I have been contemplating trying out a treadmill desk for about six months now, and finally took the plunge. For those who don’t know what a treadmill desk is, it is basically a treadmill with a shelf or desk surrounding the treadmill that is comfortable to use while walking on the treadmill. I know it sounds like a totally crackpot idea to those who haven’t heard of it or seen it in action. But it is pretty amazing!
Americans spend a lot of time at work, and that work is usually sitting down. That sedentary working is helping contribute to larger waistlines. And I should know, I’ve been a computer database analyst for awhile now, and don’t move around very frequently while I am working. My waistline has expanded several sizes. Most days I work quite a few hours as well. When I get off work I do workout, but not as much as I should.
How can I burn extra calories while working?
So I had been watching myself get larger from my sedentary ways, and have been looking for a solution. I came across a video on Youtube from Dr. Levine of the May Clinic speaking about an innovative way to lose weight while working. The solution is walking slowly on a treadmill while working. I know it sounds crazy, but it is actually quite doable. I have been doing this at home for about two months now, while I work on my graduate degree homework, and you quickly stop thinking about the treadmill once you get engrossed in your work. The speed I operate at is about 1.7 MPH. But some testimonials I’ve seen online show people operating at the 2.3 – 3.0 MPH or higher range. I don’t recommend it, because at faster speeds there is more chance of getting sweaty which is not something you want at work, and you also don’t want to be out of breath when talking on the phone or to co-workers. At 1.4-1.7 MPH that is normal walking speed and most likely won’t cause you to sweat. You can tailor it of course to your own needs.
I haven’t brought my treadmill to work yet, but after using it extensively at home for two months I am ready. The treadmill I use is a Sole F80 and it is a whisper quiet so it shouldn’t interfere with the people in surrounding offices. I will have to keep a pair of walking shoes at the office, because work shoes aren’t padded well for standing on your feet all day. I have seen tutorials of people using plywood and making their own desk surface and propping it on the handlebars, but I used an inexpensive Surfshelf that I ordered from Amazon for my treadmill desk setup. The Surfshelf is a rather simple shelf made of hard plastic that fits just about any exercise equipment. It has two adjustable straps that allow it to safely hold a laptop onto a treadmill and the two straps can be configured for just about any configuration out there. At work I would look at raising my existing desk or possible purchasing a TrekDesk to get more surface space, for a phone, paperwork and desktop computer monitor, but for now my setup is adequate.
Surprisingly enough walking at just 1.7MPH for 8 hours will burn a substantial amount of calories, multiply these calories by a full year of walking at work and you could lose 50 pounds or more. Of course, always consult a doctor before starting any exercise regimen. If you’d like to learn more about treadmill desks I found a useful blog that has a fair amount of content.