Ever since I read James Levine’s book “Move a little, lose a lot“, I’ve been aware of what sitting all day does to us both physically and mentally.
On way to stay physcially active even in an office job is to get a treadmill desk or a standup desk.
When I heard my online friend Sharyn has got a treadmill desk, I shot her a couple of questions by email.
Here are Sharyn’s answers:
Why did you get a treadmill desk?
In the past couple years, since I’ve been learning internet marketing and building my own business I’ve spent more time sitting on my butt than ever before. The weight has gradually crept up on me (oops! I plumped), so I decided I had to do something about it. I’ve always exercised every day, but that doesn’t make up for the other 23 hours in the day of inactivity. Of course, my secret little chocolate addiction doesn’t help either – no matter how many salads I eat the rest of the time!
I got the idea for the treadmill desk from a conversation that was going on in the Free Weekly Mastermind Group that Dan Morris runs on Facebook. He had been talking about testing out a standing desk. One person chimed in about treadmill desks as an option and told us about another woman who had built her own. I checked out her video and just knew it was my answer. She made a point of saying that this wasn’t a workout alternative, and it isn’t. But it’s helped my back pain enormously. Less sitting means less stiffness and less pain.
How long have you had it?
I’ve only had the treadmill desk for a couple months so far. I made sure I bought it at a place where I could return it if it didn’t work out. So far, so good.
What kind of desk did you get? How much did it cost?
The one I decided on is a Lifespan TR1200 DT. It cost around $1,200 from Best Buy. You can also get something called a Trek Desk, which fits over an existing treadmill. It’s significantly cheaper, so great option if you already have a treadmill you can use. My regular treadmill is in our basement, not a place I want to work! Anyway, we use that for more serious exercise and the noise level is pretty high. My Lifespan model is very quiet and the desk is huge.
What has been your experience with the desk? How many hours per day do you use it?
I’ve been using it 2-3 hours per day, depending on whether I’m working at home that day or what kind of work I’m doing. It’s easy enough to type, read, research, listen to webinars, etc. while on the treadmill. It’s a lot harder to do anything that requires fine motor skills. Sometimes I’ll just pause it and stand there if I need a steady hand. Then I start it up again. You’re only supposed to walk at 1.0 to 1.5 mph, so it’s not as if you’re running and out of breath.
Have you gained more energy/lost any weight?
Gained energy – yes. Lost weight – not really. I’ve found that it really helps in the afternoons when I’m feeling tired and sluggish. Or when my mind just won’t seem to function. Just the act of standing up and moving a little can get my mind back in gear. Think about what happens when you go for a walk outside. Sometimes ideas come to you that you hadn’t thought of while stuck behind your desk. The treadmill desk can have the same effect. As your body moves, you mind starts functioning more efficiently too.
As for weight loss, I’m going to have to kick up my exercise dramatically to get this excess off. In fact, I just ordered the Insanity workout. If you don’t hear from me again soon it’s because I’m still trying to recover. I’ll let you know how it goes. Of course, cutting back on chocolate will help too! 😉
Any advice/tips for people who are thinking of buying a treadmill desk?
This is definitely an acquired taste. My friends just think it’s hysterically funny or look at me like I’m nuts when I tell them about it. Luckily, I could care less what people think so long as it works for me. My advice would be to try setting up a standing desk at first to see how you like working standing up, before you make a big investment. Personally, I didn’t do that because I get more back pain standing still than moving.
Also, I would make sure you buy one from a place where you get some kind of return guarantee. I bought mine from Best Buy because delivery was free and I could return it for free within 30 days with no questions asked. You won’t get that from the Lifespan website.
If you have a treadmill already, you could also try just laying a board across the front and seeing what it’s like. That didn’t work for mine because of the way the handles were curved. Also, it doesn’t have the stability that a free standing desk has.
Lastly, think about whether you want to be able to use the treadmill for other workouts. The Lifespan one won’t go faster than 3.5 mph. Definitely not for workouts. However, you could always get a separate treadmill and something like the TrekDesk that can be moved away when you’re not using it
Is it worth it?
It’s definitely worth it for me since my back pain is dramatically reduced when I make sure I use it. I’ve also increased my work efficiency. I can easily knock out a few good articles in a couple hours of slowly walking and typing at the same time. It helps the words flow. Also, I feel better about listening to too many webinars if I’m walking at the same time!
Sharyn Sheldon is the owner and editor of Business Content PLR, a private label rights site which provides professional quality content for business coaches, internet marketing service providers and small business owners. Her mission is to help people position themselves as experts in their field, market themselves, and help their clients achieve business success – all through the highest quality content. Of course, if that means getting up and walking while she works, then she’ll do that too! You can also follow Sharyn as she blogs about learning to build a successful online business at Sharyn’s Internet Marketing Cafe.