Treadmill Desk: my first EOW report

Totals for the five-day work week:

This is 7 a.m., morning hair and breathing treatments. Yes, @seanset, those are my new whale boxers.  The good part about my wife discovering the blog is that she can pictures.  However, I thought I looked like a cool, hip dude while I was multitasking. This picture proves I'm more like that guy at Venice Beach who plays the harmonica, guitar and knee cymbals all at one time. How depressing.

This is 7 a.m., morning hair and breathing treatments. Yes, @seanset, those are my new whale boxers.
The good part about my wife discovering the blog is that she can take pictures. However, I thought I looked like a cool, hip dude while I was multitasking. This picture proves I’m more like that guy at Venice Beach who plays the harmonica, guitar and knee cymbals all at one time. How depressing.

Time Walking: 24.77 hours

Steps taken: 71,050

Miles walked: 21.26

Calories burned: 3,951

Mini M&M’s eaten: 3,951

Body weight: Forgot to check this morning

Thoughts for the week:

If you’re considering a treadmill desk and are not an Olympian, or have not exercised enough in the past 12 months, listen to me closely, please. Do not overdo it during your first week.

After five straight days of walking, I can’t walk anymore. Everything from my waist down hurts, is tight, is sore. And if I were to sit down on the couch right now, I would Rip Van Winkle it and wake up on Monday.

TGIF carries new meaning as I try to find a comfortable position while sitting. I’m 14 again with growing pains. Motrin, if I could take it, would help. I’m considering half a pain pill.

Now, despite my whining and crying, and fighting through the aches and pains this week with my OCD running wild, I am so glad I bought this LifeSpan treadmill. I really enjoy walking while working. That’s it. I like it better than sitting. And once I get conditioned, I’m sure I’ll like it even more.

The big surprise of the week: how much I enjoy walking after dinner. I didn’t expect that would happen.

And, best of all, I’m getting better at harder tasks, such as concentrating on conference calls and eating M&M’s, while walking. It was more difficult earlier in the week.

At times during my stressful week, the treadmill really helped. I can’t explain it. The rhythm? Exercise? Concentration on walking and not the stress? Who knows, but this week came with crazy, “why do I work for a corporation,” stress, and I still managed to overdo it and log good steps and miles.

So, a giant “thank you” and writer’s hug to Susan Orlean and her article about treadmill desks. The universe led me to it and I followed its lead. Luck rains down on me once again.

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Walking AT work: My new treadmill desk

Sitting is the new smoking.

And, as of tomorrow, Monday, I will be working while I walk. Albeit, at the very slow pace of 0.7 mph, but moving and not sitting. And that’s what counts.

I’m now the proud owner of a LifeSpan walking treadmill, and builder of a homemade treadmill desk because I was too frugal to buy the fancy one that came with the treadmill.

This idea started when I read an excellent article in The New Yorker written by Susan Orlean about treadmill desks and the dangers of sitting all day. They’re bad, the dangers. In fact, as I told my wife, it’s more dangerous parking your ass all day if you’re a woman. My prediction: She’ll be using one of these within the next 6 months.

So, after weeks of reviewing treadmill ads on Craigslist, and having one sold before I could get there and finding another that required a moving crew to get it out of the condo, I decided not to take the risk of buying a dud with rat-chewed wiring and spiders living in it, and splurged and bought a new one designed for walking and working.

Saturday, I spent the afternoon building my desk. The first one I designed mirrored the one I didn’t buy and was pretty complicated, with lots of moving parts. So, as I didn’t want to spend two days building a desk, I pretended I was water and took the easiest path downhill: I attached brackets to the wall and a piece of wood for the desk. Total cost: around $40, which made the blow of the treadmill cost easier to swallow. Barely.

Here are some pictures. And here’s a nice page on the dangers of sitting, including some nice simple graphics that even idiots like me can understand. Sitting is killing you

I cleared out a bookcase and made room for the treadmill. These things are big and I have a small office. At first, I thought I'd slide it under my desk, but it was too cramped. So, bookcase to the garage and treadmill to the corner.

I cleared out a bookcase and made room for the treadmill. These things are big and I have a small office. At first, I thought I’d slide it under my desk, but it was too cramped. So, the bookcase moved to the garage and treadmill took its place.

I bought three brackets from Home Depot and mounted 2x4s on each. This way, if I'm not happy with the height I can take the 2x4 out or add to it. I thought about putting a cleat around the wall but I didn't think it would give the desk enough support beyond the wall and I'd need a leg or two. It's amazing how long it took me to find the studs and put the brackets in.

I bought three brackets from Home Depot and mounted 2x4s on each. This way, if I’m not happy with the height I can take the 2x4s out or add to them. I thought about putting a cleat around the wall but I didn’t think it would give the desk enough support beyond the wall and I’d need a desk leg or two. It’s amazing how long it took me to find the studs and put the brackets in, but I’m slow in the head, so it makes sense.

I bought this $22 piece of pine at Home Depot, where they've finally hired employees to help customers, thankfully. My wife helped out and put two coats of amber shellac on it. I added three more. I thought about using melamine, but I'm just a wood guy. Just am, always will be.

I bought this $22 piece of pine at Home Depot, where they’ve finally hired employees to help customers, thankfully. My wife helped out and put two coats of amber shellac on it. I added three more. I thought about using melamine, but I’m just a wood guy. Just am, always will be. (BTW, the sprinklers were on when I set this up for my wife to shellac. The board was a little wet and I told her it would be fine. I forgot shellac isn’t water based. Oops. She was pissed.)

Here it is, ready to go. Monday morning I'll be working and working on improving my health. It's a win/win. I still have some work to do with the cords, as one of my plugs isn't working properly.

Here it is, ready to go. Monday morning I’ll be working and working on improving my health. It’s a win/win. I still have some work to do with the cords, as one of my plugs isn’t working properly. I’ll get it all cleaned up and looking pretty. Or not.