Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Treadmill Desk

At July’s Ignite San Diego, I saw Ernesto give a talk where he showed his treadmill desk. Yesterday, I made one for myself.

Am I able to work while using it? I’m writing this blog right now while walking at 1.5 mph. 

I’m happy with the desk. I’m walking at 1.5 mph which is about right for me, sometimes I need to slow it down to 1 mph depending on the detail of work I am doing or if I am worried about sweating. You don’t sweat a lot but even so 2 hours of small sweat isn’t great if you are going to a meeting. I have not yet gotten to try it out pair programming (except remotely, which doesn’t count). I’m not sure whether or not you need 2 treadmills for that.

$1250 total.  
Let’s break that down.
Treadmill - $1,000
Desk - $250
I’m happy with my choices, but I believe a treadmill bought off of craigslist can dramatically improve the bottom line here.

Q. Do the controls on the floor matter?
A. No, you aren't changing the speed often or at all, and it's moving slow.

Q. Do you like it?
A. Yes

Q. Do you sweat?
A. Not at 1 mph, a little at 1.5 mph

The Parts
The Tread Mill

I got a AFG 3.0 AT treadmill. It cost $800 on sale at sports chalet. I also got the extended 5 year warranty which was an additional $200. I don’t usually get the warranty, but thought I might be using this a bit more than the average person.
It’s worth noting this thing is HEAVY (350 lbs) so get some help moving it. 
The Desk

Ikea came thru nicely with the Fredrik 50 inch long desk($200). I modified the setup to put the top self at the bottom (which you need to do 1st) but otherwise it works perfectly.
Extras. I also got a 48 inch power strip ($25 at Fry’s) which I love and would recommend for any desk. A Belkin usb hub ($25), which makes it easier to hook up the laptop to the keyboard and mouse. 

The Build
The assembly of the treadmill looks quite complicated, but I wouldn’t know because it turns out you don’t have to do it. You don’t want the hand rails anyways. and the console is just sitting at the side of the base.
The desk is likewise easy to assemble. I placed the main desk layer so that when walking on the treadmill my arms naturally bent to that height. I am also liking having the  screen at the higher height, so i don’t have to bend over, which is a bit hard while walking.