The New Treadmill Desk Has Arrived
Here I am typing and walking on my new sit-stand desk and treadmill. I’ve gone a little over a half mile, 2500 steps, 30 minutes. Not much in the scheme of things but this is the day each week scheduled so tightly that my fit-bit usually only registers 2000 steps at 10pm. It’s 1:16. My lunch break is almost over and I will spend most of the rest of the day sitting as I talk to and treat patients. In a way it’s the perfect use of a treadmill sit stand desk. I don’t have to worry about overdoing it with 6-8 hours straight because I move from office to office during the day.
Here’s what it is doing for me. The heat’s turned down, my body temperature is up. I started out grumpy but I feel better already. I am not having any trouble working and walking – I’m up at 1.8 mph but if I was feeling sluggish or tired I could go down as slow as .4 mph.
In fact the multi tasking – moving my body while I work – is making working more tolerable and my busy mind more quiet.The down side, my arms should be swinging at my side. When I do that, let my arms swing, I look up at the sky, and life is pretty good. I guess the other down side is I don’t really want to go into the treatment rooms. It feels good to move.
Ok, you are probably thinking this is something normal for me. That I’m one of those people who like to get out there and live life to the fullest by running, walking, swimming, cycling. Nope. It is not normal for me. Let me repeat: It is not. My nickname in college was Sloth. Have you ever watched a sloth? Just watching a sloth makes me happy. When I ordered the desks ( two desks, two treadmills) I actually got sad. I was going to have to stop being the sloth when they arrived. I was not looking forward to it, but we all have to eat our veggies.
So look, the little button now says 37 minutes and over 3000 steps. Ha. No time to exercise? too much work to do? Ha.
I can feel my gluts.
drinking more water.
Now I’m on the phone. I’ve turned the speed down so it doesn’t make noise and I don’t pant while I talk. 30 minutes of trying to explain Osteopathy and trying to hear – both challenging – and yet instead of tired and ready to drop I feel like I just had “me” time.
So far I’ve experimented with faster and slower speeds. What I find is that when I am feeling mindful and calm, working and going .5mph feels nice. When I am irritable or edgey or just have a lot on my mind, speeding up shakes loose the gunk.
End of the day over 8000 steps logged on the treadmill. Add that to my normal 2000 that I get on a Tuesday and GOAL!!!!
So here’s the scoop. The desk is electronic. The treadmill is designed for desks – no handle bars and it goes slow and it has a control that can be mounted on the wall or desk. It has speeds as slow as .4mph up to 2.5 mph or so. at .4 mph you’ll be working within no time. Faster speeds may be distracting. The desk can be moved up or down with the push of a button and for those times when you just need a break you can put a chair or exercise ball on the treadmill and sit. The desk lowers down and boom – back to your old bad habits of crossing your legs and internally rotating your shoulders.
The Home Office
At home, where I often sit for hours the sit-stand desk is in but the treadmill hasn’t been set up yet. So I have had a few weeks of alternating between sitting and standing – press a button the desk goes up or down. I haven’t figured out what the best height is yet so I haven’t used the memory feature. It’s clear having the option to walk makes a world of difference. Moving, my whole body is moving.
Standing all day isn’t a whole lot better that sitting all day. While it has some perks, and for the very mindful may be better than sitting, within a few minutes most of us will have a hip swing up and out to the side, resting weight on one leg or another and within a short time that imbalance in the pelvis will scream louder than ever. Or your low back will start to ache. Getting the height of the desk right helps, but change from standing to walking and suddenly things really change. Within your legs, your whole body really, things are circulating. You have to pay attention to everything of course. I myself am the master at using the wrong muscles and hurting myself. But paying attention and walking and working is possible.
For those of you interested in buying one, check back for more information and a review on the electronic desk.