sit that long in one shot. So I went to work on a solution. She was out of town one week so I bought a used ProForm treadmill on Craigslist and build a few shelves to hold the computer, keyboard, mouse and other stuff. Although it takes up some space, she loves it. She’ll text me so excited that she pounded out 2 miles while updating our finances. Even the kids love it. They walk on it while watching their favorite cartoon. This treadmill desk was the start of my obsession in getting a standing or treadmill desk into every home and company where people are seated all day.