September 17, 2008


Why not? Do you want a treadmill in front of your desk at work? I mean, as long as it's optional!

I keep 5-pound weights on my desk and use them when I'm reading the computer screen and don't need my hands on the keyboard. And I'm thinking of buying a desk that has a motor that changes the height so it can be a standing desk when I'm in the mood for that. And also this little bouncy, wobbly stool for it.

Computers hypnotize me into sitting frozen in place. I need other inanimate objects to break up this unhealthy relationship.


Awesome said...

Oooh! Where are you seeing that motorized desk?

Chennaul said...

Look I have loooooooong thought-that Ann Althouse-creator of the vortex-owes-yes I said owes-damn it-her captive audience-




Beauty tips.

The only one I remember is that you sleep with the windows open all winter long.

Oh btw Rumsfeld had a chair that was made for standing.

I know this from the rheumatologist at Andrews AFB.

Sitting is the absolutely the worst thing for your spine.

Blake-commenter here-has a treadmill desk.

Oh ya-and Titus' was into Molton Brown products and cucumber facials.

Ann Althouse said...

"The only one I remember is that you sleep with the windows open all winter long."

No, I don't! I sleep with the windows open all summer long.

Anyway, the desk and stool are at a store near here and I don't have the brand names at hand at the moment.

Chennaul said...

Oh ya shizzle I have dyslexia...

That makes a heck of a lot more sense.

I spend half my day rewinding my memory.

Sometimes I forget to forward it.

bearing said...

You need a Shovelglove!

Michael Wade said...

Please post the brand name of the motorized desk if you obtain it. There are many days when standing up at a desk would be great.

Methadras said...

madawaskan said...

Oh ya shizzle I have dyslexia...

xiadysle's of the world, untie!!!

goesh said...

-good idea those 5 lb weights

KCFleming said...

The doc in the article who started all this works on the floor above me. He even has a treadmill to have patients walk on while they are talking together.

We don't have alot of them here yet ourselves, though.

MadisonMan said...

When colleagues drop in on Bruce Langer, another work-walker, he pivots, then keeps striding backward while facing them.

Someone striding sideways on a treadmill while I'm talking to them? I'd find it hard to concentrate on anything they say. Why can't he just get off the treadmill when someone comes in? I stop typing (usually) when someone comes to talk. It's called courtesy.

I'd love to have a treadmill to work from.

AND, I think it would be great if all the UW employees used them. Think of the power that could be generated! We could power up Biddy Martin's electric car and cut UW carbon output! This is a grant that writes itself, I tell ya!

MadisonMan said...

I wonder how long it takes before you're able to unconsciously keep your hands steady on the desk -- to write or to type -- as you walk on the treadmill.

I wonder if they have the teadmill desk at the new Century House on University.

rhhardin said...

Just put the laptop on a lecturn.

rhhardin said...


I have this one but it's way, way overpriced now. They're marketing to some super rich corporate demographic.

knox said...

You need to talk to Blake about this one. He's all over the treadmill desk. Blake where are you?

rhhardin said...

cheaper version

Bissage said...

Woody Allen.


Fielding Mellish.

Products tester.

“The Execuciser.”

Really crappy photo.

Maybe it’s on teh YouTubes but I can’t get there from here.

Tibore said...

You know... using a laptop on a treadmill's actually not a bad idea. I ought to look into getting one.

No, this isn't sarcasm. I'm always rushing around to free up time to exercise, and doing that while working actually sounds appealing. I wonder if I could fit one into my cubicle...

RR Ryan said...

I've often considered getting a stationary bicycle and mounting my wireless keyboard on the handlebars. It seems at leasts marginally less disruptive than a treadmill.

KCFleming said...

I've often considered getting a stationary bicycle and mounting my wireless keyboard on the handlebars.

No need.
Easy Cycle. $79.99
Fits under the desk pretty easily.

KCFleming said...

I for one am glad that our corporate overlords are finding ways to keep me at my desk for greater intervals of time.

I pray they may grant me a leg-bag so that I do not need to waste time voiding, and a lever to push, so that I might be treated with a small morsel of Omnipill, for Optimum Nutrition without the timewsaster of actually leaving my desk and eating.

Thank God for that.

Bissage said...

You see?

You see the trouble I go to for all you guys?

You see the LOVE?


You see how I give and give and give and give?

(1) Spanishishish.

(2) Italianianianian.

What? Not good enough?



You know, when Sarah Palin’s in charge, givers like me are going to be getting A LOT MORE RESPECT.

Just you wait and see!

blake said...

Yes! chance to shiiine!

Actually, it's not a big deal. I've been blogging about it at my place for about 2 months now.

What I did was find myself a treadmill on Craig's List for $50. I put a plank of wood on the handles. I put some books under the plank. I actually think my current set up is more ergonomic for my hands than sitting at my desk was.

I tried this out for 2-3 weeks and it seemed to be possible for me to do everything I do. Well, except play guitar. Which I probably shouldn't do while I'm working anyway. (Though if I get a strap...)

For me, it's just a matter of doing so much sitting on my ass. There's a limit to how much exercise I can do and still maintain my other interests.

And I just don't think the body was meant to be still for long periods.

blake said...


Keeping your hands steady is not a problem. You're walking very slowly, whatever that means for you. Most treadmills don't go slower than .5 mph, so if you had a very small stride, it might be a problem.

Some people hit 1.3 mph without a problem. My son did 3 mph while playing some flash games.

blake said...

There are recumbent bicycle desks that are quite reasonable, too.

Pogo, for me, it's not a matter of any corporate overlord. I work from home. And besides my paying work, I do a lot of stuff sitting down.

Just being able to do the reading and writing while walking is tremendous.

I haven't tried drawing or composing yet. And classical guitar is right out... But still, it's an improvement.

rhhardin said...

Chairs: The Jobri kneeling chair with the tempurpedic pads works for me. I've tried a lot of stuff and this works for 12 hours a day type sessions.

Cheaper pads begin to dent and harden which reduces the area that weight rests on, which becomes eventually intolerable.

here, typically sells somewhat over $200.

Lifetime guarantee, which you'll actually use. They do replace parts that wear out, free.

KCFleming said...

I'm just bitching, as usual.
Advice for smart young people: do NOT go to medical school.

Anonymous said...

You could get an expensive desk that changes height.

You could also get a desk, in addition to the one you already have, that requires you to stand and get another computer. Two computers two desks.

The second option is probably cheaper than the first option.

Chip Ahoy said...

These are all excellent ideas.

How 'bout one those inversion devices designed to stretch your back? With a few additional spot welds they could be contrived to fix a laptop in place. Like a flying piano. That way, you could blog away whilst completely inverted. Or devise an exercise wheel like the ones hamsters are provided, but human-sized and rigged to hold a laptop in fixed position. The novelty factor alone would be worth the investment.

I'm feeling a Photoshop™ session coming on.

blake said...

How 'bout one those inversion devices designed to stretch your back?

You mean a rack?

rh--I've tried those kneeling chairs before and they never were comfortable for long for me. And I was much younger and far more limber at the time.

blake said...


I've got my med-school deterrence plan all worked out.

Unfortunately, all my children seem to be natural born lawyers.

KCFleming said...

all my children seem to be natural born lawyers.

Perfect for the USA.
I am glad to say that all three of mine absolutely hate science. Yay!

Current average med school debt: about $150,00. There was some poor girl on TV last week, graduating from a State Med School with $250K debt.

Pay it back? Ha!

Anonymous said...

Every square inch of my restaurant is a treadmill.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Blake wrote: There are recumbent bicycle desks that are quite reasonable, too.

Do NOT get Althouse started on those dorky recumbent bikes!!

Lynn said...

Ann - The desk in the article is the Walkfit by Details, a division of Steelcase. Target Commercial Interiors (formerly Rowley Schlimgen) on John Nolen Drive is your local source. I used to work there and now am at the Milwaukee dealership (Forrer Business Interiors) if you or anyone else would like to road trip & try out our showroom model.

RR Ryan said...

Thanks, Pogo. And Penney, no less.

rhhardin said...

There's a myth that recumbent bikes can't climb.

What it actually is is that recumbent bike riders are out of shape.

They're out of the chief source of resistance, air drag. So when they hang with a group of bicyclists, they're actually working much less than them.

Come a hill, when wind is less important than gravity, the recumbent riders suddenly have to do the same work as other bicyclists and fall far behind.

Wendy Kloiber said...

I got a closeout treadmill and my husband built me a laptop desk that rests on the arms and is just above waist high (a plank across the arms turned out to be too short - six inches higher saves me a lot of neckache.) I use a touchscreen laptop and have trouble using either the stylus or a fingertip for the mouse and have had to revert to the trackpad, but otherwise no issues. So far, 11 extra miles logged in the four days I've been set up, with no impact on my ability to work (I do stop for phone calls - I think the motor noise would be irritating.)

I work from home, so I've got the option to be set up however I like. If I were in an office I'd really want two chairs in addition though... very hard to project respect or focus when you're talking to someone stationary from your exercise equipment!

blake said...


Science can be very rewarding, you just want an Edison, not a Tesla.


Yeah, the arms on a treadmill are probably going to be too low, depending on your height. My high-tech solution is to stack books underneath.

That's why I think the treadmill is probably more ergonomic for me than a regular desk. I can fuss with he height by varying the thickness of the books underneath my plank. Heh. (I could do that sitting, too, but who thinks of it then?)

Also, if you're serious about it, you can do like I did and buy a hardcore treadmill with a big warranty. When you get into the $1500 range, you can get a quiet motor. My current treadmill is quieter than my computers.

MadisonMan said...

I really want this in my office. And before today I didn't even know it was an option!

blake said...

I've been detailing my trek on my blog under keyword [sic] "treadmill desk". But rather than make you go through that, I'll spell out my strategy:

1. Buy a cheap treadmill--I mean, really cheap (<$100 or free, if you can find one), off of Craig's list--and a plank of wood. The treadmill should have long, straight arms for you to put the plank of wood on.

2. Fiddle with the height of the board by stacking books underneath. (Some people carve wood rests or what have you, but I have no talent in that area, plus I kind of like the "change on a whim" feel. What seems good today may not tomorrow.)

3. Give it a try for several weeks. Try to run through all your daily tasks, including the ones tht require the greatest concentration and steadiest hands. If you can only do 90% of your work while walking, make sure you have a way to do that other 10% without disrupting things too much.

4. While you're doing this, note the issues you're having so that when the time comes for a better treadmill, you'll know exactly what you want.

In my case, my cheap ($50) treadmill overheated, which forced my hand to buying a new one sooner than I would've liked. I had a hard time running it for more than an hour. It was also really loud and really hot. I finally went with a new Sole machine that gets put into hotels, with a two year warranty. Very quiet, doesn't seem to radiate heat.

My big mistakes were: pushing myself to hit the eight hour mark as soon as possible, which resulted in a lot of stiffness that wouldn't have occurred had I built up more slowly; also, I didn't wear shoes at all at first, though I'm not sure if that would have been such a big deal had I not forced myself to the eight hour mark.

The benefits have been that a stiffness in my ankles and feet that had been building for years has almost completely gone away in the past two months. I don't find myself imbued with lots of energy that others seem to have--at least not yet--but one doesn't fall asleep at a treadmill desk, either.

I haven't been tracking my weight, particularly, so I can't speak to that. It has improved my appetite, however.