This year, Mr. Bartender and I made a vow to build more activity into our lives. When you work from home, it can be tough to get enough exercise. While going to the gym was an option, it has never really worked for me. I get busy and the first thing that goes to the wayside is going to the gym. Is that just me?
We’ve had a treadmill before. We started out using it regularly and before long, it turned into an oversized clothes hanger. But when I saw this article by Craig Engler, senior executive at Syfy, on using a treadmill desk, I was intrigued. Mr. B and I discussed the pros/cons. We did our research – which in this household involves creating an Excel spreadsheet with all of our options. And decided a treadmill desk was worth the investment.
We’ve had the desk a couple of months now and I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far.
Safety first. Since this is a piece of equipment with moving parts, it’s important to use it properly. The right shoes. Good posture. Staying hydrated while walking. Also, we started out setting small goals and working up to bigger ones. I remember reading an article about someone walking for six hours on the first day and not being able to move for a week. A little soreness is fine but listen to your body.
Developing new habits is not only necessary but good for you. I have always loved my morning routine. Many days, I have absolutely no control over what happens at work, so having a morning routine was important. But I realized much of my morning involved reading. As a result, I’ve been able to walk on the treadmill and read at the same time. Wonderful way to start the day. I gave up very little of my cherished routine and I’m better for it.
You must adapt in other ways to get the full benefit of something. We have a laptop on the desk. Typically, when I work on a laptop, I still like using a mouse. With the treadmill desk, I found using the trackpad much more effective. I also found that I don’t completely have the knack for typing while walking yet. Short replies are fine but I can’t imagine writing a post while walking on the treadmill.
Five minute distractions can add up. With the treadmill desk, I budget my time differently. I’ve always been a fan of taking five minute breaks during the day to clear my thoughts. You know, check Facebook or look at Google News. Until I got the treadmill desk, I didn’t realize how much those five minute breaks can add up. Today, I find myself saving up those five minute distractions into a larger time block and spending it on the treadmill.
Don’t feel guilty if you miss a day. Remember when I said that sometimes the day gets away from me? Well, those days I might not get all my steps in (according to my Jawbone UP). But that’s okay because the next day, maybe I get them all plus some. It’s about developing a new healthy habit. And I believe it’s working. Since we’ve had the desk, I have never felt like I didn’t want to use it.
Perfect activities to do while walking on the treadmill include reading whitepapers and news stories, checking social media, conducting online research, and listening to webinars. Oh and yes, I will admit to checking my Fantasy Football team, indulging in a little shopping on Gilt City Miami, and playing Bejeweled Blitz.
Back to business. I mentioned during a training session that I had started using a treadmill desk and was excited to hear organizations are purchasing treadmill desks for employees to use during the workday. Does your organization have treadmill desks for your employees to use? If so, what’s your experience?
Image courtesy of HR Bartender