I’ll be honest, I haven’t found too many updates online about the success that people have with walking and working. I know there are a lot of people who are looking at this site right now because they are looking for fitness solutions for the new year. I have been walking and working for a year on my DIY treadmill desk and I LOVE IT! Here are some common questions I get along with my responses…
Do you walk and work every day, all day? Nope. There are some days where the demands of being a Dad just have me too worn out to focus while strolling, clicking and typing. But 90% of my work days I am on the treadmill desk for at least a portion of the day. On average I have walked and worked 4 miles a day for every work day of 2013. That would put me at roughly 1,000 miles of walking and working on my simple desk that I cobbled together from Home Depot parts and a Craigslist treadmill. It is my personal opinion that too much of any activity can not be good for the body, so I still take breaks and stand, sit on a stool at my treadmill desk, or retreat to my traditional desk and chair.
Have you ever hurt from walking and working? Not really. The only mistake I made in my first year of walking and working was not replacing my shoes in a timely manner. I LOVE the Merrell Olmec shoe and I simply wore my last pair too long. I had some foot fatigue from walking in non-supportive shoes but this was my fault for not replacing my shoes soon enough, even though it was obvious they were worn out. I have a simple stretching routine that I like to do in the morning and before bed so this probably helps too.
Is it hard to work on a computer while walking? For me it is just like sitting at a desk. The first day it felt weird. I made some adjustments to my working platform, getting it to the proper height and angle for me. I can now type all day and feel no wrist fatigue. I can use my Apple Magic Mouse with no issue at all. I’m not running a marathon on this thing. I started at 1.0mph and have slowly worked my way up to a 1.5 or 1.6mph working pace. It is a casual stroll.
Have you lost weight after a year of walking and working? Nope. I walk at a pace around 1.5mph and an incline of 2.0. This is a casual stroll. It doesn’t help that I have been eating like a pig for most of 2013…this has nothing to do with my treadmill desk. I will note that even though I have been over-eating and drinking way too much Dr. Pepper I have not put on a single pound in the last year either. I have found it a lot easier to run and play with my young children since I don’t spend all day slowly killing myself in an office chair.
What do you think of the commercial treadmill desks? I think they are AWESOME! If one of the manufacturers wanted to give me one to try and compare with my DIY treadmill desk I would gladly accept it and give my honest opinion. But I don’t have $1,500 to shell out on a treadmill desk. Apparently one of the major manufacturers is aware of my little site. A reader sent me some comments a rep from the company made about the durability of my DIY treadmill desk. My $75 Craigslist treadmill is still going strong (knock on wood). I could buy a $75 Craigslist every year for 20 years before I spend the $1,500 that the average commercial treadmill desk costs.
What is the biggest tip you have for someone considering the transition to a walk and work lifestyle? I don’t know if there is a single tip. Drink LOTS of water. I usually guzzle through 60-80oz of water during my workday now that I walk and work. Wear good shoes! And if possible, try out walking and working before you make a major investment. Perhaps you can cobble together a simple standing desk in your office to help you try it out. Or if you’re in the DFW area you’re welcome to come try my DIY solution. If you’re in the Bellevue, WA area you should drop by the retail store of WorkWhileWalking.com to check out the desk selection they have.
I hope that answers a lot of questions and gives everyone a pretty good DIY treadmill desk update. Thanks to everyone who stops by to check out this site and I hope you find the healthy working solution for your specific circumstance!