Making Phone Calls from Your Treadmill Desk at Work
Talking on Your Feet
At a gentle 1 – 2 mph pace on a treadmill desk, multitasking and productivity are at their peak. At these slow speeds, it’s easy to read, type, and yes, talk on the phone. But before you start doing walking conference calls, follow these guidelines to make your phone conversations even more pleasant.
If you don’t already use a telephone headset or Bluetooth earpiece, now would be a good time to invest in one. For stability and safety, plus the convenience of continuing to be able type with both hands while walking, a good headset is a must. Make sure to get one with a good noise-cancelling microphone to cut out as much of your background treadmill noise as possible.
You might want to install a post at the front edge or side edge of your desk for hanging your headset when you’re not on the phone, and definitely make sure to install some posts for securing the long cable so that it doesn’t get between you and your keyboard when you’re walking and typing. Better yet, get a wireless headset.
Silence is Golden
Noise is an obvious side effect of treadmill desks, and can distract and annoy the person on the other line. We’ve written about how to isolate noises from your treadmill workstation, and you can follow those steps to mitigate treadmill desk noise. Start by selecting a quiet treadmill base, like iMovR’s ThermoTread GT. Try to avoid treadmills with loud fans, like LifeSpan’s TR5000, which clocks in at nearly 50 decibels – not loud enough to drown you out, but still a distraction risk. Also make sure you have a pair of sneakers by your treadmill: in addition to being more comfortable for walking, they also muffle the sound of your footfalls. If you use a fan at your treadmill desk make sure that it is positioned in such a way as to not blow directly on your face and cause wind noise across your microphone. The ideal location for a wind tower in fact is by the left or right back corner of your treadmill desk so that getting a breeze on your face is never an issue.
An interesting physiological dynamic about walking and talking is that your voice can boom across at least 20% louder than normal simply because your lungs are opened up more, your breathing is deeper and your pulse is higher when you’re walking. Surprisingly enough this can have a positive effect on your phone call efficiency!
Some users report their phone calls are shorter and more productive when they are walking; that they are less likely to get into a lull of “uh-huhs” when they’re feeling like they have someplace to go, and that this imperative comes across to the person on the other line very subtly. Some users also like to slow the treadmill down to less than 1.0 mph when on the phone – or halt the treadmill completely – either because they find themselves breathing too heavily or because they want to concentrate more intently on the conversation they are having.
If you want to get a personal feel for using a treadmill to make sure it will work for you, you should read our article on guidance to see how you can test one out for yourself.