Meet My Fifteen Dollar Treadmill Writing Desk
- Published: 04/11/2015
I am writing this blog entry at my new treadmill desk, walking two miles per hour. My very handy hubby rigged up this power writing work station for me in under an hour, which includes the trip to the hardware store to buy the wood and claspy thingamajigs required to fasten the board to my existing (and rarely used) treadmill. And it cost about fifteen dollars.
Let me back up and explain how this all came to be. I have Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before, to thank. While reading her excellent book about habits, I learned that she had given a “real” treadmill desk, actually manufactured in a factory, to her sister, who has type one diabetes. Within a few weeks of using the treadmill desk at work, Gretchen’s sister showed a lot of progress in controlling her blood sugar, just from the added benefit of the increased hours of exercise.
As soon as I read that, I knew that this latest and greatest thing was for me. (Please excuse me for a second…I’ll be right back.)
Okay, where was I? I had to take off my sweater and turn down the heat…I’m starting to break a sweat!
Experts have told us for years, that sitting for long periods of time is bad for our health—hence the sweeping ergo dynamic furniture movement that transformed the American workplace. Now medical experts are saying that “sitting is the new smoking.” Scary.
According to the American Heart Association, Americans should walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Most of us are lucky if we reach half of that. Surely my new toy will help me achieve that marker, especially on the days that I typically sit at my computer for hours at a time. And that’s where I find myself now. The first book in my new sweet romance series, Finch’s Crossing, is in the hands of my copy-editor, so I’m starting the second book and have long hours of writing ahead of me.
The jury is still out on the benefits of the treadmill desk; it hasn’t been around long enough for any prolonged scientific studies to be conducted. According to Wikipedia, the treadmill desk was developed just nine years ago by an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. James Levine. He jerry-rigged the first of its kind by fastening a hospital tray to a $400 treadmill.
Fast-forward to the present and the industry is booming, with desks selling for thousands of dollars. I wasn’t about to spend thousands (or even hundreds) of dollars on an actual treadmill desk. (I had to remind myself of the hundreds of dollars of exercise equipment that languishes in various closets around my house.) But a quick visit to YouTube produced a variety of methods for adapting your own treadmill. (You know, that thing in the corner of your bedroom obscured by your bathrobe, weekend jeans, and an old blanket.)
And so, here I am. Now, I admit, this will take some getting used to. Having my head move while I’m looking at the computer screen is a little strange. And I don’t have a good handle on the mouse yet. And the treadmill is in the basement...not my favorite place to be, but that can easily be rectified. But, although I’m currently writing to you from my maiden voyage, so far I’m hooked. In addition to the health benefits is the added benefit of convenience. I don’t have to change my clothes or take time to go to the gym, and I won’t require a shower when I’m done. But that’s not to say that a treadmill desk will or should replace more rigorous exercise. I still plan to play tennis with my husband and meet my friend for a mean game or racquetball—those are fun activities I enjoy. But I also don’t feel so pressured to take a power walk or go for a run a few days a week. While I know these types of exercises are good for me, I am easily bored and my mind almost immediately starts racing with ideas and things on my to-do list. And just a few minutes into my walk/run I wish I was at home being productive.
Bingo. Here I am. At home. Being productive. And exercising!
Postscript: In the time it took to write this (and take two phone calls and look at my email), I walked 2.06 miles. I might just make it to 2.5 by the time I post this on my website and upload a photo.