Monday, June 21, 2010

Treadmill Desk

Just a month or so ago, I was really getting into setting up my new desk station upstairs.  My DH and I have a shared office downstairs - mostly for his business.  I'm his bookkeeper.  His desk faced a window, mine a wall.  I loved moving upstairs - lots of space, tons of windows.  DH hated it. He moaned and groaned and had a couple of very impressive conniption fits.  I finally admitted defeat graciously moved everything back downstairs.  He's very happy.  I'm making the best of it.

The main computer is downstairs.  The old computer is now upstairs.  It's not hooked to the internet.  I attempted networking it, but there were too many issues.  It now has a new purpose - it's part of my treadmill desk.

I first came across this idea in 2006.  I saw a segment on TV about Dr. James Levine.  He was a bigwig at the Mayo Clinic.  His department didn't have sit down desks - they had desks designed around treadmills.  Everyone worked while walking slowly.  You can read a bit about it here or you can do a Google search and come up with tons of articles and videos.

As soon as I saw the idea, I set about figuring out how to convert my treadmill to a desk without spending money.  Here's what I came up with:
2006 treadmill desk at my old house
It was great.  I used it for ages until my treadmill began acting up.  Once I gave up on that treadmill, we were starting to build our house and I didn't have the money to replace it.

After we moved, my parents gave me their treadmill and I used it downstairs watching movies in our spare bedroom.  This past weekend my dear hubby decided that since I had given up my loft desk he would help move the treadmill upstairs.  I had wanted the treadmill upstairs but it's heavy as all get out and I'd given up on getting it up there long ago.  Well, it's there now and it's going to be there for a long, long time.  We were both red faced and breathing heavy by the time we made it up there.

Today, I set up this new treadmill desk.
2010 treadmill desk - draft version - improvements coming soon
 This is version 1.  I love having shelves next to the treadmill, but this oak secretary is not going to stay.  I'm going to use the wood shelf that's in the 2006 picture instead.  But it's ugly.  I think if it's painted cream it will look much better.

So what am I doing while I walk my way to buns of steel?  I am scanning!  I have a zillion magazine pictures that I've saved for ages and I want them on my computer, not in folders and drawers.  I had so much fun scanning today that I walked for an hour and a half.  My buns aren't steel yet.  They are more like jello, but by the time I finish scanning all my pictures, they should have a little less jiggle.

Back when I first set up a treadmill desk, people would ask me all the time how I could focus on the computer while walking.  Dr. Levine says to just walk slowly, even one mile per hour is good.  If you stay in front of a computer for awhile, the benefits will add up.  The article says that in an hour you can burn 100 extra calories while walking 1 mph as compared to sitting in a chair.  I find that I can work just fine even at 2 miles per hour.  At times I speed it up even more.  It all depends on what task I'm doing.

2010 treadmill desk - place for keyboard and mouse
To set up your own treadmill desk, you just need to figure out where to put the keyboard and the monitor.

You can rest a couple of boards across the treadmill arms for the keyboard and mouse.  I screwed a couple of scraps of wood underneath so the boards would stay put.  I'll probably improve on this setup, but for now I was using what was handy.  The two main boards are covered in fabric - they were once part of an elaborate window treatment.  I really would prefer one nice smooth board that's a little longer. 

The monitor can sit on something tall in front of the treadmill.  If you have a laptop the setup is even easier.

The basket is for one of my cats - Sissy.

Sissy is very intelligent.  Here she is a few years ago watching one of her favorite shows - Meerkat Manor
  Sissy loves hanging out while the treadmill is going.  She developed that habit back in 2006 and today when she saw what I was doing, she got very excited.  She walked all over the treadmill, keyboard, shelf, etc, checking everything out.  She was very vocal about it, too.  She definitely approves. The basket is one of her favorites, but today she clearly preferred sitting on the keyboard.

2010 treadmill desk - temporary spot for scanner
  Here's a better view of the scanner.  The secretary is not flat on top and it's not the right size for the printer.  But I'm impatient and did not want to wait til the more suitable shelf is painted.  I plopped an old window shutter on top.  The printer/scanner sits there just fine and I can make do.  Watch for more posts in the future as I continue to improve my setup!

I have linked this post to the following parties:
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Showcase at The DIY Show Off
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple
Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T.
Made By Me Monday at Creative 2x Mom


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