To some, the treadmill desk might seem like a luxury item made to be tucked away and pulled out as a conversation piece. However, for those who work behind a desk every day, the concept of enjoying light exercise while working can be lifesaving.
Treadmill desks are not necessarily designed to allow for a serious physical workout. They are not meant to help people get into shape, lose weight, or build muscle, but those things are all possible if enough time is spent using the treadmill.
What Is A Treadmill Desk Workstation?
The treadmill workstation, walking desk or treadmill desk is described as a type of computer desk that has been transformed to allow the user to walk or run on the treadmill while they can simultaneously work on their office tasks.
Who Invented The Treadmill Desk?
Dr. James Levine is said to be the brains behind the “standing desk” concept. This involves a work desk that has been attached to a treadmill that has given an entirely new approach to the saying “working on the go.” After spending a decade using one of these walking desks, Dr. Levine believes firmly that sitting behind a desk for prolonged hours is just as dangerous to the health of person as is smoking cigarettes.
Why Use A Treadmill Desk?
The main idea behind these desks is to combat the negative health effects of living a sedentary lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle is one where the person spends several hours during the day sitting still. It is most common in office workers or people who may spend up to 12 hours a day sitting behind a desk or computer as they work.
Various statistics point to unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles as being the new norm. For example, sedentary jobs have an increased by as much as 83 percent since 1950. The average work week has also extended to 47 hours, which is significantly longer than it was only two decades ago.
How Does Sitting Behind a Desk Hurt Your Health?
Sitting behind a desk may seem a lot safer than some other job opportunities, but it is tied to several potential long-term health effects. Some studies have shown that people who sit still for more than four hours each day are at an increased risk for developing various problems that can decrease their lifespan.
All of this time spent sitting still adds up and can contribute to health problems like
- High Blood Pressure
This does not necessarily mean you have to be at an increased risk for developing these problems. Medical professionals have been working on various solutions over the years. Simply living a more active lifestyle can make a big difference. Even simple solutions like an orthopedic kneeling chair can help.
What Are The Benefits Of A Treadmill Desk?
Healthy exercise does not have to mean pumping iron for eight hours at the local gym. You can get equally beneficial results from walking on a treadmill for short periods of time throughout your work day.
The benefits aren't as noticeable as running, swimming, or biking, but it's hard to incorporate them behind a desk. Walking a steady pace while working can give you the boost you need to shed pounds and avoid obesity.
- Walking helps burn calories. Burning calories results in weight loss over time. If you buy a treadmill desk with controllable incline you can increase the intensity to help burn more fat.
- Walking on a treadmill desk also helps increase blood flow naturally. An increase in blood flow usually results in a decrease in blood pressure.
- Studies show that regular exercise helps cut down on stress and improve your mood. This helps reduce anxiety as well as reduce the risk of developing a condition based on psychological problems.
- A study by the University of Minnesota revealed that walking on a treadmill throughout the day is actually boosting productivity and creativity.
How Does The Treadmill Desk Work?
The equivalent of 5 miles is around 10,000 steps which is the daily recommendation that comes from the Surgeon General. However, not many individuals come even close to this amount.
In fact, average Americans usually only make half of this amount or less. This is one of the main contributing factors to health issues that are a direct result of inactivity and obesity.
When using equipment such as the treadmill desk, this daily recommendation of 10,000 steps can be achieved in just 3 hours. This now means that you will be able to work and exercise at the same time and enjoy a healthier and happier body and mind.
Tips For Success
The idea behind walking or exercising while working seems somewhat intimidating to many to begin with. However, with the right planning as well as committing to this, you will be able to adjust to this change easily.
One of the main features of this concept is that the user maintains their walking time at a level that they are able to handle in a comfortable manner. Over time the user will be able to adapt to this work routine and gradually increase the amount of time that they spend walking at their desk.
- Start off slowly with treadmill desk until a balance has been found between the speed that can be used while accomplishing work tasks at the same time such as talking on the phone or sending emails.
- Avoid overdoing it in the first couple of weeks. Even if you are already active or fit or an accomplished jogger, most people take a while to adjust to the multitasking method.
- Maintain walking time at a level that you are able to handle in a comfortable manner. Over time you will be able to adapt to this work routine and gradually increase the amount of time and energy spent behind the desk.
Which Treadmill Desk is Best?
Building your own treadmill desk is certainly an option. It is a big undertaking though and can wind up costing more than you would expect. If you are looking for a treadmill desk Amazon has a variety of styles. From a sitting treadmill to a stand up one, you are sure to find the type you prefer.
One of most well-known names in treadmill desk manufacturing is LifeSpan.
LifeSpan Treadmill Desk
- The tr1200-dt5 treadmill desk workstation is a combination of LifeSpan's under desk treadmill base and manual height adjustable standing desk.
- The compact and motorized running machine measures 68.5" x 28.5" (L x W) with a large desktop surface area of 38" x 29" (W x D), providing an ergonomic boost to computer and laptop work.
- High capacity and quiet 2.25 HP electric motor with a 20-by-50-inch walking surface. Portable wheels for lightweight mobility providing space saving and storable versatility.
- Console readouts include: distance traveled, calories burned, walk and run time, step count and adjustable belt speed of 0.4 to 4 MPH.
- Bluetooth capability allows you to sync your activity data to an iPhone or Android using LifeSpan's free Active Trac app to track your progress over time.
The LifeSpan does have a control on the market. It has been around for longer and they've learned what customers want.
LifeSpan offers 3 varieties of desktops combined with 3 treadmill bases. The most popular and highly rated is the TR1200-DT5 Treadmill desk. It is pictured above.
Titan Fitness Under Desk Walking Treadmill
This is an Under Desk option so you can have the best of both worlds, a standalone treadmill and a desk treadmill.
If you are considering a different model, then there are some important factors to keep in mind. The quality of materials, the size of the machine, and how well it runs at varying speeds. You also want a desk that is ergonomically designed so that you are still comfortable while sitting.
Conclusion - Don't Forget To Use It
Purchasing a treadmill desk is a great first step. But it is only going to help if you make the effort to use it. Don't let the treadmill go to waste when it has so many benefits for health as well as productivity.