I’ve recently made a giant change in my work life by getting myself a treadmill desk. I’ve been posting some updates on Twitter, but I realise that a) writing about the process is helpful to me, and b) I can’t say much in 140 characters. So instead you lovely folks get to read all about making the change (or, you know, skip the posts tagged with “walking desk”).
First, I ordered a desk that had a treadmill built in. I considered a really fancy one – dreaming, yes – that included both a sitting station and a walking station. This looked COOL. Check out how the monitor is on a slidey thing that goes back and forth!
But… I realised that if I had to raise and lower the thing each time, soon enough I’d get lazy about raising it, and my goal is really, really to spend more time standing/walking than I do sitting. I don’t think it has a nice little button that just does the work for you. No thank you to heavy lifting required to get my butt moving. Plus this thing costs about $5K. Moving on.
So Amazon.com came to my rescue. After reading a bunch of inspiring articles about people who use walking desks, and a lot of reviews for various styles, including many articles on doing it your self (no thanks), I landed on this one, the LifeSpan TR1200-DT.
It had everything I needed: the control panel is on the desk itself, it is really, really sturdy, the front of the desk is padded for support, and the desk part is actually good and spacious – plenty a room for monitors and papers and whatnot. Plus, it totally sounds like something on a spaceship, TR-1200! In my future, geeks are the healthy ones.
Then, I selected a good but small-ish computer desk for sitting. I picked up a pad for under the treadmill, a wall-mount for my computer screen, and some belt lubricant while I was at it. Plus, free shipping! Go Amazon!
When the boxes started to arrive I was prepping for a big meeting out of town, so they were stowed in the garage until I got back. No, faithful readers, they did NOT stay there for months! Two days after I got back from my trip, the transformation began.
Cleaning out every single shelf, drawer, and surface in my study was no easy task, let me tell you. This was considerable clearing out of bins of shoes, piles of papers, old empty boxes, random holiday decorations… the list is long. I am now the proud, if temporary, owner of no fewer than 20 full garden-sized trashbags of CRAP and a giant box of shoes and bags and whatnot headed for the local thrift store.
Then a dear friend helped me put the computer desk together. It wasn’t too tough, and after a bit more furniture moving we had step 1 completed.
Then I had to make more room in my study, so I boxed up an entire bookshelf (fantasy and sci-fi books – afer all, I’ve pretty much gone digital anyway….), and cleared out file cabinet drawers that hadn’t been touched in – I’m not kidding – almost 15 years. There were electric bills from 1997 in that thing! Plus a lot of personal letters (“awwww remember her?”), Christmas cards, birth certificates and (gasp!) even my academic transcript from my first two years of college (“What? I got a C in that class? But I learned so much! I still remember that stuff!”). Ahh, youth.
The next morning I tackled the treadmill desk on my own. Yes, you read right – I put that heavy-ass thing together myself! My friend had helped me get the boxes into the study, so they were ready and waiting for me.
Next came finishing up clearing the old desk and moving the computer over. When that was done, and we took the rug up, vacuumed everything, cleaned off all the components, and generally worked for over 3 hours in making furniture and technology bend to our will. And it was done.
Plus lovely new social seating area on the other side of the room: