Tag Archives: How-to

Treadmill Desk

As I write this post to you, dear readers, I am standing and walking forward at 0.6 miles per hour. Well, I would be if I were writing from Raleigh rather than Chapel Hill visiting my family where I have no such treadmill desk. For the moment, let’s imagine that I am doing now what I have been doing for the past week and there are no unusual circumstances screwing things up.

I have wanted a treadmill desk ever since I learned of their existence years and years ago. The problem? They’re expensive. They generally run around $1000 on average. At a minimum (from a cursory glance at Amazon) they’re about $800. Even for a purchase for my health that felt steep.  Then my roommate Joe announced that he had acquired a treadmill desk for $200.  How did he do it? He took advantage of the fact that, in the end, a treadmill desk is just a treadmill under a standing desk. The cheapest treadmill on Amazon goes for $200 and with a little work can have its arms removed so that it slides neatly under most tables. Then stack up some (relatively stable) boxes and crates to make a standing desk and voila! For more details you can consult this guide.

Let me tell you about owning and regularly using a treadmill desk: It’s tiring. The first few days I would walk for a few hours working and feel like my feet were going to fall apart. I got used to it eventually, but I still take my computer down to the side of my table for a simple sitting desk now and then.

One issue with this treadmill desk that has actually turned out to be an advantage of sorts is that the treadmill itself is so cheap that it only has one timer setting – thirty minutes – that cannot be turned off. I will be working for a while getting into what I’m doing when suddenly GLOMP I stumble forward on my abruptly motionless treadmill. Sounds pretty annoying, right?

Well, it turns out that I tend to get absorbed in activities, so having a literal jerk back into reality every thirty minutes can be terrifically helpful. In particular playing Civilization 5 recently I would say I’d play for an hour (two GLOMPs) so I would play until the second GLOMP at which point I would be reluctant to pull away just yet from my attempts to convince Luxembourg to join my empire, so I would start the treadmill again and say I’d stop playing when I’d annexed Luxembourg. Of course by the time I’ve achieved that goal, a few more are just within my reach, so it is very difficult for me to stop playing until GLOMP I stumble forward again and say “all right, that’s enough.”

Stay tuned for another entry today on my recent foray into ChefScript.

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