Treadmill desks are gaining popularity, thanks in part to studies warning that sitting for long periods increases your risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Purpose-made treadmill desks often cost thousands of dollars and are limited, at best, for fitness applications. But if you already have (or are planning to buy) a regular treadmill, you can get the best of both worlds by turning it into a part-time desk.
While researching our reports on treadmills and budget treadmills, we learned that horsepower ratings in the fitness industry aren't regulated, and that the manufacturer's motor warranty is one of the best clues to actual motor quality. This is especially important if you plan on using your treadmill as a desk. You'll probably be walking at somewhere between 0.7 and 1.5 mph while you work, and long use at slow speeds can be tough on a treadmill motor -- so get the best motor warranty you can afford. Pay close attention to belt size, too; if your treadmill has a short belt, there won't be room for both you and your desk on the treadmill at the same time.
Walk the plank
If your treadmill has flat, level handlebars, turning it into a desk is as simple as laying a board or shelf across said handlebars. Securing hook-and-loop straps to the board's underside, then wrapping the straps around the treadmill's handlebars, is an easy way to keep your makeshift desk in place.
Other creative approaches for DIY treadmill desks include:
Common sense is the key to using a treadmill desk safely. Keep the following principles in mind: