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.
My wife (above) was the first tester!
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
- 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.
8 pieces of cut foam pink board in a slope, for leg room.
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.
Foam glue (Liquid Nails ok too) on the layers of foam and on the wood, then weighted down with rocks for 24hrs+ to dry.
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.
Elastic shock cord to hold it down on the treadmill.
Cord pulls on front edge to counter rear weight.
Works well with a laptops, but the screen is low for long usage.
Holds an older iMac, and the screen his higher, for better neck posture.
In progress – forever.
Recipe for success
I used to always loose my keys to my life. I would think of some great truth, usually after an epic fail, and then I’d forget it a few weeks later when I needed it. Now, I publish my keys to life here, my trials and errors, watchings and mullings, fallings and flailings.
Know thyself and lots of other people. This extension of Thales’ quote “Know Thyself” came to me years ago and I like it. It’s similar to that annoyingly true saying about excepting what you can’t change and changing what you can, but it’s more fun and social. When I keep in touch with myself, and also a lot of other people, life is better.
Practice isn’t always a good idea, because it always works. I get better at what I practice, including bad things! I think others are like that too. I’ve met people who are really good at getting angry, because they do it all the time. I’ve been good at being depressed, and I better the more I did it. Also, what I practice I have noticed I sometimes get paid to do. So as a movie Grip once told me, “never carry leather gloves on the movie set unless you want to coil a lot of cables.”
Attraction is power. Beautiful young people who have not been trained to deal with this power are like a lottery winner who has no training in how to manage money.
We are visual beings. If I dress like a bum in a city where nobody knows me, I’ll be treated like a bum. However I choose too look, I need to understand what that look will likely make people think and be at peace with it.
Be kind and strong. I like myself more when I’m kind to those around me, but at the same time I’m nobody’s fool, and not one who is easy to take advantage or manipulate. Most of all, I need to be kind and strong with myself, because my mind is like all minds, powerful and willy.
I feel better if I stretch more, and drink more water, as I get older.
Technology. Restart. When faced with most any technology problem, check the cables and completely turn off and turn on the machine. Then, pretend you’re a doctor and your technology is your patient. Be a good doctor. Ask a lot of questions. Listen. Go over the history and details one more time. I’m a natural geek, so I try to not to give up on a patient. That’s really the only difference between “computer people” and others. Geeks give up less than others. They believe they can solve the problem, and that failure after failure is just part of the process.
Find good professionals. I will eventually need the services of a car mechanic, doctor, lawyer, banker, dentist and counselor. Therefore, I should get very good at finding the few good ones out there who are really good at their jobs, honest, and truly professional. Professionals are just like most of us I think. We’re mostly in the middle, with some very good, and very bad, people on the edges. My goals is find the good professionals, hopefully before I need them.
Focus on natural motivation, in myself and others. Glide with your gut, finish with faith. I’ve noticed, and friends have told me, that when I do projects driven by excitement, exploration, curiosity, passion, love, everything is better. When I follow power, money, fame, attention, I get lost. Happy rich people I think follow passion too, they just were lucky their passions made money, or that their passion was the actual act of making money. This is nuanced though, because I have found small crumbs of power, money and fame from projects I’ve done. The trick is I did them because I was driven to for positive reasons, not needy, greedy reasons. Find people like this to work with too from dentists to car mechanics, and your car and teeth will benefit. I can see even going after only money being other people’s passion too. The most annoying people are the one’s who made a lot of money before they “woke up” and are now on the lecture circuit preaching a different path that involves going after something else besides just money, but they don’t say how to do it if you didn’t have your own trust fund to begin with.
Overeating is a bad put into my head by the sad parts of my brain. It soothes, but it wares off fast and leaves me loogy and dull. My brain is very very good at making me forget this.
I will die. Looking around, this seems like a common end to life. I will likely be very old longer then I think. I will probably get sick for years before I die. These things also seem very common. I’ve noticed those who seem happiest in their old age prepared for it and faced reality eye to eye. They changed what they could and didn’t try and change what they couldn’t. They focused where the could go, not where they would never go. They knew when to sell the old house because it was sapping their funds. They changed while they were making money, not after. Retirement and resting homes are as bad as I think they are. There are good ones to find if I believe they exist. I will remember to try and form a retirement community of good people before I’m too senile too. I will remain flexible and I will listen carefully with an open mind to what younger people tell me.