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Treadmill Desk and Multi-tasking

Here’s video proof of my new treadmill desk. I like it a lot. I have significantly more energy in the afternoons, and while I’m not logging a ton of miles (too much travel inhibits usage), I figure 2.5 miles/day (approximately) whenever I’m home is a net positive. I can type (I wrote this blog post while on it), create presentations, do spreadsheets, and even write hand-written notes. The writing is the hardest part, but it’s not a big drawback for me because nobody can read my writing even if I’m not moving. Too many years on a keyboard, I suppose.

Treadmill Desk Equipment

While you can definitely make your own treadmill desk, I opted for the safety and security and ease of a purchased version. I use the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk
(affiliate). I got it on Amazon for about $479.

I use a Pro-Form CR 610 treadmill. It’s a mid-range model, but certainly does everything I need it to do – which is very little. Set it at .8 miles per hour on a 1.5% incline, and get walking! The desk fits right over the top of it, and is height adjustable for people of all sizes.

I only have two problems with my treadmill desk (one is pretty funny). Watch the short video to see what they are.

If you have the space and the inclination, I definitely recommend the treadmill desk. It’s multi-tasking at its finest.

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  1. SoloBizCoach says

    That’s a nice set up. Ever since I read that article about sitting at work killing you, I have been thinking of ways to sit less. This is a great idea.

  2. IndyAgent says

    Love this idea. I’ve set my laptop up at the kitchen breakfast bar, so I can stand part of the time I’m online, but love this idea much more! I do think I would invest in a newer, quieter, cleaner smelling treadmill, though :)

  3. says

    Love that you’re doing this! Now I want to know if you’re planning to update us on your progress/use of this treadmill desk? I ask because I tend to get gung-ho excited for about 2 weeks – but if left to my own devices, I will slowly become a slacker and by week 4 or 5 I’ve completely stopped the exercise. But, if I have a workout buddy or someone keeping tabs on me, then all is well. Don’t know about you and how you work, but would love to hear an update in a few weeks.

    • says

      @charlene I’ll definitely keep you up to date. But given that this is now my only desk, I’m pretty much committed. That’s why I did it this way. It’s easy to blow off going to the gym. Not as easy to blow off working!

      • says

        @JayBaer Yay! And you just revealed the secret – have it as your only desk. I admit, I would have had my chair in the room to replace the treadmill….just in case. Love it. Looking forward to the updates.

  4. InspiredAnnette says

    Brilliant! People like us who sit at our desks too much (seriously, do we have a choice?!) need to get creative to find ways to exercise more regularly. I want to live for a good long time but I won’t at this rate of sitting at my desk 14 hours a day and never getting up. Last night I took a walk at midnight just because I was so fed up at the condition of my conditioning 😉

  5. nrobins1 says

    this is truly amazing! Fitness is super important to me, so this resonates. Jay, I challenge you to get to 10 miles/day………….

    • says

      @nrobins1 Thanks! I would love to get to 10 miles a day, but I don’t think I can. That would be approximately 12 hours/day on the treadmill! I think I can probably get it up to about 4 under current scenario, and maybe 5+ if I got a quieter treadmill.

      • nrobins1 says

        @JayBaer Yea, the noise could get in the way. The other thing you can do is get an insulation suit that acts like the greenhouse effect on your body. Not only would this be a fashion statement, it would like training for an upcoming wrestling match :)

      • DuanePrimozich says

        Nice work Jay!

        Yes, you absolutely can do 10+ miles per day. I built my first treadmill desk almost 3 years ago and burned it out after about 6,500 miles. I am on my second now and figure I get around 12-15 miles/day doing the same tasks you describe. If your experience is like mine, you’ll soon find that faster speeds actually make the whole thing easier. I am now most comfortable at 2.5 miles per hour.



  6. kyleplacy says

    I love it. This is something I’m debating setting up. However, I don’t think I have enough room in the flat. I wish I could strap my computer to my head and run.

  7. says

    Jay: Serious question – Have you found that pace to be “optimal?” In other words, can you go faster and still type? I realize that running would be tough, but … a bit faster? Possible?

  8. tracycgold says

    This is seriously awesome. Did you have to ease into the standing all day thing, or did you jump right in? I want one!

    • says

      Hi Tracy, would recommend to start with 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon. Slowly build it up, I walk 4 hours a day now, but not from the beginning. Also have to get adjusted to the typing, which goes quickly, I am typing everything at my Treadmill Desk now.

  9. Neicolec says

    Oh, you got one of those!! I’m so jealous. I saw this on a news program a couple of years ago and have been hungering for one ever since. Man, now I know what’s going on my Christmas list. Sooooo cool. I want to hear more over time about how it affects your life. Write about it again in a few months, please.

  10. PaigeHolden says

    I love this! Great idea. Not sure the boss would allow it my office at the office, but I bet I could set something up in my home office…

    Thanks for reporting back on your experience!

  11. AnnThaxton says

    John Jantsch has one too. He showed it off on Kitchen Table Talks a few weeks ago. It’s a great idea!!!

  12. jonbuscall says

    Cool! I have five basset hounds so that gets me moving and away from the desk. Still, I want a standing desk for my posture. Oh, and five woofs curled up around my feet !

    • says

      No, I wouldn’t call it exercise – but it gets the blood flowing and keeps metabolism up and awake. I will burn you an extra 300-500 cal. a day as oppose to sitting – which is more per week than 3 workouts at the gym.

  13. dariasteigman says

    Hi Jay,

    Keep up the great walk!

    No treadmill desk for me, but I have been trying to incorporate my treadmill into my workday routine. I’ve gotten pretty good at editing — but unless I slow down my walking speed my notes look afterwards as though I were a tad tipsy when making them! I think I’m going to start experimenting soon with taking a 10-minute treadmill break every hour (or two) to fit in extra 3-4 miles into my day. And, who knows? Maybe I can use the time to dig into my RSS feed.

  14. OnlineBusinesVA says

    Great start and keep it going. I too have got inspired from you and thinking of adding this to my routine…

  15. jbell99 says

    Okay. I thought this was a joke. No disrespect. I could use more exercise myself. I just have some weird image of you doing OK Go-like choreography as you bang out a post. more power to you!

  16. Willie_Matis says

    @nathan_hand haha I saw that the other day! Which is what I think sparked the idea to have my own standing desk.. I need something!

  17. JoeStirt says

    Jay, very nicely done. An observation from a veteran: your screens are too low. Their centers should be at eye level, so as to eliminate the need to bend your neck to view them optimally.


    Joe Stirt, M.D.

    Follow me on Twitter:

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

    As seen in the New York Times:

  18. HotSpotPromo says

    A Treadmill desk is my next major purchase/creation. I’ve been looking at several options (including trying to get my husband to build one for me!) I’m a walker in addition to a marketer, and absolutely love this idea. It was fun seeing your results. Thanks.

  19. averybowser says

    I’ve always wanted to try a treadmill desk! I’m sure it would take some getting used to, but the combination of work and fitness is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  20. ScoutsHonor says

    @leaderswest @jaybaer Slightly more swank?? Heh, you mean it doesnt go tippy when u look at it wrong &have to catch laptop, lunch, etc ? :)

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