First Year with my Treadmill Desk – 1844 kms.

Well, Monday will mark the one year anniversary of working with my treadmill desk, so I thought it would be appropriate to do a bit of an update here! Yes, I’m still using it, so I guess that’s a minor victory right there! There’s something to be said for redesigning your whole working space so the only thing you can do is stand or walk; it really does kind of force the situation a little.

That being said, in recent months I’ve started having a little pain in my left foot, I think it is a nerve issue (arch supports are helping a bit) so that has cut back the time I’ve spent walking each day in the fall.

Despite that, and despite spending a lot of time working outside on my laptop during the summer, I’ve still managed to log a grand total of 1844 kilometers while working!

I think I originally had plans of hitting 2000 miles in a year, and it seems I’ve fallen short of 2000 kilometers, which is significantly less, but at the end of the day, WHO CARES? I’ve still moved an additional 1844 kilometers I never would have, while working, and I’m pretty pleased with that overall.

If you look at it in terms of calories, apparently I’ve burned a grand total of 175,513 calories! That’s quite a lot.

Weight wise, I have managed to lose 10 pounds from my starting weight, though for a while I was down lower than that. My average over the whole year was 209 pounds, and I’m 210 today, and started at 220. So most of the weight came off pretty early. Keep in mind we’ve just cleared Christmas, with all the extra food associated! I’m hoping to take another dip here shortly.

Overall health wise, I know I’ve got more stamina and my cardiovascular system is in much better shape than if I’d just been sitting on my butt this past year. A few weeks ago I was up on a ski mountain, walking around with a friend. The lower level of oxygen was getting to him, and he was puffing quite a bit, but I never noticed it. My theory is that the constant walking has made a difference for me.

So there you have it, that’s what I did this past year. Now, it’s your turn! Make that story your own in 2013!

April – Progress at 4 Months

Here we are in April already! Having started this blog around the beginning of 2012, every time I update my progress on using my treadmill desk it only serves to show how quickly time has flown!

I typically spend up to 8 hours per day on my treadmill desk, sometimes more, and sometimes less. When I first got the TrekDesk setup with the treadmill, I was going hard – too hard – trying to go about 3 miles per hour (4.8 km/h) throughout the day. As it turns out, my body simply wasn’t up to that particular challenge at the time, and although I soon cut things back to 2 mph (3.2 km/h), my body protested for weeks regardless.

If you’ve been sitting for the better part of the last few years like I had, and you’re planning on switching to a treadmill desk setup, then please understand that your body needs to be strengthened. This is a good thing, but as the old saying goes… no pain no gain.

I’d recommend making sure you have a decent pair of shoes to wear as well. Sure, you’re working at home, but those slippers or Crocs (my personal favorite) simply aren’t going to cut it. Make sure you have something with good support that is meant for either walking or running. You need it.

So the first few weeks my body protested, but gradually got with the program regardless. Often times I would take a break from walking and simply stand at the desk, which I actually quite enjoy. Occasionally I found myself longing to just flop into my comfy office chair and stare at my big screen from there, but it is useful having eliminated that particular option from the mix, by mounting the screen on the wall at the trekdesk. Now, four months in, the craving for a nice chair has pretty much disappeared. So has the daily aches and pains, some time ago actually.

If you’re yet to take the plunge, don’t be discouraged by hearing about the transition phase, it really hasn’t been that bad, and everything is well worthwhile anyhow. At the end of the day, do you want to be healthy, or don’t you?

So here we are in April, I’m still going mostly 3.2 km/h, although lately I’ve started upping that a little, to around 3.6 or 3.8 km/h. At that rate, depending on the length of time I spend walking, I’ll go from around 5 km to 20 km a day. Yeah, I do have lazy days at 5 km, and then there are better days pushing 20. That should show you I don’t actually walk ALL day long, most days. Sometimes I do, and on those days, I’m still sore. I’m getting there though!

I keep a spreadsheet of my progress each day, tracking date, weight that morning, and kilometers walked. I just ran an average and discovered that my overall average distance since I got started has been 10.11 km per day. Initially I figured I was just going to walk the entire time, but things haven’t worked out that way. Regardless, I’m happy to report that I’ve traveled about 668 km so far! That equates to something like (rough estimate) 64,000 calories burned! Not to mention of course the muscles strengthened, health improved in other ways, etc.

One thing I do is on occasion if I feel like sitting down, I simply use a stool and place it on the treadmill. I’ve got a couple 2×4′s that I lay on the track to give me a little extra height and also to distribute the weight across the platform more evenly. That has worked well for the days when I’m simply not in the mood for walking.

In terms of working, I’ve found that using the TrekDesk setup with a treadmill is actually quite easy for most things. Common tasks for me include reading, typing, some graphic design, and video editing. Occasionally if I’m going to be reading a good chunk, I’ll kick the speed up a notch or two. I’ve found I can do most other things quite comfortably at 3.2 km/h, although for fine detail stuff, like using Photoshop, I’ll sometimes stop the treadmill and just stand for a bit.

A couple other notes on the health situation:

  • Don’t use too much of an incline. I suddenly ended up with shin splints one day, and after adjusting the incline back down to 1.0, they quickly disappeared.
  • For best results, I’d recommend some form of other strength training exercise. I’m fairly terrible at this, although I do have a chin up bar that I use occasionally. Don’t expect that just because you’re walking lots now you’re going to be the epitome of health and fitness. The rest takes work too.
  • Weight loss: yes, I’ve been losing weight. It’s hard to tell how much is due to walking and how much due to intermittent fasting; however in general things are going well.

Well, that’s more or less where things are at. If you have questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments area.

Beginning of March – Progress

Well here we are in the beginning of March. Using my Trekdesk has been an interesting experience, to be sure. Overall I think I’ve been on it nearly six weeks now, and I am definitely noticing results.

For quite some time I was sore all the time; my body simply wasn’t used to standing this long each day, and it wasn’t used to walking that much either. However, as the initial shock wore off, my body is getting on board with the program.

I’m sore far less now, and I can walk longer.

A few weird aches and pains have surfaced though.

Last week I had a weird pain in my forearm. In response to that, I increased the height of the TrekDesk by one setting, after realizing that my wrists were still at a bit of an angle. Now there’s maybe only a half inch drop between my elbows and the resting position of my wrists when I’m typing, and the pain went away as quickly and mysteriously as it arrived.

Then I got shin splints in the same manner. I realized I had the treadmill set at 1.5% incline, and that was a possible cause, so I dropped that to 1.0, and took it easy over the weekend, and again, problem solved.

One thing I still need to look into is better shoes though.

So overall, I’m very much enjoying my treadmill desk setup, I think it is a tremendous step forward for my health, and really something that I should have done a long time ago!

Early Experiences with my Treadmill Desk

So I’ve had this treadmill desk for a few weeks, and the first thing I can tell you is I’m always sore now!

Part of the problem is I’ve bit off more than I was ready for. I’m amazed at how far my body’s overall strength must have slid during my years slouched in an office chair, but the ongoing pain in my body each night is testament to the fact that something major has changed!

When I first hopped on the treadmill, I figured I could easily go fairly quickly. Of course, it didn’t help anything that my friend Dave got setup with one of these things at the same time as me, and due to the fact that he’s used to running on a regular basis, has been able to rip it up at 4 or 5 miles per hour, all day long. He doesn’t have a fancy TrekDesk like me, but he has managed to burn through a treadmill already!

Me, I was happy going at 3 miles an hour, though I’ve since toned it down a hair.

Now, I usually start off at the beginning of the day at a paltry 1 mph just to get the blood flowing, but I quickly move it on to 2 mph as I find that pace much more comfortable.

Last week I went through a spell with a bunch of pain in my lower back, due to the standing mostly I think, rather than walking. So I’ve been experimenting with some stretches, and so far I’ve had good results.

Gradually my body is catching up with this new level of activity… the legs, feet and back are all becoming slightly less sore with each passing day, and although it may seem like I’m complaining here, I’m not. I’m thrilled that I now have a means of exercising on a regular basis that doesn’t require me to do anything outside of my normal routine.

For an admittedly lazy guy like me, that’s huge.

Four Days In… And I’m Tired!

I got my TrekDesk setup last Friday, and today its Thursday morning, so I’ve been using the treadmill for nearly a week of business days now. I’ve not been on the treadmill for as long as I wanted, due to the fact that I had a number of things requiring me to work elsewhere during that time, but despite interruptions, in the four full work days I’ve had, I managed to log 53 kilometers (32.9 miles) while working on my computer.

I’m pretty happy with that.

And it’s not meaningless distance either – my body is feeling the difference.

For one thing, I’m actually tired at the end of the day. Physically tired, not just bored with the monotony of work! (well, its not THAT bad :) ). It really highlights the pathetic level of fitness I’d slumped to (literally). Last night my legs were sore, my feet, and my back a bit too, from standing.

That’s all to be expected though, I think, as my body regains strength in these areas that haven’t been getting properly used all this time. I’m quite curious to see how I’m feeling after a full month on here. I expect that as I get stronger, the aches will disappear.

On the plus side, the other day after work I felt like I’d been working out. You know that high you get sometimes from physical activity? I felt like I had more energy, and it was great.

Also, I’m really loving the time I get on the couch after work now. Haha.

What would have been really cool would be if I could have found a doctor to give me a full physical prior to starting this, complete including bloodwork and everything, and then give me another complete one at 6 and 12 months along. I think that would be most interesting, to see the results.

Well, I guess I should wrap up this entry – last night I managed to get my second monitor mounted on the wall, so stay tuned for a post on how that went.