How to Stay Hydrated and Avoid Sweating While Using Your Treadmill Desk

December 25, 2022
If all you do is sit in a chair all day you'll need to drink at least 8 cups of water to stay healthy. Whether you exercise or just use a treadmill desk you'll want to up that quantity.

Raise a Glass (of H20) For Your Health

Staying properly hydrated is incredibly important for so many bodily functions. Water transports vital nutrients to your cells, regulates your body temperature, rids your body of waste and toxins, and performs several other functions that keep you alive and healthy. Athletes know the importance of staying hydrated during exercise: muscle spasms, weakness, and kidney failure are all severe consequences of dehydration. But while treadmill desks aren’t “exercise machines,” and you shouldn’t be sweating buckets like you do at the gym, users are still susceptible to dehydration if they don’t remember to drink an adequate amount of water. To avoid negative effects like headaches, nausea, and lethargy, treadmill desk users need to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

The first step of course is having a ready source of hydration. Water coolers are the natural answer, and a staple in any workplace. Heading to the water cooler every 20 minutes also gets you on your feet more often, as do the bathroom breaks that inevitably result. But if your office watering hole is more than just a hop, skip, and a jump from your desk, consider carrying your own water bottle. Having a source of H20 on your desk at all times will help you get into the habit of rehydrating while at work.

We’re Gushing Over This Water Bottle

Hydracoach Water Bottle
The HydraCoach Water Bottle makes it easy to track your water consumption, and make sure that you’re pacing yourself to down enough water every day for optimal health

While we can all agree that drinking water is important, few of us actually remember to take that drink throughout the day. By the time our bodies tell us they’re thirsty, it’s already too late. To keep your body properly hydrated before suffering any negative consequences, you can set a reminder for yourself to drink an extra glass of water every hour or so (more if you feel thirsty or develop headaches). One of the easiest ways we found to accomplish this is with a “smart” water bottle like the HydraCoach. This nifty gadget calculates your personal hydration needs and then tracks your fluid consumption in real time, pacing and motivating you to meet a personal hydration goal each day.

When it comes to how much water to drink, there isn’t a universal answer. While studies agree that the average person needs at least eight glasses (64 oz.) of water a day, this target will change depending on your weight and your fitness levels. A good rule of thumb is to add an extra cup of water for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage that you consume, as they are diuretics. Of course, you should always consult with your doctor or personal trainer, if you’re lucky enough to have one, to find out your ideal hydration goal before getting started. Remember that drinking too much water can present with very real and deadly effects (called dilutional hyponatremia, or water intoxication), though that’s not a problem for most people. Treadmill deskers, especially ones who spend the majority of their workday on their feet, will generally need more water than their coworkers, though not as much as an athlete.

We’re also Big Fans of Wind Towers

While the idea of using a treadmill desk is to increase your Basal Metabolic Rate without sweating, the fact is that after some period of time, usually 30 to 60 minutes, your core body temperature will start to rise slightly. Most treadmill-desk users have a fan set up to gently move the air around them, typically on the lowest speed setting.

Of course the climate both indoors and out can affect the amount of water being evaporated away through the skin, breathing, etc. So keep in mind that when walking at a treadmill desk – even at 1 – 2 mph – your body will be evaporating more water than usual.

Using a quiet tower fan on its lowest setting will typically keep you just cool enough to not break a sweat even after walking for a couple of hours
Using a quiet tower fan on its lowest setting will typically keep you just cool enough to not break a sweat even after walking for a couple of hours

Cheap fans will do the job, but you may find they take frequent tinkering with to get the breeze just right, and that may get in the way of your productivity. The best solution by far is to invest in a wind tower, such as the Ozeri Ultra 42-in. Adjustable Oscillating Tower Fan with Noise Reduction Technology or SoleusAir 35-in Tower Fan with Remote control.

We use both of these wind tower models at WorkWhileWalking and can report that they do a great job keeping us pleasantly cool while being barely noticeable in the background. These towers have remote controls so you can make adjustments to their strength and direction without getting off your treadmill. They have multiple fans in them so they can cool your entire body at once, which is what you really want. They’re also generally a lot quieter and look a lot nicer than typical desk fans.

If you want to burn extra calories in the winter time (when most of us get less exercise in our lives), then consider not heating the space where you have your treadmill desk. Wear a sweater until your core body temperature rises to the point where you can strip it off and be completely comfortable. You’ll save energy, too!

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