Software Quality

January 29, 2013

Update on treadmill desk use

Filed under: Health and Exercise — David Allen @ 7:34 pm

I have now been using my treadmill desks for over a year. I have continued to use it on and off throughout the year. I find that sometimes I’m in the mood for walking and sometimes I’m not. So I keep an ordinary desk next to the treadmill desk so I can sit down when I feel tired. It’s funny how you get used to something. I often have breakfast standing up and walking on the treadmill desk while I read the news. This is not as difficult as you would think since I’m normally going a half a mile an hour.

As usual, I’m dictating this post while I’m strolling on the treadmill. I seem to have adapted to the equipment totally. I can step on and off of it with comfort and confidence even while it is moving. I’m not recommending this. That’s a legal disclaimer so somebody does not sue me. I’m not responsible for any accidents you have because you may be uncoordinated.

At this point, I really don’t have anything dramatic or interesting to report. I use the treadmill desk sometimes. And sometimes I don’t. It works just fine. I hardly think about it anymore.

Just to set your expectations to a realistic level: I’ve not lost any weight since I bought the treadmill desk and started using it. However, if it really is bad for you to sit down for several hours every evening after sitting at a desk job most of the day, then this treadmill desk is a good thing for me. It allows me to read the news, check my email, and possibly read a book online or watch a movie while taking a stroll.


  1. Could you use the treadmill at a somewhat higher pace, say 1 to 2 mph? At a little faster clip, you might get a little more exercise out of it. Also do you generally feel better, more fit, more energetic?

    Just curious.

    Comment by Thomas — January 31, 2013 @ 5:28 am

    • oh sure. We can go much faster. But for typing and mousing, I prefer to stay below 1 MPH. I’m typing this response while walking 1 MPH. In contrast, when I a watching training videos, I may go 2 MPH because I don’t need to type much.

      As to my overall feelings after doing it for a year, I don’t know whether the treadmill desk makes that much difference for me. I have a regular workout plan which, although modest, is much more intense than strolling and typing. I do strength training a couple of days a week and use an elliptical machine for 30 minutes at 134 BPM a couple days a week. But my original motivation was that research that said sitting down for long periods is bad for you. And I come home from a desk job and sit at the computer reading news and email, and programming for several hours. So I figured even if I get 30 minutes a day at night on the treadmill desk, in addition to my regular workout, it’s much better than sitting.

      Comment by David Allen — January 31, 2013 @ 7:35 am

  2. David, great minds think alike! I swapped my desk for a walkstation about two weeks ago. I heard John Medina, Brain Rules, speak, and besides, sitting in a desk in the home office was a stress on my back and a sleep-inducing activity in the afternoon. I’ve got a basic station that I found on It’s good enough for now, but I think this current version will be perceived as the brick cell phone plus battery pack of the 80s or 90s, whenever that was. I can read fine, and generally respond to emails and all that. I find it difficult to read and annotate the text while I’m on the treadmill, mainly because I’d like to alter the work surface a little bit.

    For desk-like activity, I’m trying to use a stability ball. I had to find a lower work surface. The alternative is to find a taller stability ball, and at some point a more adaptable desk.

    Agreed, an hour can go by, and you don’t even realize your body has been moving the whole time. I’m connecting to my inner Savannah-dwelling ancestors! Cheers

    Comment by Rich Giambrone — January 31, 2013 @ 8:44 am

    • With weather like we had today, I wish we really WERE in the Savannah 😉

      Comment by David Allen — January 31, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

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