Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Treadmill Desk

For my birthday last year, Honey gave me the practical gift that I wanted: a treadmill.  We had one years ago and it broke, and I've missed it ever since (although Honey did turn it into a wonderful addition to the homemade crusher/destemmer for the wine process, so it wasn't a total loss -- you can catch a glimpse of the cannibalized pieces in a video at the end of this post).  We live in the Pacific Northwest, so it's not always possible to go for long walks outside.  I love the treadmill and have used it nearly every day since it arrived.

Honey loves the treadmill, too, but was frustrated over the amount of time "wasted" by speed walking when there was real, computer-based work to do. And while I enjoy using my treadmill time as the part of the day when I get to watch tv or movies that may only appeal to one person in this household, the plain fact of the matter is that I, too, would love to multi-task.

The first time I heard about treadmill desks was several years ago on some NPR program.  I heard about them again in the past year, some workplace that provided desks so that their employees could stand and work while walking about 1mph.  Those of you who walk know that this is very slow.  Almost painfully slow, in my opinion, but I often hear complaints that I walk too quickly. Nevertheless, the idea, although not the picture (hazards of getting news from the radio) was implanted in my brain.  Honey liked the idea.  And Honey is a genius who can figure out how to build anything.  Seriously.

I give you: The Treadmill Desk!

It may look rough, but it's oh-so-useful!  And simple -- anyone with some wood scraps, ties (we used small bungees), a saw and a few screws can make this desk.  It's easily removable for the times that you want to just run and not work.

1x3 (or 1x4) -- about 4' cut into four, 1' pieces (these were scraps we had from one of many projects)
1x12 -- about 2' long (this was left over from a bookshelf project)
2 ties (we used bungees)
8 wood screws

Measure your treadmill handrails, cut a half-circle into the 1x3 pieces, then attach to the 1x12 (two screws per desk "leg").

Drill two holes into the top of the desk and weave the ties through, attaching to the front rail (keeps things steady).

See it in action!

Honey discovered -- and I confirmed -- that it's possible to go up to 3mph with an incline of 6 and still work at a decent pace.  Got an hour's worth of e-mails to return? No problem -- that's three miles of exercise right there!  It may not be cardio, but the movement is a vast improvement over sitting, right?

I'm using this right now as I write this blog post!  My Honey has convinced me yet again that he can build anything.  Thanks, Honey!

Video: Crushing & Destemming Grapes, 2011 (warning, this is loud!)


  1. Jared was asking if he was going to be needing to get me a treadmill and building me one of these things too! :-) He won't have to unless we move somewhere where the weather is just a bit too extreme, like Phoenix or Barrow...


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