Don’t worry, it’s still working (I’m presently walking at 1 mph at a 1.0 incline) and no serious injuries have befallen me. However, I have decided to document my treadmill’s transformation into the totally awesome desk it now is.
I started with a simple shelf and propped my laptop on it. That worked fine for the short term, but it wasn’t good for my neck to be staring down at the screen. Plus, the screen made it hard to reach the treadmill controls. And let me tell you, when you gotta go, you gotta go, and you need to be able to hit that STOP button!
My original plan was to transfer all my files from my laptop onto the household computer, hook up a larger monitor, and get a wireless keyboard. This seemed like a good plan (although I wasn’t thrilled about transferring all my files – or having to save them somewhere else, like in the cloud, because my laptop is my life; it has all my preferences and everything).
Then I had an epiphany: my laptop has the funky little plug thing that lets it connect with a projector. Shouldn’t it connect to a monitor too? I called out, and my dear husband came running (I was too busy walking at 0.8 mph at the time to go to him), and I shared my thinking with him. He confirmed my hypothesis, and so a new plan was born.
I bought a kick ass 27″ flat screen monitor and mounted it on a shelf behind the treadmill. I then added a wireless keyboard and wrist rest to the shelf. Being vertically challenged, it so happens the board sits at exactly the correct height for ergonomic health while typing. If you’re taller than me, you’ll have to build yours up higher, and if you have the misfortune to be shorter than me, you’ll have to engineer an under-arm shelf.
I cemented a couple of pieces of those anti-fatigue mats to where the board rests on the arms of the treadmill, not because it slips – nothing really moves when the treadmill is only going 1.0 mph – but because I didn’t want the
cheap laminate extra IKEA kitchen cabinet shelving to scratch my new toy.
As you can see, it’s now very easy to reach the controls and give myself potty breaks. One of the really cool things you can’t see in this picture is the result of another epiphany. Despite any indications to the contrary, I really am quite lazy, and I was not thrilled about having to put the shelf up, put the keyboard and wrist rest on it, and then take it down after each writing session.
Moving all those things just seemed like too much work. So, I did this:
I used industrial strength Velcro! Now all I have to do is move my mouse each night! (I would’ve Velcroed the mouse too, but that seemed counter-productive when it came time to, you know, use it.)
And my laptop? What about it? Well, it sits on a lovely ($24.99) desk and is still totally ready to use even if I’m not on the treadmill. I refinished an old stool (like 1950′s old – it came with the banquette we gutted when we moved in), and it tucks in under the desk when not in use. And, unless I’m putting on socks, it’s pretty much never in use.
And there you have it, all the gory details about my new treadmill desk. I’ll leave you with one other picture though, because if you’ve ever been in a basement office (especially one where there’s a treadmill people sweat on each morning) you’ll know things can get a little ripe.
My solution is quite simple. For one, I put the treadmill as close to the window as possible to give me access to fresh air (and daylight). I then added a little fan to help beat the summer heat (I use this mostly when working out because so far the evenings have been cool enough for writing without it). But, my favourite beat-the-sweaty-dungeon-rankness solution is my essential oils diffuser.
I use it when I run in the mornings, and again when I write at night. It sits there, puffing away, and makes my office smell wonderful. It’s currently vaporizing a combination of lemongrass and eucalyptus, but I have also enjoyed peppermint as well as lavender.
If I hadn’t taken the picture late at night, you would have also seen that I have a lovely view of my back yard from my treadmill desk. This will be a wonderful asset if I ever find the time to write before my children are in bed…
Oh, and in case you’re wondering whether or not this set up does any good, the display says I burned 117 calories while composing this blog post. Somehow I doubt my couch ever came close to that!