Many people like the idea of losing almost sixty pounds in a year by making a treadmill desk. According to author Hanne Blank, (“The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise”) the treadmill desk was the brainchild of Dr. John
Levine at Mayo Clinic. The treadmill desk enables those with a lower level of functional fitness or workers who sit all day to stand and walk on a treadmill while performing computer or phone tasks. The most popular constructs pair treadmill desk Ikea shelf designs.
According to Randy Raugh, MPT, (“Prime for Life: Functional Fitness for Ageless Living“) functional fitness prepares the body to perform its normal repetitive movements, such as walking, lifting, bending or climbing. Exercise physiologists believe that one of the best ways to prepare the body to walk is–actually–walking.
Standing to treadmill desk
Performing daily work tasks at a standing desk or a ‘moving’ desk, such as the treadmill desk, is a relatively painless way to attain functional fitness. Because the body uses more calories to stand, the standing desk could be considered a transitional step towards the treadmill desk. According to Dr. Uri Simonsohn of Stanford University, “90 percent of people would be happier with a standing desk than with a sitting desk. In the future we will wonder why people sat for centuries when standing is a much more natural pose for humans.”
Of those 90 percent of people happier standing at a desk, Dr. Simosohn says “at least 25 percent of people would be happier with a treadmill desk than with a standing desk.”
Although many people are generally pleased with standing desk designs, the main problems people cite with them include: small work space; vibration of monitors (due to small space); and ugly design.
Editors Phil Jergenson, Richard Jergenson, and Wilma Keppel, (“How To Build With Grid Beam”) the ideal exercise or treadmill desk combines the computer (or workstation) and exercise bike or treadmill. Some enlightened employers offer them to workers as a cost and time-efficient way to get into better shape. “Sustained, low intensity exercise” such as walking on a treadmill or pedaling an exercise bike, burns approximately 100 extra calories per hour. According to reports, “shedding 10 to 16 pounds per month using exercise desks” is an easy way to get fit. The editors recommend adding a low cost grid beam to attach a shelf to a treadmill from Ikea instead of purchasing more expensive and ready-made treadmill desk furniture. But, if you would rather purchase a treadmill desk than buy one. Make sure to check out this article on treadmill desk reviews.
Treadmill motor and speeds
In order to use a treadmill desk for several hours each day, make sure that the treadmill will run at low speeds for long periods of time. Some build your own treadmill desk writers suggest buying a cheap cast-off treadmill for the purpose. Add a treadmill tune-up to the budget, in any case, to ensure that the treadmill motor does not burn out.
The average treadmill speed reportedly used by at least a dozen advocates of treadmill desk weight loss say that the speed should be at least 0.7 to 1.4 miles per hour. Increasing treadmill speed too quickly may cause profuse sweating or discomfort.
Sit less and walk more
Patrick Reynolds (“Knowledge Workers Survival Guide”) urges sitting workers to get more exercise. He says that humans need from 3.5 to 5 hours of walking each day and that treadmill desks are more popular each year. He predicts that they treadmill desk will be “completely normal” in just ten years. By walking more and sitting less, back pain, stiffness, and so-called signs of aging are reduced.
Obviously, sitting to perform work is an occupational hazard for some people. Let’s take a look at the average writer/editor who spends at least several hours performing research. He uses several monitors and keeps many browsers open at once. An extended keyboard and track pad is used for notetaking. Occasional exercise occurs when the writer turns around in his seat to use a whiteboard. Because the writer uses so much space, building a larger custom treadmill desk is necessary he makes a commitment to adding movement several hours a day.
Arranging a smaller treadmill layout is possible if the worker bunches certain kinds of activities into a known time period each day. If the user gets on his treadmill desk Ikea while surfing, shopping, or playing games, he will still burn up to 300 extra calories. Extra exercise may clear his head and encourage a new research collection process!
Inexpensive DIY treadmill desk project
Many folks have a treadmill at home that hasn’t been used for years. Some of the older, larger models have large handgrips. To make a cheap treadmill desk, use an IKEA shelf. Look for these at yard sales and consignment stores if one is not lying about in the garage. The lines of the IKEA shelf make it easiest to keep firmly affixed to the treadmill.
Simply lay the IKEA shelf across the treadmill bars. For example, if the shelf used is solid (at least one-inch thick by 12-inch depth) and at least four feet long, it will make a sturdy, spacious work desk. For example, the desk will support a notebook of at least 13 inches. Use a deeper shelf–at least 18 inches–to support a larger notebook computer.
If the treadmill bars slope down instead of straight across, adjust the angle by adding triangles (affixed to the shelf bottom to counter the bar angle to create a flat typing surface). Use Velcro to add handle strips, placing a few beneath the shelf and on top of the treadmill work space. This additional security step keeps the treadmill desk firmly positioned as the treadmill motor (with human feet in use) creates vibrations.
Assuming the user already has a treadmill and IKEA shelf, the cost used to outfit the treadmill with a treadmill desk is less than $20 (screws, Velcro, and an hour or less to measure, cut and assemble).
Using the treadmill desk
Most advocates report that little to no adjustment is required to get the functional exercise benefits of a treadmill desk. Other reports propose that even an hour per day at the treadmill desk is enough to improve the user’s circulation and health. Author Patrick Reynolds says that regular movement will change the body, even if the individual cannot immediately walk at least 3.5 hours a day. Because the body is accustomed to walking without thought, there is no need to learn a new machine or exercise, buy workout gear, or get to the exercise studio. In fact, the beauty of the treadmill desk is that it is easy to work while walking: speaking on the phone, drinking a beverage, or typing at the computer are immediately possible. Just make sure to step off the treadmill carefully: returning to terra firma can cause a heady sensation!
Image: Flickr / torbakhopper