Sunday, March 16, 2014

DIY - A Treadmill Desk!!

In my quest for fitness, I've come to a realization...I'm 48.  I am at war with my body...more accurately, my body is at war with me...even more accurately, fat cells are clinging like a sea urchin to rock, like a magnet to a refrigerator...fleas to a's getting ridiculous yesterday, as I sat on my sofa, complaining about age and how I can hardly eat a banana without gaining a pound, it occurred to me.  I was just sitting on my sofa.  I had been writing, reading emails, commenting on friends' Facebook posts, looking for a mother-of-the-bride dress, perusing Pinterest and contemplating my evil fat cells all the while, sitting sedentary. I realized that my bum was starting to ache from all the I suggested to my husband that we go for a walk, which we did.  That was better...until I came home and plopped down for a good long sit...again.  It was then that it struck me...I immediately shifted on my sofa and googled "treadmill desk".

And there, right before my very eyes was a hideous, room-hogging contraption that spanned several square feet of treasured space at the low, low cost of $500 (which was one of the cheaper models).  I didn't need an entire office at my treadmill, just a flat surface on which I could pin amazing things on Pinterest or check email or, most importantly, write, while walking at a leisurely pace.  The idea isn't to do a workout while writing, it's to NOT SIT while writing.  I googled "how to make a treadmill desk" and I found this gem:  It's a 3-minute how-to on building your own simple treadmill desk!

AMAZING!  I decided then and there that I would make my own!

I am writing this post from my new treadmill desk...while walking...not sitting on my bum!

If you don't want to watch the video, here's how I made is a little different from the video because my dad had a better idea...I prefer an easily removed desktop that can be lifted off and set aside. My dad, being the woodworker extraordinaire that he is, helped me make this but it is a simple design and that you can easily reproduce!
I started by measuring the width of my treadmill...both inside the side bars (30") and outside the bars (33").  I also measured the width of the actual bars (1 1/2").
I went to Lowe's and bought an inexpensive shelf board.  Mine measured 36" long and 10" wide.  It cost about $7.
We used scraps to make the fittings...we cut the scrap boards into 9 3/4" lengths, 1/4" shorter than the width of the shelf board.


Next, we made the brackets...glueing and then nailing - or pinning with a nail gun - the longer sides to the bottom which happened to measure  1  1/2" - the width of the bars.
Once we made the brackets, we measured twice...for insurance...the width of the inside span of the treadmill arms on the shelf then secured the brackets in place with clamps.  I had a funny feeling, and I've learned never to ignore a funny feeling, so I opted to bring the shelf home to check our placement before screwing it in permanently.  Good thing I did...we had the brackets situated on the wrong side of the line.  I moved them over, re-applied the clamps and screwed them into the shelf.  PERFECT!  The shelf fit securely over both sides of the rails...

I love my new treadmill desk!  It was very inexpensive...even if I hadn't had access to wood scraps I can't imagine it would have cost more than 15 bucks to make!

It doesn't move as I walk because I'm not walking quickly.  It's quite easy to type and gives a whole new meaning to multitasking!  I did need to elevate my computer a bit...on a hand started to ache a little.  Once it was elevated, it was to tweak in the design...or perhaps I just need to keep a book handy.
One thing I should mention...I had worried about the desk slipping off of the handles...since they are both smooth surfaces and there is some vibration as I walk.  Mine doesn't slip, it's snug enough, but I had a plan if it was looser and that is to add some of that rubberized material that keeps rugs from slipping on the floor...or that you put in your cupboards to keep dishes secure...that would keep the two smooth surfaces from sliding against each other.  Just fyi.  :)

As I've written this post, I've walked over 2 miles and have burned 295 calories!!!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great!! I think you're probably one of the most innovative persons I've ever met! I loved the way you constructed the treadmill and I think it looks professionally made. I've been searching for some treadmill desks that can serve well as a stand-up desk for me at the workplace since I want to lose some weight. I was thinking they might be a bit expensive and quite technical to make. You totally changed my opinion about it. Thanks a lot.