Have a question? Post your questions in “Comments” and Jay will reply ASAP.

Q: What was the total cost of your Treadmill Desk?

A: Not much! About $39 to make the desk. My approximate costs were:
1) $11: 2′ x 4′ x 3/4″
Melamine Particleboard from Home Depot. This is used as the desk.
2) $23: 4′ x 8′ x 2″ blue Styrofoam panel (used in new home insulation). I cut this into 12″x40″ planks. I place these planks across the handrails to raise my desk to a comfortable height.
3) $5 : Black water based spray paint. The blue Styrofoam planks were really ugly, so I painted them black. A great water based spray paint to use on Styrofoam: Krylon H2O Latex.

Click here for more details on the $39 Desk.

My one luxury, which I would recommend, were my two Ergotron monitor arms . These are about $90 each online.

Q: Do you know of any commercially available Treadmill Desks? Lee Abrahamson

A: Here’s some products that may work if you really don’t want to build your own. I have never used any of these products and I do not endorse them.

Signature Treadmill Desks

Steelcase’s Walkstation for only $6,000!



Air Desk

Easy Chair Workstation

Q: What speed do you go at?

A: I like 1.1 MPH (Note: I’ve increased the speed from 0.8 MPH as I got more comfortable with the Treadmill Desk) . I’m able to walk, use the keyboard and mouse and watch my two monitors with few issues. Dr. James A Levine of the Mayo clinic, who came up with the idea of the Treadmill Desk, recommends 0.7 MPH.

Q: My job is all about talking on the phone. Does either the
walking or the treadmill noise interfere with your calls?

A: Because you’re only walking at 0.7 to 1.2 MPH your breathing is very normal. Talking on the phone is not an issue. At this low speed the treadmill emits a very low level white noise. This noise has never bothered me when I’ve been on the phone. People are very surprised when I tell them that I’ve walked a mile while we’ve been talking. They didn’t have a clue. No one has ever said “What’s that noise?”

Q: What are you selling?

A: The only thing I’m selling is my passion for Treadmill Desks. I love my Treadmill Desk. I can’t imagine using my “normal” desk as my primary desk anymore. I appreciate why Dr. Levine of the Mayo Clinic, believes the Treadmill Desk is the solution for many of the problems plaguing our modern day office environment.

Q: Does the Treadmill Desk make noise that would bother a fellow office mate?

A: I wouldn’t think it would bother most people. Treadmills create more of a white noise than anything else. For a test go to your nearest health club on a quiet day when no one else is using the equipment and set a treadmill at 1 MPH and see what you think. The exception would be if you had a treadmill like mine where the roller’s ball bearing are wearing out and it creates an annoying sound.

Q: Is it hard to keep your balance while working at the Treadmill Desk?

A: A little, but if I rest one or both of my hands on the keyboard, desk or mouse then my balance is excellent.
Sometimes I lose my balance if I reach for something that isn’t on the desk in front of me. For example, my printer sits on top of a filing cabinet next to the treadmill. So when I reach sideways or backwards to the printer I find myself somewhat unsteady.

Q: I’m a programmer. I touch-type and mouse around for most of the day. I’m
wondering how much harder it is to interact with the computer while you are walking. To put it another way– if you had a very serious bit of work to do, would you get off the treadmill and sit down, or are you just as good (if not better!) while walking? Berkeley, CA

A: I would only sit down at my normal desk if I was working with a bunch of papers, like a tax return or if I had to write a lot with a pencil. My job is trading obscure financial securities against other obscure financial securities (arbitrage). I’ve had no problems doing this at my Treadmill Desk.

Clear Head: I believe my ideas are fresher and clearer while working at my Treadmill Desk. Also, I’ve never experienced an after lunch sleepy feeling that I often got while sitting at my normal desk. I believe these to be huge benefits!

Keyboard & Mouse: I’ve lost some efficiency with my mouse. I’m still experimenting with different mouse styles and models to minimize this loss. Keyboard is AOK.

Pencil: I find writing with a pencil or pen to be challenging. Also, I read a lot and use a yellow highlighter to mark the important sections. Some of my pages look like I was drunk while highlighting.

Q: Have you noticed any weight loss?

A: Yes, I lost 16 lbs in four months. 16 pounds was my goal, so now I get to eat a lot more every day. If you look below the big map on the home page you’ll see a spreadsheet where I track my weight loss (or gain).
A great resource for losing weight is The Daily Plate. I’ve learned so much about foods and calories. It’s like having your own weight loss coach. (Note that I have no connection to The Daily Plate….I just love it!).

Q: How many hours a day do you work at your treadmill desk? Do you feel tired at the end of the day? Do you work up a sweat?

I walk about 6 hours a day at my Treadmill Desk Monday through Friday.

I don’t feel tired at the end of the day. On the contrary, I feel GREAT. I would say this is probably the biggest benefit of using a Treadmill Desk. When I sat at my “old” desk I almost always felt sleepy after lunch. No more! Employers would experience a boom in worker productivity during the post-lunch period if they installed Treadmill Desks.

I don’t work up a sweat. I converted a detached garage into my office (“World Headquarters”). It can get warm in the summer, but a portable air conditioner combined with a small fan that’s pointed at my upper body keeps me cool and sweat free.

Q: How do you attach the foam to the treadmill arms and to the plywood?

The foam is not attached to either the treadmill or the wood. It’s just sitting there sandwiched between the wood desk and the treadmill’s arms.

4 thoughts on “Treadmill Desk Questions? Ask Jay

  • August 7, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Loved the report on Good Morning America and loved the information provided on your site. Here’s my question — will I be able to do the 1 mph all day the first day, and if not, how long will it take me to get accustomed to it? Thanks.

  • October 2, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    I am walking on my treadmill desk right now! I walk at 2 km/hour and have used a bed foam between my board and treadmill arms but have also screwed on velcro straps for added security. I love it!!!

  • January 18, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    For anybody’s information, having visited the respective websites, it appears that the “Air Desk” and the “Easy Chair Workstation” are concepts that go in a direction completely counter to the idea of the treadmill desk as conceptualized by Jay with his homemade economy accessory to a standard treadmill and by Steelcase and TreadDesk, Inc., where the user actually gets up and walks while they work. The “Air Desk” and “Easy Chair Workstation” appear to be products aimed at allowing you to more “conveniently” work on your laptop while slouched in your “easy chair” or even in bed. No fitness or health benefits there that I can see.

    Too bad Steelcase hasn’t yet come out with a more reasonably priced “consumer” model of their product. The TreadDesk product looks less “fancy” or sophisticated but is priced at a level that I would consider and could be “perfect” for me as a non-do-it-yourselfer who works all day as a secretary in a law office, then comes home and many evenings and/or weekends sits for hours more proofreading deposition transcripts for court reporters. There really IS such a thing as too much sitting — and I have the weight gain and lurking health issues that over 10 years of excessive sedentariness have brought me to, which I MUST change NOW.

    The state of Americans’ health is at the crisis point and adoption of this concept of keeping fit while working should be encouraged — and it certainly must be made affordable if it’s to do any widespread good.

    May I commend you on a useful and inspirational blog. Thank you.

  • March 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    If anyone has an idea of how to do transcription with a treadmill desk, please let me know. I have to use a foot pedal to control the dictation and of course that does not work with walking.


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