My Treadmill Desk

After having back trouble following long hours sitting at my computer, I decided that I needed an alternative desk that allowed me to move more freely while I worked.  I read about research conducted at the Mayo Clinic by Dr. James Levine, so decided that I should try a walking desk.  I built my desk in about a week, using ~$150 worth of materials bought at a local hardware store and drawers salvaged from an old desk.  The treadmill, a Pro-Form 660, came from a nearby sporting goods store, and had the best motor for a treadmill in my price range.  I custom built it for my height, and wanted an extra large work space, so it is considerably larger than most other walking desks that I've seen.  The desk is completely separate from the treadmill, so it is very stable despite my hard pounding on the treadmill.  If you are interested in building your own treadmill desk, my blueprints are available in the attachments section below.  They may not be too intelligible by others, but anyone interested in seeing my notes, sketches and plans can access them, and get ideas or adjust them as necessary for their own projects.  Additionally, I've posted links to a couple of sites that helped me while designing my desk.  They offer lots of advice, and have examples of other (usually much easier to build) desks that people have assembled.

After using the treadmill desk for about a month with my laptop attached to an external keyboard, I decided that the best option for me is to switch between walking, standing and sitting.  In its current configuration, I have an external monitor, keyboard and Wacom tablet (with a stylus and a mouse) on the treadmill desk attached to a laptop on a nearby traditional desk.  This setup additionally requires an extra long monitor cable, a USB hub with an extra long USB cable, and because I put external speakers on the treadmill desk, an audio mini jack cable extender.  I can walk and stand at the walking desk or sit at the traditional desk, and easily switch between them with a simple keystroke.

Additional Resources:

The Treadmill Desk Blog

The Office Walkers Social Network

Treadmill Doctor

Treadmill Adviser
Gerick Bergsma,
Jul 1, 2009, 11:10 AM