DIY Treadmill Desk Guide
WorkWhileWalking has been the #1 resource for DIY treadmill desk enthusiasts for almost as long as the concept has been around. We’ve helped thousands of users customize their own treadmill desk workstations, and we’re here to help you, too. The articles collected here feature our best advice on the subject—but the expertise doesn’t stop there. If you’re still looking for guidance after reading through our DIY guides don’t hesitate to ping us on LiveChat (or call us) to talk to a DIY pro!
In these articles we offer up all 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. As DIYers ourselves we can certainly appreciate the desire to “just get something going” without doing a lot of research and planning first, but trust us, when it comes to building your own treadmill desk, a little bit of advance planning will go a long way towards making it a successful experience.
Of course if you decide to go the conventional route and buy a commercially-produced treadmill desk, be sure to check our all our reviews, starting with the comprehensive Integrated Treadmill Desk Reviews. Or, if you already have a good, stable, height-adjustable desk, check out our comprehensive Standalone Office Treadmill Base Reviews to complete your system. And if you’ve already got the base but need a good desk that’ll reach high enough, and be stable enough for using in a walking desk workstation setup, check our our comprehensive Standing Desk Reviews.
Need some more inspiration on building your ideal treadmill desk setup? Check out the DIY examples on our Pinterest board where dozens of bloggers have put up pictures and descriptions of their own workstations.
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 [...]
Turns out there’s more to an active workstation than a standing desk or an office treadmill. Getting out of your chair is a great first step, but you want to make sure your arms and hands don’t wind up paying the price. Typing ergonomics might seem complex at first, but they’re actually quite simple, and incredibly important. Give some thought as to how much time you spend typing in a workday. For the average American computer worker it equates to somewhere between 300,000 and 1.4 million keystrokes a year. So, don’t underestimate the importance of typing equipment, you’ll be [...]
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 [...]