My treadmill desk: some follow-up observations

My treadmill desk: some follow-up observations
The author looking spry on his 61th birthday recently.

A couple of months ago I wrote about how much I’ve been appreciating my treadmill desk. Here are a few follow-up observations.

Take it easy!
Before I started using my treadmill desk my main scheduled exercise was walking outside (on varied, hilly terrain) for forty minutes or so three times a week. After starting, I set the treadmill and timer for four daily 20-minute sessions at 1.7 mph and a 4% incline. I felt great after the sessions and not especially tired. But after a couple of weeks I began to get achy joints. Not only my knees but also my shoulders and neck. I had been overdoing it.

As a result I reduced my walking speed to 1.2 – 1.3 mph, increased the session time to 25-30 minutes, and eliminated the incline. I now average 3-4 sessions a day and the aches have disappeared. According to the Sole F80, my daily workout consumes around 200-270 calories, down somewhat from the 300 calories I initially was burning. On average, there are one to two days each week when I don’t have time to go on the treadmill (nearly always when I’m away from home and walking while working or shopping around town).

Ramping up over time
In my first post, I speculated that I might ramp up the number, length, or difficulty of sessions over time. What I’ve found so far is that I feel well exercised and reluctant to walk more after 90-120 minutes of treadmill per day. While I’m sure that I could stay on the treadmill longer I am satisfied with the time I spend on the machine and don’t currently plan to do more.

Sleeping better
I’ve noticed that I sleep better on the days I exercise. This is a major plus!

Weight loss
After having more or less the same weight for the last year, I’ve lost six pounds over the last three months. I seem to be keeping the weight off. Losing a couple of pounds a month is approximately what you’d expect from the amount of additional exercise I’m now doing. I can stand to lose some more weight—long may this continue!

Increased creativity
Finally, I continue to find working while walking a significant stimulus to my creativity. For a long time I’ve been writing about one blog post a week. Recently, I have been averaging nearly two a week. I am also working on finishing my next book, and have found it much easier to get those 600+ words a day written while walking.

Conclusions?
Better sleep, healthy weight loss, increased creativity? What’s not to like? As long as I don’t overdo it, using a treadmill desk works for me. Recommended!

9 thoughts on “My treadmill desk: some follow-up observations

  1. I had those same issues and problems! When I first got my treadmill, it was at a slight incline, and I found that it bothered my ankle. I also jumped on for a 5-6 hour session the first day I got it, which I definitely felt the next day. I think I’m up to around 2-3 hours a day without too much suffering. I haven’t experienced any better sleep yet though. I’ve also experience similar weight loss, which is awesome! I’ve documented my progress here if you’re interested: http://www.treadmilldeskdiary.com

    1. Lots of good information on your website! I aim for an a-little-tired-but-not-sore end result, so I will probably keep to my regimen of 1½ – 2 hours per day (I’m also older than you :-)).

  2. Increased my walking speed to 1.8 mph a few months ago without any noticeable effects (except I walk a little further each day)!

    I use my Apple Watch to track time on my treadmill desk; it underestimates distance walked by a factor of ~2 because I’m not moving anywhere and my wrists are steadily typing rather than swinging back and forth. I submitted a request to Apple for a “treadmill desk” exercise workout; it would be easy to do with the addition of an adjustable speed spinner to indicate how fast the treadmill is set. My hopes are not high for this addition to Watch OS, but you never know…

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