Lessons Learned from my Treadmill Desk

After building my treadmill desk, it was time to experiment. Not counting the initial mile, I’ve now walked a total 870 minutes over 10 sessions, for a total of 19.007 miles and an estimated 2506 calories burned.

Conclusion? I’m glad I have another place to work, but this is an excellent addition.


I found myself varying my speed depending on the task at hand. For instance, while writing this blog post I walked at 1.3mph – the type of pace I’d have pacing the house. When doing something a little more intensive, like writing a tricky email, I found myself going just 1.2mph. One positive side effect was that I forced myself to turn the pace up to 1.6mph whenever I wasn’t being productive. Though the difference in speed seemed negligible, it was enough of a nudge to improve my productivity.


Right before writing this post, I’d upgraded my mac from 10.10 to 10.11, breaking everything Ruby in the process. Troubleshooting was definitely more difficult on the desk.

Unfortunately, sometimes I’d also find myself putting off tasks that I think might be cognitively difficult. That might be me saving them for a time when I’m sure I can be really focused – even though that time is likely to never come.

It’s difficult to write

By hand, that is. I use Bullet Journal to track all my tasks, and I find myself writing something even fifteen to twenty minutes. It’s much harder to read whatever I wrote if I wrote it while walking.

Other Notes

  • Don’t wear jeans. Bad idea.
  • Stretch. Even just walking around, eventually my legs get tight.
  • Not so great for working in the evening. The noise isn’t an issue, but the activity tends to wake me up rather than wear me out.
  • The right shoes are important. No shoes is a bad idea. Slippers are worse.
  • The screen on the wall definitely helped, and I’m having much less neck pain.
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