You might recognize the above screenshot from our parody video Portland Appraiser Shop. It is the end of the year and many people are looking at the New Year as an opportunity to make healthy changes in their life. In October of 2013, I wrote a blog post about my treadmill desk. While a treadmill desk might seem more suited for a silly parody video, one year after changing to a treadmill desk, I can say that it is one of the best things I have ever done for my health, productivity, and happiness.
Sitting at a conventional desk has similar consequences on the human body as smoking, and these effects cannot be overcome just by exercising more. Most real estate appraisers sit for ten hours or more per day. The following short video is very informative about how harmful sitting only six hours per day can be.
A treadmill desk is such an easy solution to all of the problems associated with sitting too much. Here is a 2014 peer reviewed study on the effects of treadmill desks and work performance. For me, once a treadmill replaced my office chair, I quickly noticed the following benefits. Consequently, I will never return to sitting while working.
More Productivity: Working while walking increases blood flow and makes it easier for the brain to concentrate longer and to solve difficult problems. It is not a coincidence that walking meetings are productive and popular. Some people think that walking on a treadmill makes it difficult to type on a keyboard. However, difficulty typing might only be true for the first day or two at a treadmill desk. Remember that we are not running, just walking at a slow speed of about one to two miles per hour. Also, a person working at a treadmill desk may choose to slow or stop the treadmill for certain tasks. I occasionally step to the sides of the treadmill belt if I’m looking carefully at something small on the computer screen.
Less Back Pain: When I sit or stand without walking, my body tends to slouch. When I walk at a treadmill desk, the slouch goes away naturally. In addition, walking keeps the muscles in your back and core strong, thereby preventing injury when you are away from your desk.
Less Need for Caffeine: When I am walking at my treadmill desk, I rarely feel the need for something to wake me up. Walking naturally increases heart rate and body temperature, keeping you more awake and alert.
Lower Blood Pressure: My blood pressure was the lowest it has ever been on my last doctor visit. I like to think that is due to the treadmill desk. Prior to using a treadmill desk, I was better about doing regular cardiovascular workouts and even ran a couple half marathons. Now, I can stay healthy with fewer conventional workouts. In the New Year, I hope to exercise more away from my desk as well.
Increased Happiness: When people feel healthy, they feel happy. When finished after many hours of work at the treadmill desk, I don’t feel bad if my family asks me to sit down and watch a movie with them. Putting my feet up after a long day of work is a nice reward without the guilt that I would have if I had sat at a desk all day.
If you’re thinking of switching to a treadmill desk but you do not want to spend a lot of money, check out the Confidence treadmill from Amazon for under $200. After about 3,000 miles, my Confidence treadmill still works great. The handlebars can easily be removed to slide under a desk and it is compact, and quiet. Once you have a treadmill, just jack up your old desk, or buy a low-cost standing desk from Ikea. I used a piece of Ikea butcher block that I had in my garage to fashion a new desk above my old desk.
Did I leave anything out or do you want to join in the conversation? Let me know in the comments below.
This blog post is not offering medical advice, only my personal experiences as a Portland, Oregon real estate appraiser. You should consult with your doctor or medical professional before you begin any exercise program or start using a treadmill desk.
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