Treadmill Walking Desk. Under $200. DIY How-To and First Week Results of Usage


I just finished building a treadmill walking desk for about $150 and 5 hours. I love it! We humans are such natural walkers, and now I can be a much more natural worker. We weren’t meant to sit for long.
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My wife (above) was the first tester!

My wife and I at our desks

My wife carrying our 7-month old son on the treadmill.  I’m at my sit down desk which I also use.

I got the treadmill off Craigslist locally for $150. All you really need is one that will go 1/2 mile an hour and has sturdy handles. I use:

  • Two boards
  • A 2’x8′ sheet of pink board insulation foam
  • Screws
  • Shock cord
  • Tube of glue.

The Good: I’ve used it four times for 30 to 60 minutes at about 3/4 of a mile an hour. I set it at a very slow walk, flat. Basically just shifting your weight from foot to foot. Because it’s slow, and walking uses skills we’ve had for a few million years, I find I can type and mouse with ease. And I find that the time passes very quickly, and I think better. There’s research out there supporting walking desks positive effects, see bottom of Wikipedia Page on Treadmill Desks, or search “Treadmill Desk” on Google. I believe an hour or two a day is something I can achieve, and along with my short walk to work, something that will help me feel better than sitting. Also, I hope to lose some weight that I’ve put on with a new baby in the house.

The Bad: The treadmill is loud, being a cheap one, and 5 or 6 years old. But the hummm is actually kind of like a white noise canceller, and I have headphones if I need them. You can find very quiet walking treadmills for desks though, if you have the money. You can buy used treadmills that have straight handles, which might be easier to work with. Newer used treadmills might be quieter. I wish I had money for a new treadmill like the Signature S100 walking handle-less treadmill.  A colleague uses one and likes it, but it’s way too expensive for me. And I’d have the treadmill under a desk that is separate so there’s no shake.

Here’s some how-to photos.

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8 pieces of cut foam pink board in a slope, for leg room.

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Center board screwed down with cheap Sheetrock screws (short enough not to poke through top). On one side I angled the screws to pull the two pieces of wood together.

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Foam glue (Liquid Nails ok too) on the layers of foam and on the wood, then weighted down with rocks for 24hrs+ to dry.

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Angled pieces of foam to level the desk because the treadmill handles were angled. I didn’t glue it in, the weight and elastic cord holds it.

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Elastic shock cord to hold it down on the treadmill.

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Cord pulls on front edge to counter rear weight.

treadmill walking desk diy how to - 09Notched the corners to hold the cord better.

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Works well with a laptops, but the screen is low for long usage.

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Holds an older iMac, and the screen his higher, for better neck posture.


Walk on!

Trying a Computer Geek Diet to Really Lose 10 Pounds


UPDATE: Worked for a while, I lost about 3 pounds and kept it off. I think I would need to excersise while doing this to really lose 10 pounds. I’m going to try a walking desk at work next. I’ll post in How-tos about it.

I’m not selling anything. I’m not a doctor, or a health professional of any kind. This is simply a post about my quest to lose 5-10 pounds while working on computers surrounded by sugary-salty-wheaty snacks, meat, cheese, coffee and chocolate.

My stats

I work in an office on computers at a small college in VT. I am surrounded on all sides by sugary snacks, pizza, soda, chips and catered lunches  for students during their intensive weekend classes. I’m a 45,  5’7″and naturally burly. I grew up very active and around a lot of manual labor work. I weigh between 168-178lbs mostly. For my wedding last year I got down to 167 by walking a lot. I’ve been back up over 175 lately and not exercising too much due to my extra busy schedule. When I hit that kind of weight I get low energy and moody, I think due to overeating and having blood sugar spikes. Coffee doesn’t help – well it does, but only for a little while, then I crash. Then I usually remember to hydrate around 2pm, and get some energy by 4. Exercise of course helps, but it’s not like I have a free gym a two story elevator ride up…oh wait, I do! Anyway, I’m going to try this way for now, since I have time not to eat, but I don’t really have time for the gym as we’re building a tiny-ish house in our back yard to rent out and I’m working it with my free time.

My Computer Geek Diet

Simply do not eat solid food until after work. This way I have simple decisions at work. If it’s liquid, I’ll consider it.

This comes from inescapable (not for lack of trying) facts: I’m not working in construction, logging, or training for a marathon. I don’t need a 1000+ calorie breakfast and 1000+ lunch/snacks. I click all day, which requires about 7 calories. Yet,  I want a big egg sandwich with sausage and cheese. Every morning. I accept that. But the calories from a big breakfast like that are simply not needed! But I don’t like cold food in the AM either, nor oatmeal. I like to get up and go. So, liquids. I can at least chug them and be done.

My goal is to do this until I hit 165lbs, or I feel bad.


  1. Day 1-3:  For breakfast I had pure water to wake my stomach up and hydrate, followed by any sort of juice with any sort of fruit, veggies, yogurt, protein and fiber. I make it at home, or buy it. I have a coffee as well, with cream and sugar. For lunch, juice, water, maybe a yogurt or two. Sometimes I sip some soda, but not much. Each of the three days I’ve made it to about 5pm with no solid food. The first thing I noticed was that I had a high level of energy, and my energy didn’t dip down. When I feel hungry, I find something to drink. When I get home, I’ve snacked quickly on anything I can reach that’s filling, then had a regular dinner. I notice I fill up easier though. I’ve “lost” about a pound, but we’ll see if it’s really gone after a few more days. I’ve ordered some Organic Hemp protein and extra fiber to mix with our local picked fruit we froze and veggies from the garden (kale, spinach, etc).
  2. Day 4: Made it to 4:30. had a street hot dog. Met my wife for tea, then had a large dinner out of a burger, fries and drinks. No desert. I filled up faster then normal. Didn’t snack at night. Woke up hungry, but energized.
  3. Day 5: Energy high and consistent. Cool. Made it to 4pm when I had another gig and left work early. Ate a lot! Felt bad after. Hemp protein came. Trying it tomorrow.
  4. Day 6: Tried the help powder with blueberries, OJ, maple syrup, and kale. Not great, but easy to chug. Then, because this day I was actually doing 3 hours of construction in the AM I ate some cheese and prosciutto! Work at 11am-7pm. Skipped the BOWL of roast beef that appeared at school along with sandwich fixings for our MBA intensive. WTF, putting that much meat in front of me. I kept to yogurt and seltzer with lemon aid. Had a full dinner. Lot of consistent energy all day.
  5. Day 7-8 weekend. The glory! My friend Andrew called in a favor and I helped him take off two layers of old roofing on one side of his house all morning. As such, two breakfast sandwiches from Dunkin Donuts to start the day. Sweat, sun, tar, de-roofing tools, dirt, sore. Light lunch. Great iced coffee and computer time together. More work after lunch at my house painting. Big dinner! Tomorrow, back to computer work, so hemp shake in the AM.
  6. 2nd and 3rd weeks: A revelation of energy! 3 pounds down. During the week I am still eating protein/veggie/fruit shakes, yogurt, and liquids until I get home for dinner when I eat normally. Weekends I eat a lot if I’m doing physical labor or exercise. I crashed a couple of times at work when I had a lot of protein in the middle of the day, other then that, I’m really steadily energetic. The basic revelation, or “duh” moment, is that if I eat according to what energy I am going to expend physically, I’m lose weight and have energy. If I eat according to my apatite or what is in front of me, I’m low energy and gaining weight.
  7. 4th week. Weight loss leveled out after a weekend doing construction and eating big. Perhaps that’s an excuse to eat too much? Still feeling SO good at work though, just eating yogurt, juices and coffee until dinner. That alone has been a great improvement.

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