My First Week with My New Treadmill Desk: A Scintillating Report!

August 7, 2020

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Thrillionth Page Cat

Many thanks to Carolyn Crane for this contribution to our blog. A popular romance and fantasy author, Carolyn has been desking for a little under a month, and graciously allowed us to post an account of her first walking week. 

DIY treadmill desk setupSo I recently got a new treadmill desk, and I wanted to talk about it, because it’s kind of fun and exciting and also, a lot of people have been asking me about it.

I got the idea from my BFF Jeffe Kennedy, who has written about her desk here. I was talking with her just before Christmas and she told me how many miles she puts on it a day. That kind of sold me.

Like Jeffe, I have a straight job where I spend tons of time at my desk, (freelance marketing writer) and when you put that together with writing novels, I’m sitting a good 12 hours a day, which is apparently Very Deadly, according to many articles. Even though I run outside when it’s not snowy, it’s still bad.

So, I splurged on this treadmill desk. Because, even at $1500, a treadmill desk is a lot cheaper than the chronic degenerative diseases that the articles warn about, that was my rationale. After a bit of research, I chose this manual crank table ($479) and this treadmill ($999).

It’s been one week with it up and running, and I already know it was a good investment. At first, I felt like I could only read and email and brainstorm while on it, not do full-blown creative writing. But the last few days, I’ve been doing lots of copywriting work on it. Yesterday I wrote a whole big piece I had due, and when I was done, I’d walked 2 miles, and it was nothing. So I’m really excited. I can see writing books on here. I am now on it as I type these very words!

DIY Desktop Riser SetupI have my low desk next to it, as you see from this picture, complete with my overlord, bathed in golden light, as befitting his station in life.

If I had a different kind of space, I might roll the treadmill out of the way and crank the table down when I want to sit (the crank is really easy to use) but that’s not the kind of space I have (corner of living room).

A few random things:

– At night after dinner, I typically go back to work. It used to be that when I felt tired, I’d eat some chocolate for energy. Now I hop on the treadmill desk and work there for a bit, and it perks me up. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat chocolate for dessert, but not as an energy thing and not as much.

– I go on and off it; that is, I don’t do one big push. That really works for me. Yesterday I felt like I hardly used it at all, and at the end of the day when I turned it off, I had over 4 miles on there, just from popping on now and then when the mood struck.

– It actually has worked when I’m stuck with a project or super bored, as a change of scenery.

– I tried using it in my bare feet, but it was kind of hard on the soles of my feet after a while. [Safety tip: stick to shoes. While barefoot movements have been gaining steam of late, they’re not really meant for deskers. Treadmill belts are not easy on the feet, and barefoot walking can increase the odds of discomfort, fatigue, and infection.]

– Jeffe suggested I work up my speed, starting slow and increasing. Right now, I’m going 1.8 mph. That feels about right. When I go super slow, it’s almost harder. If I was on a phone call, I’d likely go faster.

– This might be overall harder than regular walking. Sometimes when I use it a lot, I really feel it. I am in reasonable shape and I can walk miles outside without getting tired, but this thing uses slightly different muscles, it seems.

Lifespan Treadmill Desk Power Console There is this plastic key thing that you stick in the console and it has a clip on the end of a cloth cord, and it mystified me for the longest time. The cat played with it a lot. Then one day my treadmill wouldn’t go, and I noticed the key thing had been pulled out. So I stuck it back in and the treadmill worked again. So I’m now thinking you are supposed to clip it to yourself, and if you forget to keep walking…does it stop the treadmill before you fall off the end? I don’t know. The image is kind of funny. Whatever. Like I’m going to clip myself to the console. Not. [WorkWhileWalking agrees with Carolyn on this – safety clips make sense with running treadmills, but aren’t as necessary for deskers]

– It’s kind of too bad I’m sort of a healthy eater, because I was thinking, walking on this thing, I could really chow down on pizza and french fries and not gain weight.

– I was worried the cats would claw the tread, and I had evil plans to turn it on if they did, but so far, no clawing, Though Oblio is completely baffled by it. Tiberius doesn’t much care.

Okay, just working on this post and taking a client call and doing some emailing, I have walked 2.01 miles. Yeah! Now I’ll change gears and sit for a different project.


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