When I first saw advertisements for treadmill desks, I thought who is going to work while they walk on a treadmill? I figured it would be a gimmick that would soon die out. I was wrong!
There are a number of companies that are now selling treadmill desks. The customers are either corporations that want to promote their employee's health and fitness, or individuals who work from home.
There are three treadmill desk configurations to consider:
- You can buy a desk designed to go over your treadmill, just in front of your console. The problem is that it forces you further back on the tread-belt, and if you're not concentrating you may fall off.
- You can buy a treadmill with no console and use your own desk. There is a small portable console that you would use to put on your desk to control the treadmill.
- You can buy a treadmill that is specifically designed with a treadmill desk. The controls for the treadmill are built into the desk. This is the most sensible option.
What to Look For in a Treadmill Desk
First, you do not need a commercial grade treadmill, since you will be walking. I can't imagine running and working at the same time. Some treadmill desks cost as much as $3,000. You can get a regular treadmill that can handle marathon runners for less. On the other hand, you don't want a cheap treadmill/desk configuration.
An Adequate Walking Surface - You want a treadmill desk that has an adequate surface for walking so you can concentrate on your work and not where you are walking. I've seen some treadmill desks with only a 16-inch wide belt and 40-inch long belt. That can be very confining. What's recommended is at least an 18-inch wide belt that is 50 inches long or more.
Moderately Powerful Motor - Once again you will only be walking, so a mid-range treadmill motor should do the trick. Consider getting at least a 2.0-continuous duty HP motor. If you get anything less the motor may strain and be noisy.
Sufficient Shock Absorption - You want shock absorption that reduces the impact, while not being too bouncy. Cheap treadmills often have a very bouncy shock absorption that results in a jolt.
Sturdy and Stable Desk - You want a desk that has some weight to it and has a solid feel, even when it is raised to its' limits. The advantage of having a treadmill/desk combination is that the desk is typically built into the frame.
Adequate Warranty - You want a machine that is covered with at least a one year parts and labor warranty. Anything less suggests a less than quality machine.
Treadmill desks are not just a fad; they are growing in popularity. In fact, one treadmill company, LifeSpan Fitness, now offers five treadmill desk configurations and three base treadmills where you provide your own desk. They are also selling an upright bike designed to use with a desk.
People who use treadmill desks regularly are losing weight and getting into shape as they work. Due to hectic schedules, many people find it hard to fit in a workout. Now you can exercise as you work.
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