So a couple weeks ago I decided I wanted to build a walking desk.
My criteria was to basically see if I could do it for as little $$ as possible.
First step was to acquire a treadmill. I took a quick look on Craigslist, but most of them were pretty beat up or too expen$ive. So, I put a call out on Facebook. I actually don’t use FB much, but of all the social networks I belong to that is the one where I have the most connections to people I know in Raleigh. That same day I got a message from a former coworker who happened to have a treadmill he didn’t want. Yay!
Getting it out of his house was a bit tricky (two flights of stairs!), but thanks to him and another friend I brought along we managed, and we only had to remove one door to do it.
Once at my house we carried it into the living room; and there it sat for a week. I walked on it a couple times, just to verify it was working, but also to get an idea for how I wanted to attach a desktop onto it. I eventually settled on laying a board from the side of an old desk on top of the handholds. Here’s a catalog picture of the treadmill to get an idea of what I’m talking about:
To cut it out I first had my daughter create an “offset stick”, basically a ruler with a nail at one end. The nail followed the curve of the front handlebar so that I could trace the curve and the positions of the two side posts, with a one foot offset, onto the board with a Sharpie.
Once the tracing was done, I cut it with the jigsaw and after a few adjustments I had a board that fit nicely onto the treadmill. In the board I then drilled four holes for zip ties to attach the board to the treadmill. When finished I had something that looked like this:
Here’s a view from another angle:
With the zip ties the desk was plenty sturdy, but it was too low by about four inches. I solved that with a riser I had made for a monitor several years ago out of some scrap lumber. With the height just about right, it’s now about 1/2 an inch too high, I moved the whole shebang into my office.
Moving into the office actually took the longest of any of the other steps because I first had to remove the existing desk. Then clear the lowest shelf on the wall behind the desk and lower it to the lowest height it could be at. Thankfully the height of the monitors is just about right. The actual move took me and my eldest daughter only about 10 minutes.
And now I have a walking desk:
There’s a few things I’ll probably adjust, such as the monitor distance and keyboard height, but I’m pretty happy with it as is. Especially because, apart from time, effort, and the gas spent getting it to my house; I’ve spent a grand total of $0.00 on it.
I’ll report back in a couple weeks on how walking for 8+ miles every day while I work is going.