Being couched for long periods of time is no fun at all for a runner. I’ve thought a lot about getting a treadmill desk but they are just generally so expensive.
My first treadmill desk was a platform that strapped onto the treadmill handlebars. It was definitely sturdy, but my neck and wrists hurt so much. I returned the platform and went back to using my regular desk.
For my second try, I wanted to see if there were any DIY options. I also learned that I would also need a sturdy laptop stand that was adjustable. I came across a tutorial online and was able to assemble the entire setup for about $70. It was much cheaper than getting just the platform and only required one trip to the hardware store. I’ve linked the items below if you also want to create your own treadmill desk.
- One 16 x 48 wire shelf (link to Home Depot)
- Two 48″ bungee cords for shelf (link to Home Depot)
- Two 24″ bungee cords for laptop stand (link to Home Depot)
- One adjustable laptop stand (link to Amazon)
- (Optional) Longer power cables for your devices
- Lay the wire shelf flat on top of the handlebars. Make sure the lip is facing upwards.
- Use the long bungee cords to secure the shelf to the top of the treadmill handlebars. Secure underneath the treadmill and around any other handlebars available. (In my case, the bungee cord could be threaded through the heart rate handles.)
- Set up your adjustable laptop stand so that your wrists lay mostly flat on the keyboard.
- Use bungee cables to secure your laptop stand to the wire shelf.
- Adjust as needed and enjoy!
Overall I’ve been really happy with this treadmill desk. There’s a little bit of bouncing but that doesn’t bother me too much. I use a folded up t-shirt to cushion my drinks. For my morning coffee, I use a mug with a lid to prevent spillage.
I set my treadmill to 0-1% incline and 2.0-2.2 miles per hour. It feels comfortable for me. If I am working, this is a pretty comfortable speed for emails, writing, or designing things that don’t require too much intricate detail. To give you an idea of what my schedule has been like this week, I hop on my treadmill at around 9 and finish around or before noon. I stop for lunch. After lunch, I sit and work at my desk. If I really feel like a second walk of the day, I’ll wait about an hour after lunch before getting back on my treadmill for my second walk of the day. On my shorter days, I get about 3.5-4 miles. On my longer days I’ve gotten over 8 miles. That’s pretty awesome mileage for something that is so passive. This week I’ve gotten over 25 miles in while working!
If I were to use my treadmill for running, it would be really easy to disassemble and reassemble. Since I’m only walking nowadays, I can keep the desk on the treadmill when I’m not working and it doesn’t take up too much belt room.
As a tip, I would still recommend workout clothes. I can’t imagine using the treadmill for any length of time without breathable fabrics.
Anyways, I look forward to getting in lots of miles in the future! It is so hard to juggle training with all of work and medical appointments. I think this is one of the multitasking things I can get behind.