Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I LOVE my treadmill desk!

It all started with a neighbor.  One day I realized that my neighbor had lost a LOT of weight, about 50 pounds.  My husband complimented him on it, and found out that he had started using a treadmill desk at work.  A what?  Treadmill desk?  This was just over a year ago, and I had never heard of such a thing.
The ins and outs of using a treadmill desk - and why I love mine!

My husband was spending a great deal of time on his computer, and had been feeling the effects of sitting for long periods of time.  After doing some research, he decided he really wanted to try a treadmill desk too.  Although they aren't cheap, we decided that it was an investment in his health, and bought one.  I'm so glad we did!

Fast forward to me closing my preschool and kindergarten, and spending more time sitting at the computer.  At first it was such a relief to be off my feet, instead of constantly moving about with a dozen kiddos!  It was NOT such a relief to watch how my body changed in response, so I started "borrowing" Hubby's treadmill desk.

When we relocated recently, I got my own treadmill desk so I can use it all the time. For those of you who are thinking about it, or maybe who just know that you're sitting too much and want to do something about it, I'm going to try to address the questions you might have about treadmill desks.

The ins and outs of using a treadmill desk - and why I love mine!

First of all, I have a Life Span desk.  I haven't tried any others, so I can only speak to my limited experience.  I'm writing this as a personal review, and am not being compensated for this post or for linking to Life Span. (Although Life Span, if you want to pay me, I'm willing to accept!)

The first thing most people ask about the treadmill desk, is how easy it is to work on the computer while walking.  Believe it or not, it's just fine!  I really expected there to be some coordination challenges - I'm no clutz, but I'm also not the most graceful thing in the world.  :-)  What a great surprise it was to find that I can not only type while walking, but can do fine mouse work, and work with graphics.  The Life Span desk has a built in wrist rest, which is very comfortable, and resting my hands there steadies them for typing and mousing.

Some people ask how long I can stay walking.  That's an ever changing thing.  :-)  When I first started borrowing my husband's desk, I easily did 30 - 45 minutes a couple of times a day.  I set the speed to 1.5 mph, which feels like a nice strolling pace to me.  Upon relocating in June, and really needing to get exercising, I started out with 4 - 5 hours total each day, at 1.8 mph.  Some days that was pushing myself a little hard, and my knees would complain.  I've since cut it back to 1.6 mph, but can do five hours in one day.  That works out to about 10 miles of walking!

I wish I had thought more about stretching my legs and resting them occasionally throughout the day when I started this!  I've discovered that I feel a lot better if I stretch my legs throughout the day.  Not just a quick excuse for a stretch either, but really giving each muscle group some attention.  Why did I not realize there were muscles that hadn't seen much work in a while?!  I've definitely discovered a few that I didn't remember.

Another thing I wish I had known - and I'm telling you - is that it is so worth it to get the adjustable height desk.  Hubby's is adjustable, but I'm.... frugal.  I really didn't think it was worth the extra money to get the desk that electrically changes height.  When hubby and I shared a desk, we definitely needed to adjust it up and down often, and that made sense.  I thought that since it would be just me using this one, that I didn't need that feature.  Wrong!

After several hours of walking, there are days I want to sit down to work for a while, but I can't easily lower my desk.  Solution?  A tall chair.  Okay, don't laugh at me... here's what I rigged up:
The ins and outs of using a treadmill desk - and why I love mine!
That's a piece of wood set over the treadmill, with a bar stool on it.  Except I'm short, and so is the barstool... and it wasn't comfortable.  I put a ream of copy paper on the bar stool, with 2 chair cushions on top of that, and it's now the correct height.  I'm telling you, unless you want to move bar stools and boards around, get the desk that's made to adjust electronically!

Is anyone wondering about my 2 monitors?  They are fabulous!  Not long ago I would have flat out refused to even consider using something like that, which is to say, messing with my technology so that I have to learn a new way to use it.  I wasn't a technophobe... I just had a very specific skill set, and when you work with little children, everything has to happen 10 seconds ago.  There was never time to stop and think about how to turn something on, or how to get to what we needed.  (Teachers understand.)  Now that I am working full time on my TeachersPayTeachers store, I'm using the computer in different ways, and learning a lot of new things.  Super hubby set this up for me; the two monitors operate as one large desktop.  This is fantastic when I work on products, because I don't have to toggle back and forth between windows, so I'm much more productive.

Do you have any questions about using a treadmill desk?  Has anyone else considered it or tried it?  I'd love to hear your feedback, and if you have questions, I'd love to share my experiences with you!

This post was featured on the TpT blog!

15 comments:

  1. Paula,
    I L-O-V-E that treadmill desk. I'm feeling like I might need one!

    Erin
    www.youaut-aknow.com

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  2. Thanks for sharing! And I love that you weren't exaggerating about the sitting situation :-) Stephanie's History Store

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  3. Ugh now I need to go out and buy one!! So neat. Thanks for sharing Paula! :))
    -Suzy

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  4. That's awesome! I totally want one! :)
    -Kelsey from www.wifeteachermommy.com :)

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  5. That's awesome! I totally want one! :)
    -Kelsey from www.wifeteachermommy.com :)

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  6. Thank you for commenting Erin, Stephanie, Suzy and Kelsey, I hope you are able to get one - and if you do, please let me know what you think of it. With so many people spending hours in front of computers, I think it is going to become more and more important that we consider active desk situations like this.

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  7. Hi Paula, you have inspired me. I have looked at treadmill desks on and off for a while. I actually have a treadmill that I never use. My husband is now going to make me a tall desk to go over it so I can walk and work. I will still have my regular desk to move to for sitting, as I won't be able to walk or stand for long due to me being in the obese range but I am hoping this will give me the kick start I need. Thanks for your informative post

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    1. Katherin, I think that's a fantastic idea! We all have to start somewhere - just getting started is so hard. I hope you enjoy your desk, and that it provides you with that first step towards better health!

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  8. I love it! I NEED one really bad. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I love it! I NEED one really bad. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I love your DIY way of adjusting the chair for the desk! Fab! On a more serious note, it looks fab to have a treadmill desk - i can't believe how much you are still able to do while walking - especially graphics and fine mouse skills etc - how fabulous!

    Teaching Autism

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  11. Thanks Paula, for sharing your story--and a lot of gritty, necessary details! You're on the cutting edge. I hope we all have standing desks soon.

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  12. Brilliant!! Erin Cobb mentioned this at the TpT conference and I really want one. Yours looks perfect!! Thanks for the great post.

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  13. I just got my adjustable standing desk last week. It has been helpful to just stand and work for a bit throughout the day. My back does get tired of standing, though, but then I can sit for a while. Do you feel like walking is more comfortable than standing still?

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    1. Congratulations on making the change to a stand up desk! Both my husband and I have noticed that it is easier to walk, even very slowly, than to stand still. I do sometimes stand for a while, but it doesn't feel comfortable for long. It's a lot easier to walk slowly than to stand still, and its very easy to get in many miles of walking each day.

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