I wrote a blog post around 6 months ago entitled "4 Things To Consider With A Treadmill Desk." At that point in time my experience with a treadmill desk was limited to about 30 minutes at an ergonomic trade show.
There were some mixed reactions about treadmills from my own personal use and even on some major publications like the Wall Street Journal wondering if they were here to stay or just a fad.
Our friends over at LifeSpan Fitness heavily encouraged me to use one of their treadmills for an extended amount of time rather than just a few minutes to determine my opinion about it. Turns out I need to revisit my previous post...
NOT TOO AWKWARD
Yes it's slightly awkward to be towering over everyone else if you're within a cubicle farm like me; however it's not as bad as you think. People who come into our office automatically think I'm 6' 5" and play professional basketball on the weekends (...clearly a joke but not really).
Also I've gotten a lot of "Wow that's really cool!" and "I would love to use that at my desk!" comments. I believe I even had our local mail delivery guy snapping a few photos of my setup. Having a treadmill paired with an UpDesk is a great conversation starter.
I was thrown off; confused and pretty much hated my first experience of walking at a treadmill while trying to type. The feeling just wasn't natural for me. After I've used a treadmill at my desk for over two weeks now I've completely changed my tune.
My typing has become much better now that I'm used to the feeling. In fact I've noticed my focus becoming fine-tuned because of the integrated movement. I'm willing to stand and walk longer more than I was willing to just stand which is interesting.
I will say it's important to find the perfect speed. My sweet spot is around 1.8 mph. That way I don't become fatigued and able to walk for 2 or 3 hours straight without any issues.
SPACE MANAGEMENT & APPROPRIATE CLOTHING
My opinion really hasn't changed much from my original last two points which are space management and appropriate clothing issues. Personally these are the two cons I have regarding the use of treadmill desks; however your situation could be completely different from mine.
Most people do not have a huge workspace. The dimensions of the treadmill I'm currently using are around 6' x 2.5'. That isn't small! Additionally it's quite bulky to move and it virtually eliminates your ability to sit down by not allowing enough space for a chair. These are things to keep in mind if you're within a small space.
I became a little toasty while walking on the treadmill wearing some of my usual office attire. For example denim and boots are not a great mix for treadmills. I've found myself picking out lighter clothes to wear and rocking sneakers every day. What happens when it's the dead of winter? It's kind of a hassle to bring a change of clothes.
Overall I've thoroughly enjoyed using a treadmill under my desk and can definitely see its benefits. Who knows? We may even offer LifeSpan's treadmills on our website to go with our desks some day...