Walk and Work: A Guide to Buying a Treadmill Desk


It's likely that your workday involves hours of sitting at your desk. And by spending the majority of your day sitting, you are risking damage to your body and long-term health consequences. Emerging research on the effects of long-term sitting indicates it increases the risks of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and more.

Though the answer to the problem is obvious – less sitting – in reality, the requirements of daily life don’t always make it that simple. You could walk to work if it’s close enough, spend less time parked in front of your television at home, but you still spend 8 hours a day at your work desk.

What is a Treadmill Desk?

One possible solution is a treadmill desk. As the name implies, this is simply a treadmill with a desk or platform mounted onto the front. By walking at a very slow pace (usually 2.5 mph or less) on the treadmill while working, you keep your body moving as it was intended to, get your work done and burn enough calories to potentially lose 10 to 20 or more pounds over several months. Because of the slow, steady speed, it is still easy to work on your laptop, read notes or carry out typical workplace functions. Users of treadmill desks typically report:

  • More energy
  • Increased productivity
  • Less back pain
  • Weight loss

Do You Already Own a Treadmill?

If you already have a treadmill, perhaps gathering dust in the garage or back bedroom, bring it out into the open and use it for your workspace. If you work in an office, make sure management approves of your reformed desk and that there is a nearby electrical outlet for the treadmill.

Once you have your treadmill in place, simply assemble and attach the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk (pictured above) to the front of the treadmill. The TrekDesk has sturdy legs that stand on either side of the treadmill, supporting the C-shaped desktop that gently curves in front of the walker. The height easily adjusts to fit users from 5 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 4 inches tall. The desk has a manuscript holder, three-level file organizer and two cup holders so your water or coffee is never out of reach. The TrekDesk is designed to fit around almost any treadmill, making it easy to get your work and your workout taken care of at the same time.

Is Space an Issue?

If you don’t have a lot of room in your work area, a treadmill that comes with a front-mounted desk will make efficient use of your space. You still must have enough room for a full-size treadmill, but with a unit like the LifeSpan TR-1200 DT, you don’t need extra space to fit the desk.

The LifeSpan includes an award-winning treadmill that has excellent shock-absorbing suspension, a spacious 20-inch by 56-inch walking surface, and a motor that limits treadmill speed to between 0.4 and 4.0 mph for safety purposes. The attached desk has a comfortable, padded wrist/armrest on the front and is large enough to easily hold your laptop or monitor, phone and work necessities. The treadmill controls are located on a small display right below the padded armrest, making it easy to change your speed or stop walking. You can adjust the desk height for your comfort.

Do You Love to Spin?

If walking on a treadmill just isn’t your thing, don’t rule out a workstation that lets you move while getting your computer time logged. The FitDesk Semi-Recumbent Pedal Desk is a unique solution that combines a semi-recumbent exercise bicycle with an attached, padded desk surface that comfortably holds your laptop or tablet during work time.

You might not find it easy to combine cycling with the most writing-intensive jobs, but the FitDesk is perfect for time spent researching, light typing, reading reports and responding to email, or just getting in some motion while playing videogames, watching a movie on your laptop or reading a book. And when you are done working and spinning, the whole thing folds up for easy storage, making the FitDesk ideal for those working in a small home office.

The modern workplace is not designed for bodies that need to move, stretch and bend to remain healthy. If you are like most people and spend the majority of your day sitting, a treadmill desk is an option worth investigating. By standing and moving while you work, you can greatly reduce your risk of many health conditions, as well as improve your mood and energy levels.

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17 Nov 2013

By by Michelle Ullman | Nov 17, 2013