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August 23, 2011


You have totally inspired me with this Sarah! The shelving system as the "desk" was a clever hack. I know how tricky this can be from trying to make my own unconventional "saddle" desk. I ended up using a personal scaffold from Home Depot, but the shelf thing you did would have done exactly what I needed and with more adjustability.

I am considering going the Full Treadmill and this is pushing me to start looking at treadmills. I also love the dog bed sitting next to it :)

Please keep posting about how it is going as you use it. I was surprised to hear how quickly you adjusted to typing... I had heard this took more time.

I want to see a picture!

@Kathy: I think of your saddle desk often! It's been a big inspiration. So glad to return the favor. :)

@Tais: There are pics on Flickr. I made the link clearer.

Love the story and I loved the ten seconds I spent using it. I need my own one of these for sure!

Nice work Sarah! I just transitioned to a modified IKEA standing desk with a comfort mat. It's done wonders for my leg strength, and it wasn't that expensive.

I too was inspired by a NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17sitting-t.html?_r=1

Oh, yeah, Hansoo, great point. The NYT story you link to is one of the things that prompted me to finally build this monster.

Bravo Sarah! Now you need to align your FitBit motion tracking to the types of tasks you do to understand if you walk faster when tweeting/blogging or browsing! I love the tread desk idea but right now in Amsterdam I found that the cycling to work (5k) every day is a good surrogate.

Where do you move the lower desk to when the treadmill is folded?

@Josh: A task-sensitive FitBit--I think you might have hit on a new product idea!

@Toby: The lower desk is just a shelf, and when I take it off, I can hide it right behind the folded-up treadmill.

it is a good design and really good saving, but still I don't think that reading while working out is a good idea since we want to work out not only to make our body fitter but to forget about our daily routine and work and free our busy mind.

maybe listen to music or watching a movie is ok but reading no.


Way to go, Sarah.

You've joined the movement started by our patron saint, Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic.

All genuflect to Minnesota.


Joe Stirt, M.D.


Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bookofjoe

World's most popular blogging anesthesiologist (and I do it on a treadmill)

As seen in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/health/nutrition/18fitness.html?_r=1&ei=5070

Thanks, Joe! The tread-desk does have addictive, cult-like qualities. Indeed, I'm treading as I respond. :)

Congratulations on the treading setup!

I went a bit higher-end, but still kept costs (relatively) low:


I think you can get to 1.0mph and up very quickly. I stay on the tread during calls, and I consistently walk between 5 and 10 miles per day.

Thanks, Lex! I think your speed depends a bit on your height. I've been inching up the incline to make the walking more rigorous, which works well for me. I'm also learning to ignore the noise during calls.

Thanks for the inspiration, Sarah, I built one from your design and it works like a charm.

Pro-tip: wool socks + treadmill + metal keyboard = ZAP!

Who knew?

Wow, really cool to hear you were inspired, Jordan!

I just made mine. I wish I had one at work now.


I have trouble using mine at slow speeds, because it jerks when I walk. My treadmill is smooth at 3mph, but I can't do it all day.

Nice. Looks good! I recently put together a standing desk too (and soon to be treadmill desk!) I love to see people put together a desk for much less than those professional versions that try to squeeze out thousands of dollars from you. I noticed that the keyboard for your laptop is higher than the mouse. Does that bother your wrists? Testing for myself I found that my wrists seem more relaxed when they're lower than my mouse hand. I guess that might change, I'm documenting my progress and any aches and pains that might arise in my "treadmill diary". haha... I'm working on a better name.

I'm not sure what you're seeing in the pictures, but the keyboard and mouse are on the same shelf, right at the same level. Works great.

I've heard of this before on several occasions but I haven't actually been able to try it myself yet. The closest I probably come to exercising while I work at my desk is standing and trying to do several things at once while I use the tools on the desk.

i think it's a good idea. I try to do the exercises that can be done while seated at the desk but I don't do them consistently. I think having the equipment built in helps.

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