Stuff We Love: The LifeSpan Treadmill Desk

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/28/2012 6:00 AM   :  55 comments   :  20,588 Views

Here at dailySpark, we've talked a lot about the pitfalls of sitting. Whether you have a sedentary job, sit through lectures as a student, or do your share of commuting or couch surfing, the research is clear about spending too much time on your rear: It’s bad for your health, your back and your waistline. And while it may be surprising (even a little depressing), these facts hold true even if you are a consistent exerciser. (Boo!) After all, even an hour or two in the gym can still mean 22-23 hours a day that you're not active at all, and it's those long periods of inactivity that can increase your cholesterol, contribute to weight gain and contribute to chronic pain for many people.
 
I've previously blogged about my own attempts to counter the effects of my desk job, from creating a standing workstation to sitting on a ball to trying more back-friendly chairs. So when our friends at Best Buy offered to send us a treadmill desk to test, we jumped—er, walked—at the chance.
 
Best Buy sent us the LifeSpan TR 1200DT Desktop Treadmill, which we set up in an empty cube at the office so that all employees who wanted to try working from their feet instead of their butts would have an equal chance to use it. So what's it like to work while you walk? Check out our video review, then hear from our other testers and get more details on this walking station.
 
To watch me working from the treadmill desk and see how it works, check out the video below.


 
If you couldn't tell from the footage above, I adore this treadmill desk. I actually wish I had one all to myself that I didn't have to share! For me, working from the treadmill desk was easy and effortless. I'm naturally a very fidgety person who has a hard time sitting still. I suffer from back  pain and general body discomfort when sitting even a couple of hours. The treadmill desk is a great solution for me. I'm able to do anything and everything in my workday, from writing blogs (like this one!) to answering my emails, talking on the phone, and editing articles for SparkPeople.com while I stand and walk. While all of our testers enjoyed standing at the treadmill desk or walking with it, a few felt a little uncoordinated about walking while working—kind of in a rubbing your belly while patting your head kind of way. Here's what a few of our other testers had to say:
 
"I love it. I have been aiming for two hours at a time a few times a week at a pace of 2.5-3.0 mph. (I’m a fast walker naturally.) It has tremendously reduced my low back pain throughout the day, helped me battled afternoon fatigue, and allowed me to squeeze in cardio no matter how heavy my workload. Can we have another one?" – Stepfanie, SparkPeople Editor (pictured left)

"I’ve used the treadmill desk three times now, and I love the boost of energy it gives me in the middle of a work day! However, I do find that I have trouble focusing on writing-related tasks while I’m walking on it. Otherwise, I think it’s a great way to sneak some extra movement into the day, and I’d definitely recommend using it during reading or other non-writing tasks." –Melinda, SparkPeople Editorial Assistant

"I love the treadmill desk.  When I’m in the right state of mind and ready to move while I’m getting work done, it is a wonderful alternative.  At times I have also stopped the treadmill and used it simply as a standing desk.  I do find that certain types of work are easier to do while walking.  Some kinds, especially intense thinking an analyzing not good while in motion (for me).  I’m sure this sort of thing varies a lot person to person, however." – Paul, SparkPeople Programmer

"I used it yesterday and walked for an hour.  The time flew by and I was able to get a good amount of work done while burning calories.  I liked it.  I was actually surprised how easy it was to walk and work at the same time.  I don't think I'd be able to run and work, but walking and working was fine." – Sean, SparkPeople Sales and Marketing
 
"I thought the treadmill desk was a really nice set-up overall, and could definitely see myself using it a lot for certain tasks. While I don’t think (at least initially) I’d be able to do a lot of typing and very involved work while on it, I did find that by simply going back and forth between walking (really slow) and just using it as a standing desk, I was still able to be quite productive while not just sitting at my desk!" – Tim, SparkPeople Marketing
 
We've all found the treadmill desk easy to set-up, adjust and use. It adjusts up to 4 mph, which is a very brisk walking pace even for fit individuals. The only downside to me is that I can't also use this treadmill for running (for fitness) in addition to using it as a walking workstation (during the workday). But the point of using the treadmill desk isn't necessarily to walk so fast that you're huffing and puffing at work (although you could). The idea is simply to get on your feet, increase your steps and be more active throughout the day, as even a slow walk has numerous health and calorie-burning benefits compared to sitting. Outside of working, you can also set up your computer and watch movies, play games, or surf the web to reduce your sedentary time, making it a great addition not just to office environments, but for your home.
 
The Life Span Treadmill desk gets two thumbs up from SparkPeople's employees and fitness experts! Just imagine if every office in America provided these to their workers. We'd save countless dollars on healthcare, reduce widespread obesity and its health complications, and probably have a much happier and more productive workforce!
 
Jealous of SparkPeople's treadmill desk? You can purchase your own from BestBuy.com (a healthy way to spend your tax return!) or select Best Buy stores that have "Health Technology" departments, which are full of health and fitness gadgets and have specially-trained employees on staff that can explain how to use all the cool technological products. And stay tuned: We'll be giving away one of these awesome treadmill desks on April 13, courtesy of LifeSpan! Special thanks again to our friends at Best Buy for sending us the treadmill desk for free!

Treadmill image courtesy of BestBuy.com.
 
Would you use a treadmill desk for work/school/fun if you had one? How do you squeeze more steps or activity into your workdays?





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Comments

  • 55
    This link no longer works- the treadmill is no longer available. :( - 4/7/2014   5:41:21 AM
  • FLEURDYLYS
    54
    I have a treadmill desk in my home! ( I'm using it right now) I love it, I can only use my computer while I'm on it so even if I'm just standing it's improving my health. I named my treadmill "Sunshine". :) - 4/6/2014   11:59:40 AM
  • 53
    I want one and I don't have a desk job...this would just be awesome for web surfing. - 2/6/2014   5:23:30 PM
  • 52
    I want one and I don't have a desk job...this would just be awesome for web surfing. - 2/6/2014   5:23:29 PM
  • 51
    Oh my God, I want one! - 6/26/2012   9:27:49 AM
  • 50
    we have some treadmill desks at my workplace.They are controled so we can't go more then 2mph. a problem is the company we get them from has really bad support if something breaks, it takes weeks for them to fix it. i wish we could get more because they had to change our schedules to limit us all to 1 hour a day or less so more people could use it. - 4/6/2012   12:12:20 AM
  • ONLYTEMPORARY
    49
    I would love this kind here at home. We have the big Gold Gym one and can read while walking but doing other things would be even nicer. - 4/5/2012   3:33:31 PM
  • 48
    I would love something like this, especially for reading or web surfing. Like the reviewers mentioned, I don't think I could do any work that required heavy thinking. - 4/2/2012   12:20:05 PM
  • 47
    I want to get a bicycle desk. - 4/2/2012   11:08:01 AM
  • 46
    This looks so cool!! I'd love one. - 4/2/2012   8:38:32 AM
  • 45
    I would love one of these...and since I work from home, it would be a workable consideration; however, my home office is in the loft of my home, taking as little space as possible, so I would have to deconstruct part of my desk to install this...between the premium on space in my home, and the cost of the equipment @ $1300, it is a bit more costly than I care to invest right now....maybe down the road a bit. - 3/31/2012   11:23:48 AM
  • 44
    Now I find this a little humerous ONLY because I have a higher counter that I work at @ work .... and when I'm reading things on my little laptop at it - I march , walk or jog in place as i'm doing it!! So do I really need a treadmill to perform this "exercise"??? I think I'm 1 up on the process w/out using electricity or spending $$ on equipment (being GREEN) and making use of otherwise time spent idle or sitting!! - 3/31/2012   8:41:09 AM
  • 43
    Too crazy for me! Exercise time is enjoyable for me. I can read a book on the treadmill sometimes, but when I really want to focus on posture and pace, I close the book. - 3/29/2012   8:46:31 PM
  • TRULYVISIBLE
    42
    I agree with the post that says it's an accident waiting to happen. 6 months in a cast would not be good for my health. I have an attorney friend who talks to clients on his cell while walking up and down his small hall in the office. He does this the entire day and only sits for meetings. There are lots of safe ways to get exercise during the day but I don't think this is one of them. - 3/29/2012   7:34:12 PM
  • 41
    I have an office job. It's not in the cards right now, but It could be possible down the road. In the meantime, I make do by riding my bike to work, and getting up from my desk to stretch when I feel the need. It works most days. The exception is all day meetings. I find them very hard to get through because I have trouble sitting and paying attention for all those hours. If there is teleworking in my future, I'll try to get one of these.

    PS. I just looked on Amazon. They have one that gets nearly 5 stars for about half the price of the Life Span treadmill. They also have a pedal desk that gets comparable reviews for an even lower price. - 3/29/2012   6:15:57 PM
  • 40
    I'd LOVE this! If the price ever comes down to under $1,000 maybe. Right now I read while using the Nordic Track, or walk in place on my recovery board while watching TV. - 3/29/2012   1:43:24 PM
  • 39
    Being handicapped I have to really pay attention when I am walking on the treadmill - my left ankle is a bit unsteady at time - so no I probably would not use this. I remember a few years back when a member lost her toe from walking on the treadmill. I think it would distract me also from the task at hand. - 3/29/2012   9:37:28 AM
  • WYVREN_HEART
    38
    I am a student and spend hours a day sitting. Even when I am not actually partaking in class time there is an endless pile of homework that follows me around and it usually requires reading text books or using a computer. I would love to give a desk/treadmill comination a try! I think it would be amazing to help burn some extra calories and help keep the energy up! - 3/29/2012   9:14:33 AM
  • 37
    I'd love to try it! I work in a doctor's office so I can envision it being in a place where we could share it's use during the day. - 3/29/2012   8:21:58 AM
  • 123ELAINE456
    36
    I would love to try one. You could get a lot done after you get use to it. It is great for work places for people to get exercise and work at the same time. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. - 3/29/2012   6:19:49 AM
  • 35
    I dont call them treadmills, to me their dreadmills....lol - 3/29/2012   5:53:14 AM
  • 34
    oh, yeah, I would love one of these and would use it a lot! I need to build more activity into my day. - 3/29/2012   2:18:27 AM
  • 33
    There is NO way in the world I would use one of these. -- (I'm one of those people who can trip over the crack in the sidewalk!) It would be a liability for me to attempt to work & walk at the same time! - 3/29/2012   1:47:48 AM
  • 32
    I'd kill myself on one of these. I hate being sedentary but I think this kind of multitasking is an accident waiting to happen. Using it while watching TV, stuff like that, it might work but I think your work output would suffer in quality and quantity, not to mention the safety problem. I wonder what OSHA thinks of these. - 3/29/2012   12:16:43 AM
  • 31
    $1200 puts this out of the price range of exercise equipment and it better work as a piece of furniture too! I think this would be a great thing to own but I know that I'd need to win one, I could never afford one! Very interesting reviews... - 3/28/2012   11:52:52 PM
  • 30
    Absolutely not for me!! Being rather "graceless" means I have to hold onto the bar(s) when walking on the treadmill; I can't even manage to sip my coffee while walking on it. I prefer to focus on what I'm doing on the computer entirely while studying. I do like to take a break occasionally and step over to the treadmill (which actually is only 6 inches away from the side of my desk at home), leaving my computer and coffee cup safely on the desk! -- Maryjean - 3/28/2012   11:20:59 PM
  • 29
    I WANT THIS. I WANT THIS. I WANT THIS! This is the one piece of "exercise" equipment I would use in a heartbeat. Finally someone has come up with a useful desk!! - 3/28/2012   11:20:01 PM
  • 28
    I just love this product and would love to find a way to convince my employer to get one to share for our division of 14 people. Any help on that? - 3/28/2012   10:13:07 PM
  • RASPKAT
    27
    My supervisor currently has one, and he loves it. I would love to get one for myself to counteract all the sitting I do with my deskjob. - 3/28/2012   6:12:09 PM
  • 26
    That looks pretty cool. I'm wondering if you could solve the problem of not being able to write or type that well while working to incorporate the same concept into a stationary bike. - 3/28/2012   5:46:29 PM
  • 25
    This would be so awesome! However, since I work for the government, the chances of getting one are probably slightly better than being struck by lightening during a snowstorm. - 3/28/2012   2:06:49 PM
  • ERICA536
    24
    i want one of these soooo bad!! i would love to get rid of my old desk and chair and set up a treadmill desk for when i'm on the computer, specially when logged on to sparkpeople ;-) - 3/28/2012   1:46:04 PM
  • 23
    If I had one I'd totally use it, but they are soooo expensive. - 3/28/2012   1:20:33 PM
  • 22
    What a great idea! Now, I can get rid of the desk to make room for one. - 3/28/2012   12:28:00 PM
  • CORYGWILSON
    21
    I have this in my office as my desk. i work about 10 hrs a day (on the computer) and when im done working the last thing i want to do is work out. so this has led to me gaining about 85lbs in the past 3 years. since i got this about 2 months ago i have lost over 25 lbs and average walking distance is 7.5 miles a day. My energy level has sky rocketed and i look and feel better. This product has truely changed my life thank you Lifespan Fitness! - 3/28/2012   11:55:05 AM
  • JANETOBER
    20
    I love this Treadmill Desk also... I find it works perfectly into my life as a writer and a runner. Though I get exercise from running, I don't like sitting as many hours a day as my job requires, so this is the perfect solution. My review here: www.janetober.com/2011/12/27/video-
    review-of-the-lifespan-fitness-desk
    / - 3/28/2012   11:54:19 AM
  • BROCCOLIROSE
    19
    WAY cool! The cost is a bit high for me but I could certainly see where this would be a great solution to that "spread" developed from years of sitting at a desk! Thanks to those other Sparkers that added to the post by telling how they modified their own exercise equipment to function like this one from Best Buy, necessity IS the mother of invention! - 3/28/2012   11:50:13 AM
  • 18
    I wish I had room. - 3/28/2012   11:42:24 AM
  • 17
    I feel that my workout time is an opportunity for me to focus on nothing else. I dont want to work on a computer while working out. I feel this takes away from the intensity of the workout. If i am working on a computer, while on the treadmill, i have to modify my workout to accomodate this (it inhibits me from running, or even walking at too brisk of a pace). This is a NO GO for me! - 3/28/2012   11:12:42 AM
  • 16
    I would use this in a heartbeat. I use my regular treadmill in much the same way, though it's "desk" isn't as stable (I envy that). So, when do we get to win one?!?!?! - 3/28/2012   11:11:31 AM
  • 15
    That sounds like a great piece of equipment. And giving one away the day before my birthday, what a great present that would be! LOL. My office has a regular treadmill, but it's not set up at the moment due to no room in the office. We have too much equipment for our customers in the back office where it used to be set up. - 3/28/2012   10:23:35 AM
  • MARJORIMK
    14
    we have this at our office in a conference room...we now use a sign up sheet due to its popularity. absolutely love it! - 3/28/2012   9:51:24 AM
  • DAWNB14
    13
    The cost alone leaves it out of my price range. I'm with DKWP614, her treadmill desk is just as effective, and the cost is miniscule compared to the Lifespan. Granted, a person would have to already own a treadmill, but they're much less expensive. There are videos on youtube which show how to construct your own desk, even if you have a manual treadmill (which is what I have). - 3/28/2012   9:51:11 AM
  • 12
    I work from home, and while there are times I can get up and stretch, there are other times I feel almost tethered to my laptop. I find myself often changing my sitting position throughout the day to find something that's comfortable for me, for that point in the day. A walking treadmill would definitely take that away, while allowing me to remain AT my desk to get my work done. - 3/28/2012   9:37:48 AM
  • BKRAUSE2
    11
    We love ours at our office...several us fight over using it, so I know how you feel Coach Nicole! Could not imagine going back to a full time sit down desk job...plus it helps with my back pain, I am still using my roller at night but the reduced pain has helped on my weekend warrior runs. - 3/28/2012   9:37:03 AM
  • 10
    I'm not sure how much this costs (the Best Buy website was down for maintenance when I looked), but I'm sure it's a lot more than the $16 solution I created! About two years ago, I built a desk to attach to my treadmill out of a 1/4" piece of wood and thin foam sheets from the craft store. I used velcro straps to attach it to the arms of my treadmill so that it is removable when I want to fold up the treadmill to vacuum underneath it. I've been writing, reading, watching films and just about everything computer with it while I walk ever since! It's an excellent solution for keeping me moving more regularly - and at $16 in materials - it's an easy choice to make!! I have a photo of it on my spark page, if anyone is interested in seeing how it turned out. - 3/28/2012   9:28:50 AM
  • 9
    I had seen this concept before and loved it. Didn't see a need to buy it when I already had a treadmill so I found a long, thin box i put across the handlebars that hold my laptop and phone perfectly and doesn't interfere with my walking. Also had my husband build me a simple, tall table that I use for my stationary bike. Cheap solutions that do the trick! - 3/28/2012   9:13:45 AM
  • FITALLEY
    8
    We lugged our treadmill to my husband's office several years ago, and he rigged it to his desk. Unfortunately his job requires tiny movements with his hands, and it didn't work too well, but he loved it when he could do it! It's a brilliant idea. - 3/28/2012   9:11:58 AM
  • 7
    Omg... WANT!!! As soon as I move to a bigger office, this bad boy is mine. :) - 3/28/2012   8:48:42 AM
  • 6
    My husband saw this and made a desk for our treadmill at home. Now the treadmill gets used daily instead of just getting in the way. I'll admit our home-made desk is not as nice as this one, but we couldn't let a perfectly good treadmill go to waste. - 3/28/2012   8:33:24 AM

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