Tips to Use Your Walking Treadmill Desk for Maximum Benefit

Let’s face it, walking on a treadmill is boring if that is all you are doing.  Working at your treadmill desk can make working more pleasant, but after a few hours your legs are going to be sore and you’ll probably want to quit using the treadmill desk.  But don’t give up on treadmill desk usage!  It is a wonderful way to get fit, improve your posture and stay fit!  

Start Treadmill Desk Usage Slowly

Not everyone can adapt to walking for hours on end after being used to sitting for hours at a time.  Therefore, walking and working requires some adjustment.  Start with an hour and work your way up.  You can do an hour on and an hour off.  Build up to seven or eight hours a day over the course of two months.  It doesn’t have to be a sudden switch.

Do Something Fun at Your Treadmill Desk

Sometimes your concentration is compromised by the walking and working.  You can’t fully focus on your work while you are getting used to walking and working at the same time.  Don’t worry.  The automaticity will come.  In the meantime, adjust to working at your desk by doing fun stuff online.  These things can include:

  • Watching funny videos
  • Scrolling through social media sites – facebook, twitter
  • Posting on your own social media sites
  • Gaming (Please don’t tell me you do candy crush!)
  • Workouts (There are plenty on youtube!)
  • Grab some barbells and get an arm exercise in as well!

Make Sure the Ergonomics are Good for You

Walking and working will be just as bad for you as sitting and working if you have to hunch over to see your laptop screen.  Make sure that the screen is eye level and the keyboard is at about a 90 degree angle to your elbow for the most comfort.  This is going to require most people to purchase a monitor stand or a laptop stand to elevate it.  (That has been my experience, but at six feet tall, I tend to tower over most of my friends!  I’m not sure how the ergonomics are working for shorter people, but I still imagine that they need to elevate the monitor slightly.)

Pimp Out Your Walking Treadmill Desk Workstation

Let’s face it, it is more fun to work when you have cool tools and they make life easier for you.  One of the biggest downsides to treadmill desk workstations is that they don’t have drawers.  This is understandable because many of them are adjustable and some of them are so tall that the emphasis for the producers of these desks is to get height and now worry about drawers.  So, what will you need?

  • A place for file folders and hanging file folders
  • Storage for pens, pencils
  • A mouse and a mouse pad – It is so much easier to use a mouse than trying to use the touchpad on your laptop while you are walking
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Lots of work is done on computers, but you will want to make sure that you have some space at your desk for jotting notes.  You will also need to stay organized.  A box near your desk with hanging file folders will help you stay organized and keep what you need nearby.  

You can purchase stackable letter trays to keep some of your papers organized, however, this will take up some of the space on your desktop, so you may want to stay organized with hanging file folders that are placed on the floor or a separate filing cabinet nearby.

Keep Your Walking Treadmill Desk Organized

Let’s face it, no one really wants to sit down at a messy desk and work.  Likewise, you will be really reluctant to walk up to your treadmill desk and want to conquer the day when papers are strewn everywhere.  Take my advice and get organized!  Use the file folders, the pencil holders and keep it all neat.  Your walking treadmill desk workstation will seem more inviting when it isn’t cluttered with papers.  

Pretend You are On a Real Walk

Sometimes it is just yucky outside and there isn’t anything you want to watch on hulu or netflix.  There are virtual walks that you can go on to pretend you are outside.  If you haven’t walked and worked that day, get off your butt and go on one of these virtual walks.  It definitely isn’t the same as walking in nature, but it will get you using your treadmill.  The more you use your treadmill desk, the more comfortable you will be with it and soon you will begin to love it!

Ten Health Benefits of Using a Walking Treadmill Desk While You Work

Our bodies were not meant to sit for eight hours a day.  Some of us are now realizing the health impacts of sitting all day.  The most visible impacts of sitting all day while we work are extra weight and poorer posture.  While a few extra pounds and a slight forward head tilt may not initially be noticeable in terms of your everyday life, over time it can lead to major health concerns and chronic back pain.  One of the best ways to combat this is to change how you work and start using a walking treadmill desk.

1. Walking Treadmill Desk Usage Lowers The Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity

Due to the fact that walking burns more calories than sitting, you automatically lower your risk of gaining weight.  While walking at your treadmill desk is done a really slow pace usually no more than two miles per hour,

 

2. Using a treadmill desk may lower blood sugar levels

A small study showed that office workers that were standing for 180 minutes after their lunch break reduced the blood sugar spike from eating by 43% compared to staying seated for the same amount of time.  Treadmill desk users would reduce that blood sugar spike even more due to the fact that they are getting more activity and movement.

The study was based on the same number of steps taken.  Therefore, the reduction in blood sugar spikes was due in part to being vertical and not simply activity based.

 

3. Heart Health Benefits From Using a Treadmill Desk

A walking treadmill desk has numerous positive effects on your heart health.  During the time you spend walking, your heart rate increases, which strengthens the heart muscle.  This also has the benefit of delivering more nutrients and oxygen to your organs.  Walking on a treadmill on a regular basis can help you lose weight, which in turns lowers the risk of a heart attack.

 

4.  Positive Effects of a Treadmill Desk on Your Mind

Physical activity provides a boost to your brain function.  While walking on a treadmill, more oxygen and nutrients are circulated to your brain.  This helps it to function better.  It has been shown that walking five miles per week, which is a realistic amount, can help you increase the amount of gray matter in your brain.

 

5. Walking Treadmill Desks Can Help to Prevent Cancer

Regular movement has been shown to help people live longer.  In addition to the brain and heart benefits of using a treadmill desk on a daily basis, you may be adding years to your life and preventing cancer.  Walking has been shown to have a protective effect against cancer and reduce the chances of osteoporosis.

 

6. Improve Concentration

Our brains function best when we have the proper nutrients and exercise.  Your focus will deteriorate over time if you don’t provide your body with adequate movement and good nutrition.  Implementing regular usage of a walking treadmill desk will improve your ability to concentrate and focus.  Exercise not only increases blood flow to the brain, but your body releases certain chemicals that aid in concentration.  Working at a treadmill desk may just create the boost that you need to be successful at work.

 

8. Treadmill Desks Can Fire Up Your Metabolism

Even though you are not walking very quickly, utilizing a treadmill desk while you are doing office work will increase your metabolic rate so that you burn omre calories than when you are resting.  As you exercise, your body tends to burn more calories and build lean muscle, which burns even more calories and fat.  As you gradually increase the amount of time that you spend working on a treadmill desk, you will start to build more muscle and your body will become more efficient at burning calories while you are resting.  This can help you to stay fit whether you remember to workout or decide to skip the gym.

 

9.  Treadmill Desks can Improve Task Completion

With an increase in your metabolism and a boost in brain function, you may find that you are much more productive while you are working on a treadmill desk.  Utilizing a walking treadmill desk workstation may lead to becoming a more valuable employee.  Many people at work face a mid-day slump, which can easily be prevented with some extra steps here and there because it creates more blood flow to the brain.  Often treadmill desk users report that they don’t have that slump in productivity.

 

10. Walking Treadmill Desk Usage Prevents Back Pain

Our posture is severely compromised while sitting at a computer desk all day.  This in turn can lead to lower back pain as well as neck strain from poor ergonomics.  Using a treadmill desk instead strengthens the core.  A strong core naturally improves your posture and gives you a better sense of well-being.  It is easier for the blood flow to reach your brain and your lungs are able to expand properly.  Sitting at a computer all day can lead to serious back, neck and shoulder pain. The continuous movement that you experience while working at a treadmill desk allows you to engage multiple muscle groups. During seated desk work, you may shift your muscles now and then, but normally the same muscle groups are holding you upright.  Over time, you create muscle imbalances as one group of muscles becomes overworked.  Through walking on a treadmill, you increase your core and strengthen the muscles that impact posture.

These benefits are subjective and may not be experienced by everyone.  Brigham Young University did a study and compared productivity from the seated users with those who were walking and discovered that there was a slight decline in typing speed and productivity.  This study was a one time usage study.  It is quite possible that your ability to adapt to a treadmill desk goes up as you adjust to working at a treadmill desk.  Additionally, people who don’t start off with a lot of weight to lose or already have a high metabolism won’t necessarily see immediate weight loss or notice an increase in metabolism right away.

While not everyone can afford to spend a thousand dollars to have a customized treadmill desk, you may want to check out my cheapest treadmill desk workstation as an option.