Choosing a Treadmill Desk

On August 30, 2011, in Macbook, Shoot-out, Special Report, Stand, by John Nemerovski

 

Choosing a Treadmill Desk

Guest article by occasional contributor Susan Klement

After a great deal of investigation, I recently purchased a treadmill desk for use with my computer. The decision-making process was more difficult than I expected for many reasons, especially the substantial cost of the equipment I eventually chose. I found a lot of information on the Internet, but much of it, though interesting, was not helpful. Articles discussed the health benefits of walking while computing, how long it took to adjust to walking while working, how to choose a treadmill for runners, how to build a stationary desk adapted to a runner’s treadmill, or how to convince a boss to allow a treadmill desk in the workplace. Nothing I found discussed the information I want to share with you, now that I have several weeks of experience with my equipment: how to decide what kind of treadmill and desk are right for your particular situation. My circumstances likely differ from yours, but the many factors I had to examine will give you clues as to what you need to take into consideration.

The motivation

From the day I was born, I’ve rarely moved a muscle unless forced to do so. Now that I’ve turned 70, aching joints make me all too aware of my sedentary past. My doctor recently gave me a stern warning: “Susan, your bone density numbers are going in the wrong direction.” She urged me to add strength and weight training to my weekly yoga, tai chi and Feldenkrais classes. Yes, I take calcium and vitamin D supplements and I reluctantly do a daily one-mile walk, but this regimen has proved insufficient to improve my osteopenia.

My response was to groan, “After doing all that and flossing my teeth, there will be no time left for anything else.” I want to spend my time in my jewelry studio or on my computer, not exercising. Knowing myself only too well, I decided that I must multitask—exercise while I do other things. Making jewelry doesn’t provide many chances for movement of the larger muscles but the several hours a day I spend on the computer do—if I walk while I read or write. I concluded that I must buy a treadmill desk.

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