Treadmill desk advice
February 11, 2020 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Do you have experience with treadmill desks? We would consider either purpose made or DIY. Are there any considerations or pitfalls we might not know about? Dr. Advicepig would like to be able to get a little walking in while she spends all that time working on her laptop.
posted by advicepig to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Before I had my son (and gave up my office for his room), I used a treadmill desk. I made it using this method http://www.treadmilldeskdiary.com/setting-up-my-confidence-power-plus-treadmill-for-a-desk/ and created a desk made using the Elfa system from the container store. I was pleased with it.

It's better for typing or watching (e.g. watching tv) than for anything mouse-intensive. Mouse-intensive work would be a little annoying with the motion of walking. Presumably you will dock the laptop to some sort of monitor? I would expect a tiny laptop screen would be annoying to work with, but I've never tried that. I had trouble finding a keyboard I liked that would fit comfortably. My preferred keyboard is a little tall. I can't remember the details of this problem, but it may be related to my height, the height of a computer speaker I needed to attach and my monitor size and how all those balanced out (i.e. I don't think it's a problem that everyone can expect to have).

Most treadmills have a very slight incline (this one did). I found that was very hard on my hip. I put some beanbags under the back legs and periodically "fluffed" them when my hip started getting sore.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:39 AM on February 11


The writer Gretchen Rubin bought her sister one and wrote about it here. If I remember correctly, her sister mostly uses it in tandem with her writing partner while they are talking through ideas and storylines, and they sit at regular desks to do most of their actual intensive writing work. But if Dr. Advicepig spends a lot of the day in calls or virtual meetings, I bet it would be great.
posted by anderjen at 11:45 AM on February 11


Strong recommendation for buying a treadmill that truly suits your all-around requirements and then one of these clamp stands to aftermarket the laptop/device part. If there's not a good place to clamp it to the treadmill itself, you should be able to arrange something with a bit of nearby furniture, cheap bookshelf, or similar.

I can't even walk and chew gum so actual laptopping is lethally dangerous for me, but it works well for a tablet for media consumption.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:07 PM on February 11


I bought one years ago and have not used it as much as I hoped or planned. The main problem is most of my job involves writing/editing and my writing/editing brain simply refuses to engage while I'm walking. It was fine for meetings and the like, but my role is not meeting-intensive right now.

If possible see if there's any way to trial one out for a few days to see if it works for you or not.
posted by jzb at 2:34 PM on February 11


I had one at my office. It was a pretty sweet set up with two monitors and a desktop. I could do a lot of work including detailed work using a turbo mouse. Here are the things you need to know:
  • Make sure that you have plenty of space around the desk so you can get on and off easily
  • do not have a lot of crap to close to the treadmill area. As one of my students said, "what happens if you fall off and concuss yourself? How will I graduate!?"
  • Do work at a real slow speed. My particular treadmill desk was rated for actual jogging and cardio work, which is a way bad idea when doing work. I just ended up doing bursts of exercise without any distraction;
  • Have a separate flat space desk for meeting people and to do certain work that requires spreading things. One of the biggest issues was sitting with people and reviewing material;
  • Just take your time and really think the work process of your day.
  • you can buy treadmill desks on Craigslist. But manufacturers had great deals, too. required simpsons link

posted by jadepearl at 4:43 PM on February 11


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