Okay, so one of my New Year’s resolutions (like always) is to get healthy and lose weight. Anticipating this, I bought a treadmill in December. Between the time I bought it and today, I’ve been on it three times. Way to get healthy, right? *sigh* And to add to this failure, I’ve been reading that people who sit a lot die sooner than those who don’t. Oh, great. I sit on my full-time day job, and I sit on my full-time writer job. I am so screwed. But, wait! There’s such a thing as a treadmill desk. You can walk while you work. Not fast, of course, but still, some movement is better than no movement, right?

But I don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on a treadmill desk. So being the daughter of a frugal man who was good at MacGuyvering things, I decided to make my own. On my last trip to Wally World I picked up a 4-pack of bungee cords for $3.98. (I’m only using 2 of them, so for this project I’m halving the cost.) I made a trip to Lowe’s and bought a wire 36″x12″ shelf for $7.98. Here’s what I came up with:

(Jeez Louise, I didn’t realize how dirty my laptop screen was until I took these pictures!)

This is the perfect height, and walking at about 1.2 miles per hour I can still type and read. As I looked at this set up, I realized it wouldn’t work for when I needed to edit (because final edits for Grand Central are done with print galleys). I needed a hard surface, not heavy wire with spaces. So I grabbed a wooden shelf from a bookcase I destroyed while trying to move it with most of the books still on it (yeah, call me lazy and learn from my mistake). And now I also have this:

It works great, though if I need to write I have to step to the side rails for a couple of seconds. I haven’t mastered writing and walking at the same time. Yet.

I am so out of shape that I can’t stay on the treadmill for great stretches of time, like hours in a row. (Oy, do my hips start to protest!) But today so far I’ve been doing about 20 minutes on and 10 minutes or so off, and that seems to be working.

So, for ten bucks and some change, I have a workable treadmill desk. Yay me!

treadmill desk
  1. Catherine Johnson

    I am so tempted to try that, it looks great. Though I only have a stand alone or hubby’s play book. I guess you need a laptop ideally. I’ll think of something. Looks over longingly at running machine. Great post!

  2. Cindy,
    That’s a great invention. Now if it sits flat in front of the refrigerator, it would be idea.
    Unfortunately I’ve at one time or another bought every exercise machine on the market, only to use them as clothes hangers or dust gatherers shortly after I use them a few times. No will power, you say? Alas, you have me dead to rights. Roz

    • Sit in front of the fridge to block the way? I’d have to patent that one. 😉 My exercise equipment usually acts as a clothes hanger, but since I couldn’t fit this one back in the bedroom, I’m trying to make sure it does more than collect dust!

    • Yay for your friend! I barely have room for a treadmill (this thing is a monster!) but it’s cheaper than a gym membership in the long run. And private. 😉

  3. Awesome! I’ve been thinking of this since I saw a news special on one about a year ago, but they are fracking expensive. The employees that use then had higher productivity, way less sick days and one woman that they interviewed was losing like a pound and a half a week. Your invention is perfect! Blending the health with a reasonable desk.
    Thank you!

  4. Genius, Cindy! I once devised a high table so I could stand at my computer. But standing is so… boring & tiring. The treadmill gets you somewhere. Great idea. You work-it, Girl!

    • What’s that saying about necessity? LOL Standing is boring & tiring, but better than sitting. And you can’t walk very fast on the treadmill and type, that’s for sure!

  5. Oooh! I am in awe of your invention. You type while walking? Then this machine helps refine your sense of balance which is also a component of good health. I’d guess that sitting all day degrades the sense of balance.

  6. Good idea, however I couldn’t think, write and walk at the same time.
    The concentration at times becomes so intense that the treadmill would hurdle me off the thing for slowing down.
    I think that I will leave my treadmill where it is, functioning as an expensive clothes-rack, and stick with bubble wrap on my chair to help with writers butt.

    • Cynthia Garner

      You can’t walk much faster than 1 mile/hour and write/type at the same time, so you’d really have to slow down to get hurdled off, Dave! LOL But, yeah, treadmills make excellent clothes racks, don’t they?

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