I have no problem understanding why some people might think it’s absurd. Even I think it’s a little absurd: I’m spending a not inconsiderable amount of money for a rig that will enable me to walk while I work.
Why can’t I just exercise, go to the gym, run, or even walk?
Well, it’s complicated. But basically it’s like this: personal history has shown that I will not sustain an extra-curricular exercise program over the long term.
It’s not that I don’t like rigorous exercise. I do. I’ve been a swimmer, a runner, a racquetball player, a runner again, a spin-classser, even an aqua-jogger. But eventually, something happens. Usually that something is some kind of nagging stress injury. And then I give up the activity and tend not to go back to it.
I love walking, but never feel like there’s enough time in the day to walk long enough to make much of a difference.
When standing desks started becoming the rage, I briefly considered one, until I remembered that I hate standing. It makes my legs sore and my back hurt. I thought, “I can walk for hours pain free, but running and standing suck. Why can’t they just put a walking treadmill under a desk?”
And then, of course, I discovered that “they” had.
And I read things that validated the idea. Like articles citing studies that show that sitting all day turns our internal organs into grape jelly. And articles that talk about the benefits of non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
Still, it just seems so ridiculous. But the notion that a huge percentage of our society has become extremely sedentary much faster than our species can adapt to it does seem credible. 200 years ago, life required most people to be a lot more active. Whether it was walking behind a plow, or foraging for food, or even churning butter, we moved a lot more.
Even worse, this rapid change towards sedentariness has overlapped with a rapid change in our food supply. Food is now more abundant and fattening than ever.
Even so, I hadn’t acted on the treadmill desk idea until the New Yorker ran this recent article by Susan Orlean describing her path to and experience with a treadmill desk. Orlean’s article lit the fire under me to act.
So, we’ll see how it goes. I should be getting the desk and the treadmill this week. It’ll probably take me a good chunk of the weekend to assemble it and integrate it into my office. I’ll let you know how it’s going.
Oh, and if you are interested in the topic, I found a site that I think is a fantastic resource. I learned a lot of buying info really quickly on Workwhilewalking.com. Start there.