I Gots A Treadmill Desk!

Remember that treadmill desk I said I wanted for Christmas? Well, I decided to do a Christmas-in-July type of thing and buy a treadmill now.

This is a very very rudimentary set-up, and not the best design I could have created by far. I just like to prove to myself that I’m actually going to use something before I invest a lot of time and money into it. Thus, the used treadmill, the board resting on the treadmill handlebars, and the three-dollar C clamps.

This is a close up picture of my new treadmill desk, showing how a board is clamped to the handlebars and my computer is positioned in the middle of the board.

I got the plywood from Lowes and took advantage of their free wood cutting service to get it cut it to the size I needed. It was a little obvious that the nice man who did the cutting thought my measurements were pretty random, but he didn’t pry. He just did the best job he could with a saw held together by duck tape.

After I demonstrate to myself that I’m actually going to use this thing regularly, then I think I’ll upgrade this setup into a full desk. The board is actually just about the right height for my hands, but with the current position, I’m cranking my head down at a pretty harsh angle to see the screen on my netbook. I believe a future iteration of this desk will involve me positioning a monitor on a shelf in front of the treadmill so that the computer screen is eye level. But as I said, it’ll take a month or so for me to convince myself that this idea is worth further investment.

(On a now somewhat related note: I upgraded the memory on my ACER netbook recently. It took a screwdriver, fifteen minutes, and a $30 memory card. I should have done this two YEARS ago. Much better than spending $300 on a new netbook.)

Now, what have I done with my treadmill desk so far? I’ve written while walking on it. I’ve made telephone calls. I’ve written emails. I even re-watched Disney’s Mulan while walking on it.

Okay, maybe I didn’t walk through the whole movie. I can usually stay walking for about forty-five minutes to an hour before I have to take a break. Keep in mind that I’m walking at a fairly slow pace because I have to be able to type. But it’s still walking, not sitting on my bum.

When I’m writing, I’ve found that sometimes I need to concentrate a bit more, so I stop and sit still until I get those thoughts out. But when I get stuck, it’s nice to hope on the treadmill and walk until the next sentence comes to me. The wait for the next sentence seems shorter on the treadmill too. May be no surprise considering that I tend to pace when solving a problem, and that many of my best ideas come to me when I’m walking.

Whether this will lead to weight loss or a healthier heart, I dunno, and I don’t particularly care either. This thing helps break up the monotony of writing, and while I don’t intend for it to be my sole writing location, I think it will certainly help lubricate the brain folds a bit.

Here’s one more pic. Note the absence of cats. They’re just THRILLED about my new desk.

This is a picture of my new treadmill desk, showing the whole treadmill and how the board clamped to the handlebars is supporting my computer.


  1. Emmie Mears says:

    This is awesome, Meagen!

  2. […] Remember the treadmill desk I built? I’m actually using it. Not as much as I should be maybe, but it’s not collecting dust. […]

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