If you’ve already decided you’d rather buy a commercially-produced treadmill desk than try to build one yourself go ahead and skip to our Integrated Treadmill Desk Reviews section. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself (“DIY”) type willing to mix and match the best treadmill base with the best adjustable-height desk for your needs then we highly recommend you read this entire chapter before proceeding.
Need even more inspiration? Don’t forget to check out the DIY Examples on our Pinterest board where dozens of bloggers have put up pictures and descriptions of their own homemade treadmill desk workstations.
We’ll tell you what you need to know to build a really solid treadmill desk, but it might be a good idea to take a look at some examples of others’ first, just to see what not to do. Some will appear to be properly engineered, stable, ergonomically correct and decently aesthetic. Those are, to be candid, rare to find. More likely you’ll see contraptions built out of scrap lumber that are dangerously unstable with horrendously bad ergonomic settings, but are really, really cheap.
If you’ve looked at some examples on the web and you still can’t fight the urge to build your own, read on for valuable advice on the best methods of building a treadmill desk that will last a long time, be safe to operate, will look really good in your home or office, will improve typing accuracy, and probably cost you slightly less than a commercially-built unit.
Walking Treadmills vs. Running Treadmills
The first mistake most DIYers make is buying the cheapest treadmill they can find on Craigslist, or using an old one they already own. Like dining out in New York City, the price of the product is not necessarily an accurate reflection of its quality.
Many very fancy, feature-rich treadmills would make a terrible choice for a treadmill desk. The reason is that running treadmills are designed for short-duration, high speed use, and their drivetrain is geared specifically for that kind of use pattern. They have insufficient torque for slow walking speeds and are susceptible to damage if used this way. A true office [...]
After choosing the treadmill base, selecting the right desk is the next most important decision you’ll need to make in configuring your treadmill desk workstation. The first question is will you need an adjustable-height desk or will a fixed-height desk do the job? In other words will you be the only user or will this treadmill desk be shared by two or more people (not counting identical twins)?
If you are to be the only person using your treadmill desk and you only plan to use it for walking – that is, you already have a sitting desk you plan to keep and are willing to move your stuff back and forth every time you switch from [...]
We’ve recently added this long-awaited section on Ergonomic Keyboards and Keyboard Trays to our DIY guide, to help users figure out the best ergonomic keyboard setting for their treadmill desk or standing desk – or for that matter, their sitting desk.
Along with this general guidance article we’ve begun publishing the first reviews in these categories. The Humanscale Keyboard System achieved a 5-star rating for its offering of the ultimate keyboard tray with over 159,000 custom variants and 15-year warranty. Also offering a wide range of keyboard trays is 3M, with the AKT60LE Keyboard Tray reviewed. Ergotron, which makes our favorite monitor arms for [...]
See our Standalone Desk product reviews section for all the information you’ll need to select the best desk for your workstation. Things you’ll want to pay particular attention to include:Stability. Most desks being promoted for use with treadmills are engineered to resist shaking too much when your swaying body makes contact with the desk. There are some desks, however, which have inherently poor lateral stability (e.g. the TrekDesk) so be sure to read through the reviews before plunking down cash. Fit. Obviously the desk will need to fit in the space you have available, but you’ll also want to note where the desks legs meet the floor and make sure the treadmill [...]
Relax, a swarm of snakes has not spontaneously decided to attack your desk. Nor has a forest of exceptionally flexible bamboo sprung up around its legs – no, fellow deskers, what you’re seeing is a workstation in dire need of some cable management.
Keeping your spaghetti straight is important no matter how you’re working. Carefully organizing cables helps keep track of what powers what, makes the office a safer place, and keeps your workstation neat and efficiently arranged. Besides, it just looks nice – well kept cables are pretty enough to have inspired a borderline-fetishist group of cable control enthusiasts (welcome to the internet).
And that’s only for a [...]