Treadmill height adjustable desks are a relatively new invention and have come about as a result of the pioneering work of Dr James Levine of the Mayo Clinic.
Dr Levine believes that sitting all day is very unhealthy and that the answer is to keep moving as you work and what better way then a treadmill desk.
And if you've spent years sitting in the office you probably won't disagree with his views.
What is a Treadmill height adjustable desk?
A treadmill desk takes the principle of an exercise treadmill and marries it up with a desk with an adjustable work surface. Typically the treadmill and desk are separate components which are then fixed together at the base into a single unit. Users adjust the speed and walk as they perform their daily tasks.
How does it work?
Usually the treadmill is supplied pre-assembled with suitable fixing points and electrical connections. The desk comes in a flat pack and needs to be built up.
The treadmill is basically the same as the base of the sort of exercise machine you might find in a gym. However there is an important difference between the two and that is the speed it operates at. A gym unit is intended to give users a vigorous work out and will have a maximum speed of maybe 12mph.
With an office treadmill the aim is to keep the body moving while working and so a less energetic approach is needed. After all you don't want to be dripping in sweat at work. Typically office units operate at much lower speeds generally adjusting between 0.5mph and 4mph. This allows people to concentrate on their work while getting a gentle work out at the same time.
Some models are for walking use only, while others have a larger desk area with an electrically adjustable work surface that enables both walking and sitting use.
What are the advantages?
- Precise speed adjustment for individual user comfort
- Electronic console for easy setting adjustments
- Ability to log the distance walked per session
- Record time spent walking
- Calories burned during use
What are the disadvantages?
- Can take up a lot of office space
- May need to retain your desk and chair where unit is only for walking
- Occasional maintenance greasing motor and cleaning moving parts
- Users will need to get used to a new way of working
- Initial cost is quite high
Treadmill height adjustable desks are a relatively new idea. They offer an excellent alternative to sitting all day and help to keep muscles toned and healthy. The increased level of activity helps keep you alert and improve concentration levels.
You need to make sure you have sufficient space for a treadmill desk remembering to allow for gangways. The initial outlay is quite high probably at least $1000 or more and several thousand dollars for more sophisticated models. As it's a completely different way of working there will be a learning curve.
Expect to build up your walking work sessions gradually. And if you've never used a treadmill you may want to try one in the local gym of fitness equipment retailer. Set it at the lowest walking speed and see what it feels like.