Treadmill desks have been regularly used in the workplace since 2007. The advantages are many: increased steps, more calories burned, better circulation, and more overall energy. But there are some disadvantages too, from having to adjust to performing complex tasks while walking, to noise issues in the office.
How popular are walking desks?
It’s hard to get an accurate idea of how many treadmill desks are in use today. To get some idea, we can look at the number of treadmill desks purchased and make assumptions that a good percentage of those units are still in use. According to some estimates, between 400K and 600K treadmill desks were either purchased or built in the United States between 2007 and 2015 — meaning there could be as many as 30K to 70K commercially built treadmill desks being sold worldwide annually.
First-hand accounts – what real users think
Sisters Minessa Konecky and Saira Valley are independent retailers for LuLaRoe and run a thriving, demanding business together. They purchased a treadmill desk a couple of years ago and have experienced some of the same adjustment challenges other users do when they make the switch from sitting to using a walking desk.
Here are their tips if you’re considering walking while working:
Inspired, but no spare cash? Try making your own treadmill desk!
Ingenuity and consistency go a long way when setting up any new process to improve your health. Andy Jewell, a telecommuter with Alexa Internet, took matters into his own hands and built a walking desk for his use six years ago. Jewell is based in Cincinnati and Alexa is based in San Francisco, California, so he’s able to set up his home office work environment in a way that works best for him.
“I didn’t do a lot of research on treadmill desks before jumping in,” Jewell said. “I shop at woot.com and one day their special was a treadmill from Smooth Fitness. Around the same time six years ago, I had just gotten a Fitbit and read about how too much sitting will kill you. So, I threw a regular cardboard box up for a desk and put my laptop on it.”
Jewell has tracked his statistics over the past few years as he’s used the walking desk, and his numbers and dedication are impressive! “I now actively take 20,000 steps a day; It’s hard to say how many I took before. Overall, I’ve logged 12,000 miles in the last six years and climbed 35,000 flights of stairs.”
As many treadmill desk workers find out, it can be a challenging adjustment to walk and perform complex tasks. “I started at first just trying to stand up more and work. Then once I started walking and working, I had to find the right speed,” he said. “Part of the trick is finding exactly the right speed so you don’t have to think about walking — mine is 2.8 mph for working and thinking. At first, if I really needed to focus, I needed to stop and stand. But now, it’s no longer the case.”
Jewell offered this final tip when considering whether or not to purchase a treadmill desk. “Think about your office environment — it probably wouldn’t work in an office with other people, because it’s too noisy. And that would be distracting to them and to me.”
Kimberly Gohringer started Empower Now to help women create positive change in their lives. As a neuro-linguistic coach, mom and professional writer, she has the tools to help you crash through the barriers that can stop you from pursuing your dreams and true potential.
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