Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Treadmill Desk: Make Millions and write more!

Well okay, you won't make millions.

But about a month ago I became a geeky treadhead. Yep, I'm officially one of those people who uses a treadmill desk. I'd read about Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic whose theory was that we humans are designed to be upright and walking for most of the day. So he developed a treadmill desk (here's a video from Good Morning America about it):





Since I, as a writer, tend to sit for hours and hours and hours, this idea of a treadmill desk kept coming back to me. Finally, I decided to take the plunge. Dr. Levine's desk is $4500 or more, so I frugally made my own (for about $500). I'd read about home built treadmill desks (just Google "treadmill desk" if you want to learn more about treadheads) and followed several fine examples (here's a great blog). I bought a Tempo Evolve treadmill from Canadian Tire, and, oddly enough, the arms on it were perfect for attaching a shelf. It runs quietly and fits nicely into my office. Here's me walking and writing at the same time (no juggling though):




Anyway, I've been using the desk for 25 days straight now. I walk at 1.6 KPH (1 MPH) and do all of my writing, web surfing, gaming, and other work (really gaming is work, kind of) on the treadmill desk. When I talk on the phone, no one notices that I'm walking because my treadmill is so quiet and I'm moving so slow (so I don't sound like a breathless maniac). I've kept track of my "walking" time and my calorie intake (also known as eating) on a website called The Daily Plate which has been very handy. I've walked 83.9 kms (52 miles) in 25 days, averaging 3.3kms (2.05 miles) a day. I've lost 3.17 kg (7 lbs). Yes, I have charts and all sorts of data tracking. I'm a geek. I admit it.

The drawbacks? A bit of soreness in the hip occasionally and some neck pain (I seem to have the monitor in the right place now).

Many people with treadmill desks pick a virtual destination and walk towards it (say a trip across America). Me, I decided to walk across Alexander the Great's empire (yes, I just saw the movie).


View Larger Map

Anyway, this new way of writing is working for me. I certainly am feeling a lot healthier and, oddly enough, I spend more time walking outside instead of driving my car. Now if I could only get my treadmill to power my computer...

Art

16 comments:

vjc said...

According to Popular Science, within 5 years you'll be able to use the energy you give off while walking, running, dancing to recharge your cell phone - maybe you'll figure out how to power your monitor :)

Great idea, Art! I'm impressed.

Arthur Slade said...

I can't wait!!!

Hélène Boudreau said...

What a great idea. I am TOTALLY doing this!

I've got my engineer husband on the case and he's building me a 'station' today. I'll let you know how it turns out. :-)

Arthur Slade said...

Yeah, I'd love to hear how it goes!

Hélène Boudreau said...

Success!

http://www.heleneboudreau.com/?p=631&cpage=1#comment-1470

Thanks for the great idea. :-)

Black Pete said...

Excellent idea. Unfortunately, I will have to wait for retirement before I can truly benefit from it, because my workplace would not likely install such a station.

At least there's home!

Arthur Slade said...

Too bad you're workplace won't do it. I've heard of others who had to jump through hoops, sign waivers, but eventually they got their desk.

Anonymous said...

There is a tremendous amount of information stating that sitting in chairs is slowly robbing our health. I found a number of the reports at a site called TrekDesk.com which manufactures an affordable full sized treadmill desk that is purported to fit nearly any existing treadmill. I am convinced by the medical evidence and when I found out I could buy a TrekDesk for less than $500 I was hooked.

dancilhoney said...

When I go to the gym I don’t have to think about what I am going to do or even keep track of time. best treadmill takes care of it all.

K. Marie Criddle said...

I know this comes pretty late after the original post, but I just made my own treadmill desk! As a YA writer, I got a few friends directing me back to your SCBWI article and blog. Yay for treadheads! Hope you've made it across Greece.
Cheers!

Jen said...

Cool! I think I am getting that one, and actually considering the one from Treadmill Desks

Arthur Slade said...

Congrats K on your treadmill desk!

Welcome to Treadheads United!

Nicky Schmidt said...

This is such an excellent idea!!

Arthur Slade said...

Thanks Nicky!

Heather Gale said...

Did you know that Churchill composed most of his best writing while standing/ walking?

Arthur Slade said...

I didn't know that about Churchill. I'd heard that Lincoln did. And a few writers, of course...