So one of the things that I am trying to do this year is to be more productive. One of the ways I want to achieve that is by killing two birds with one stone in the things that I do. For instance, when I bicycle, I carry my Kindle in a bag on my back and have it read my current book to me while I’m exercising.

At the beginning of the year, I decided to make a new office purchase. I bought a treadmill desk. I pictured myself walking all day while I typed away on my computer. Besides combining my work and exercise, I figured it would help reduce some of my back pains that I get from time to time. Walking helps get all of my bones into proper alignment and do away with pain.

Treadmill desks, in general, cost a lot more than a regular treadmill. I got an Exerpeutic Workfit new from eBay for a decent price, plus I had $100 in eBay gift cards that I put toward it. It set up pretty easily, too, which I was happy about. It took less than an hour to put everything together.

Then there was the question of where to put it in my office. As soon as it was assembled, I know that it wouldn’t fit where I had planned on putting it. It would have dominated my entire office. It was simply too tall. So I turned it into a corner and rearranged my office around it. It’s not optimum, since I now have trouble getting to some of my shelves, but I can work with it until a better idea comes along.

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My new office layout with my treadmill desk on the left and old desk in the center.

My wife tells me it’s not feng shui since neither of my desks are looking towards the doors. That’s not a big deal since the only think I really know about feng shui is that it’s fun to say. However, having my back to the doors does put me in an opportune position for sneak attacks from my sons.

I use the treadmill desk, but not like I had envisioned. Using one is definitely an acquired skill. When I tried writing while slowly walking, my writing was as unreadable as a doctor’s (even to me!). When I took a drink of water while walking, I wound up splashing myself in the face.

Right now, I try to walk 10 to 15 minutes out of every hour on it. The things that I feel safe doing on it are reading, internet research, e-mailing, and taking a break to watch a video. And even though, I had pictured myself doing more, I have increased the number of steps I take each day (my mom got me a FitBit for Christmas so I can track that) and my back has felt better.

I hope to gradually add more tasks to those I feel comfortable with, and thus, increase my time on the treadmill. I have also considered just using it as a standing desk for some things. Standing would certainly be better for me than sitting.

For the time being, I’ll continue to jump between my old desk and treadmill desk. My point to all this, is that we spend too much time sitting around. It’s not healthy. I’ve also read that even if you exercise daily, if you sit at a desk job, you eliminate a lot of the benefits of your workout. You don’t have to go as drastic as I did to try and change, but definitely take more breaks from your computer to walk around a bit more.

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