I just finished building a treadmill walking desk for about $150 and 5 hours. I love it! We humans are such natural walkers, and now I can be a much more natural worker. We weren’t meant to sit for long.
My wife (above) was the first tester!
I got the treadmill off Craigslist locally for $150. All you really need is one that will go 1/2 mile an hour and has sturdy handles. I use:
- Two boards
- A 2′x8′ sheet of pink board insulation foam
- Shock cord
- Tube of glue.
The Good: I’ve used it four times for 30 to 60 minutes at about 3/4 of a mile an hour. I set it at a very slow walk, flat. Basically just shifting your weight from foot to foot. Because it’s slow, and walking uses skills we’ve had for a few million years, I find I can type and mouse with ease. And I find that the time passes very quickly, and I think better. There’s research out there supporting walking desks positive effects, see bottom of Wikipedia Page on Treadmill Desks, or search “Treadmill Desk” on Google. I believe an hour or two a day is something I can achieve, and along with my short walk to work, something that will help me feel better than sitting. Also, I hope to lose some weight that I’ve put on with a new baby in the house.
The Bad: The treadmill is loud, being a cheap one, and 5 or 6 years old. But the hummm is actually kind of like a white noise canceller, and I have headphones if I need them. You can find very quiet walking treadmills for desks though, if you have the money. You can buy used treadmills that have straight handles, which might be easier to work with. Newer used treadmills might be quieter. I wish I had money for a new treadmill like the Signature S100 walking handle-less treadmill. A colleague uses one and likes it, but it’s way too expensive for me. And I’d have the treadmill under a desk that is separate so there’s no shake.
Here’s some how-to photos.
8 pieces of cut foam pink board in a slope, for leg room.
Center board screwed down with cheap Sheetrock screws (short enough not to poke through top). On one side I angled the screws to pull the two pieces of wood together.
Foam glue (Liquid Nails ok too) on the layers of foam and on the wood, then weighted down with rocks for 24hrs+ to dry.
Angled pieces of foam to level the desk because the treadmill handles were angled. I didn’t glue it in, the weight and elastic cord holds it.
Elastic shock cord to hold it down on the treadmill.
Cord pulls on front edge to counter rear weight.
Works well with a laptops, but the screen is low for long usage.
Holds an older iMac, and the screen his higher, for better neck posture.