Misc

Tread Desking: The Next Generation

Some time ago, I was inspired by friend of the blog John Ford to try out tread desking. I’d long enjoyed switching between sitting and standing as the mood took me, so I figured it’d be interesting to throw walking into the mix.

As it turned out, I was an immediate fan! Strolling at a leisurely 2km/h, I could comfortably walk for much of the day, without affecting my ability to work. There was a flaw with my setup, though – in order to fit in with my existing desk, I had to shuffle around my treadmill and my chair every time I changed positions, which quickly became a chore, as you could imagine.

Enter: The GeekDesk. I’d been considering an adjustable desk as a solution to the problem, and after seeing some positive reviews I took the plunge. Due to the excessive shipping cost, they don’t ship the desk top outside of the US, so I had one made by a local woodworker.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t come cheaply. At $250 for the treadmill (modified to remove the bar), $1000 for the GeekDesk (inc. shipping to Australia) and $400 for the desk top, it’s certainly possible to do things cheaper, especially if you already have a full-sized treadmill that you can create a cheap desk to sit on top of. That said, I think of the price as a worthy investment, given how much time I spend in front of the computer – you don’t buy a cheap bed, why would you have a cheap workspace?

It’s the workspace I’ve been after for a long time, so I’m happy!

My Tread Desk

Standard

10 thoughts on “Tread Desking: The Next Generation

  1. Bronson and I were just discussing treadmill desks the other day! I’m not sure it’d be healthy to use all day every day, but I’d love one to use for a few hours each morning and afternoon. I feel too sedentary sitting down all day :(

    I’d like to try and do it cheaper as a trial, and maybe upgrade if it worked well for me! I guess I could use a tray and some shoulder straps and just wander the neighbourhood… ;)

    • I read some research a while ago (which I can’t for the life of me find a link for) showing that the main health problems with desk work occur if you maintain the same position all day, whether it be sitting or standing. By adding walking into the mix, you discourage your body from becoming too sedentary. I try to switch every hour or so, though I have no reason for that other than round numbers. :)

      For a (relatively) cheaper start, the treadmill I linked to is available from Australian suppliers (try eBay), you can combine that with your current desk and a box to get your laptop to the right height. I considered experimenting with the tray and shoulder straps idea for walking outside, but I figured I’d either get too distracted by things going on, or I’d get distracted by work and get myself run over. ;)

      • I guess it’s like everything: moderation is key. I figured constant walking would put undue strain on parts of your body too.

        The getting myself run over part, and constantly having to watch where I was going in general, put me off the tray idea. Might try Gumtree for a pre-loved treadmill :)

  2. Hey Gary, very glad that you are happy about your new desk. I’ve been thinking about doing the same for a while now, and I have a question: every height adjustable desks I can find in Europe ( to avoid crazy shipping fees ) lacks the option to memorize positions.

    Did you get the Geekdesk with memory, is that really useful? ( It would seem so to me, if we are supposed to alternate between standing still, walking, and sitting ).

    • The GeekDesk has 4 memory buttons, so I’ve set 3 of them to sitting, standing and walking. That was a critical feature for me, it makes the desk much easier to use.

      • How do you like the GeekDesk so far? I’ve had my eye on one, but it’s hard to determine quality of materials from photos on the internet.

        I might have to hack my own treadmill desk because the number of steps I get in on any given day are pathetic. Even with training for a 10k!

        • Really happy with the GeekDesk. Went together pretty easily, though I recommend having a buddy to help with the final stages of putting together and moving into place. The frame is excellent quality, no flaws I’ve seen.

          I’d definitely recommend experimenting with a hacked-together treadmill desk before you splash out on a GeekDesk, but I’ve found it to be a worthy investment.

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