In 1998 I became independent. As I work usually at my clients side, I have invested a lot in computers, yet almost nothing in my local office. I bought a desk from IKEA and used some second hand desk I got from friends & family.

About the time we first started talking about changing our house, I read about a standing desk. For someone who was a former DJ  and now sitting most of the time, that appealed to me. As a DJ I had a standing desk ;-)

I was not sure about standing, I’m not as young as I was when I was DJ-ing all night.
Then I came across the idea of a walking desk.

The idea, is that you walk about 1.6 miles (2.4 km) an hour, while working. The theory behind, is that our body is more made to walk then to sit still. The minute I saw this, I was immediately sold. That is what I wanted in my home office.

When we started to discuss the plans of new house, I mentioned that to my architect. At that moment I was convinced that I should first have my new office and only then invest in a walking desk. Fast forward to the moment I saw the blog post from Peter. Peter is the ceo of Leanpub, the company behind the tools we used to produce our book: who is agile.

When I saw the video, it struck me. I was doing BDUF. I was designing an office for a walking desk, without knowing how it worked. I told Els (my wife) the same day, I’m going to buy the walking desk now. With that experience I will know how I should arrange my new office.

At the start of the x-mas holiday I went looking for a treadmill in Belgium that I could use in my office. In the US, there is treaddesk. Unfortunately no information to buy it in Belgium.

I finally ended up on a website with lots of treadmill and prices. (Tip for websites of shops: If you don’t show your prices online I don’t consider you a serious choice.)

As I had never run on a treadmill (yes, I am ashamed to say, that in all my staying in hotels, I never made use of these facilities.) I did want to go to shop to try out the different types.
I explained what I wanted to do, the shop owners had never heard of a walking desk. Yet they were very helpful. They explained what parts I had to de-assemble (or better not assemble when setting up the treadmill.)

I selected the T830 treadmill from DKN technology

Peter his second video, convinced me I also wanted an adjustable desk. I wanted such a desk, so that I can both walk and sit at the same desk, without having to touch my setup.
I only found one company (Steelcase) that delivers such a desk in Belgium.

After almost 2 months of working on my initial setup (2 normal tables on top of each other) my adjustable desk arrived. Already now, I know that this is how I want to work.

What about typing and mouse movements?

A lot of people ask me if I can really type or work with a mouse that way.

Check out our 2013 new years video. I finished the last 2 minutes while walking. And that was in the first week of having my treadmill.

This text has been typed while walking. If you might see spelling mistakes, this has more to do with my knowledge of English then the walking desk.

Actually, the last month I sometimes felt I had a problem standing. And then I realize I had been standing for 10 minutes and I had forgotten to turn on the treadmill.

Remember these “I will be 5 minutes at my computer and then you look up 3 hours later” moments?  I typically don’t turn on my treadmill for that. Now after 10 minutes I realize it’s taking longer. And then I make a conscious decision: stay on my desk and turn on my treadmill or actually stop working.

Other advantages?

I can focus on work much longer as before. (25 min VS 3 hours)

Want to know more?

Here is a video I shot from my computer, while walking

Here are some pictures of the walking desk in multiple setup’s.

Do you really move more?

I have a Fitbit One stepcounter since the 24 December.

Since then I stepped 800.858 steps.

That is 588 KM in 55 Days. (Remember most of day I am working at client side)
Yes not all these steps our on my treadmill desk. I still walk while waiting for my train.

Yet I know that before I had a walking desk. I NEVER arrived at 10.000 steps a day. Now I am almost never below 10.000.

Side effect: I never was a runner. I never had either: the energy, the courage and the times I tried it, I never had the physical condition. Since I have my walking desk, my condition has improved so much that it’s actually possible for me to go for a run.

Why do you do it?
It’s NOT  my intention to loose weight.
As a child I was always very very very thin (I weighted 27 KG – yes 27- when I was 11)
As a adult I’m weighting +80 KG.
In both occasion, people were telling me I should watch my weight.  They told me I had an unhealthy weight. In both occasion they had reasons. I have stopped listening to these people. I don’t care about my weight.
(When I burned down my parents house, I have learned that what people think of me, does not matter.)

So why do I walk while working?
I walk at my desk, because I’m convinced that my human body is not made to sit, at least not for + 8 hours a day.
Articles like this one confirm my bias.

 

What do I have on my desk:

 

Thinks to improve

  • a real Laptop stand
  • Docking station
  • a monitor arm to easier position my screen.
  • a huge powered USB Hub
  • Move the lift buttons to the middle of the table. Now I can’t reach them from the other side (Done)
  • More light around my screens, to give me eyes more rest
  • a small network hub for extra pc
  • I know that DKN has an tablet app. It would be nice to find one that supports the T830. Now the treadmill display is below my desk. Not a big problem, yet a little annoying.
  • a better piece of wood to put on my treadmill and below my chair.

 

Ideas for the new home-office

Install the treadmill in the ground

Articles that mention walking desk

 

 

 

 

 

 Examples of people on treadmills

 

People who disagree

Other related topics

Where to buy one

 UPDATES :

  •  69  days  > 1.029.401 steps     755 KM.   +/- 14.919 steps a  day
  • 104 days > 1.563.040 steps  1.148 KM.   +/- 15.029 steps a day
  • 188 days > 2.841.964  steps  2.092 KM.  +/- 15.117 steps a day
  • 202 days > 3.118.535  steps  2.294 KM.  +/- 15.438 steps a day
  • 279 days > 4.125.382 steps 3.048 KM.  +/- 14.786 steps a day

The number of steps per day is lower because during my 2 week holiday I did not use my fitbit. (Nor my walking desk)

  • 342 days > 5.059.533 steps 3.730 KM.    +/- 14.794 steps a day
  • 363 days > 5.433.411 steps 4.004 KM       +/- 14.968 steps a day
  • 497 days > 7.250.225 steps 5.332 KM       +/-  14.588 steps a day

(Best week: 161.213 steps a week) 

No wonder I’m much fitter. As I don’t care about my weight, I don’t track that. (Although my wife says I lost some weight.)

If you have a fitbit yourself, you can connect with me, and we can encouraging, stimulate, push eachother to keep stepping.

 

 

 







18 Responses to “I’m working from a walking desk (Treadmill desk)”

  1. Seuils Labs says:

    Congratulations on your journey to reawakening your Human Animal – who deserves to become AGILE FOR REAL again.

    Next, try squatting after walking (instead of sitting back in chair):

    The Squat Song:
    http://youtu.be/sGXP_FH5TF4

    Lower Back 101:
    http://youtu.be/Q47riu8OetQ

    Paul Merino, The Time Hunter @SEUILS

  2. yhanoulle says:

    Thanks Paul.
    I’ll start with walking.
    One STEP (pun intended) at a time.

  3. Pablo says:

    Hi Yves,

    As I tweeted, walking, running, is a “call from our old horde from the savana”.

    Look what Alexis Monville showed me few weeks ago :
    http://www.ted.com/talks/christopher_mcdougall_are_we_born_to_run.html

    Here my thinking about the horde (in french) :
    http://www.areyouagile.com/2013/02/la-horde/

    bye fellow

  4. Jonas says:

    Ziet er goed uit!!!

  5. […] His blog post about his desk setup, was the direct push to install my own walking desk. […]

  6. Jason says:

    Yves, thank you for coming to my blog (WhatIFoundOut.com) about my DYI Walking Desk and helping me find yours. I have really enjoyed reading about your experience too! I also found the yoga YouTube video about stretching your lower back in the comments on this post. Just what I needed! I’m going to watch it and try it out. When you start looking for your monitor arms let me know. I’d be glad to share What I Found Out about them and my use of them.

    Jason

  7. yhanoulle says:

    Hi Jason,

    yes please share your info on the monitor arms. Although it might be too early for me, I’m sure some of my readers might want it.

    y

  8. […] Why I like working at a walking desk […]

  9. […] Nr of steps I am talking (on my walking desk) […]

  10. Monika says:

    Hi Yves,
    Huge thanks for inspiring post :)
    Working place redesign in progress

  11. […] Hmmm, a prečo nie? Aspoň si pretiahnete chrbticu. Steve Jobs robil dôležité porady a stretnutia počas chôdze. Yves Hanoulle koučuje tímy online zo svojho walking desku. […]

  12. […] Will you always move to the country, what about distributed teams? Good question. I just finished reading: A year working without Pants from Scott Berkun. A wonderful book. In 2005 I was coaching an agile team that was distributed : partly in Belgium, partly in Yekatarinaburg. I loved doing that. I am interested in helping out a full distributed team like Berkun did. On top of it, it would be nice if I can work full time on my walking desk. […]

  13. balder says:

    I have thought of this in a slightly different way. A cycling desk. Putting parts of a hometrainer underneath the desk. (could even power the desklight or pc fans). I haven’t tried it out yet, so dont know if it’s comfortable to work on.
    I’m always moving at my desk even when I sit in my chair. Could better put it to use with walking or cycling.

  14. yhanoulle says:

    I need to have the walking desk that sets my speed.
    Generating the power would not work for me.
    A bike would probably not work for me. Walking gives me a lot of freedom.

  15. […] my experiences about my walking desk, can be found here. […]

  16. piet p. says:

    vraagje voor de ervaringsdeskundige bij uitstek: voldoet een elementaire loopband van DKN (in combinatie met een zit/sta-tafel van een ergobedrijfje)?

  17. yhanoulle says:

    ik kan enkel spreken over wat ik heb.
    ik ben geen andere setup gewoon.
    Van mijn setup ben ik zeer tevreden.

    Ik vind het wel belangrijk dat ik de snelheid kan aanpassen.
    In Amerika heb je walking desks met min of meer fixed speed, dat zou niet werken voor mij. Gisteren heb ik 1 uur vergaderd als stappend. (via skype) en ik heb de band p 4 km per uur gezet.
    (ik had nog bijna niets gestapt gisteren.)
    dat was goed te doen.
    Uiteraard toen ik nadien wat ging schrijven, heb ik het terug op 2,6 km gezet.

    Ivm de bureau, voor mij is het noodzakelijk dat de hoogte kan versteld worden door een druk op de knop.
    heel regelmatig pas ik de hoogte aan als ik bvb wel of geen schoenen aan heb. Dat gaat over een centimeter of zo, maar het gebruiks gemak is zalig. Sommige ergonomische bureaus zijn mechanisch verstelbaar. En darvan zijn er veel met vaste tussen hoogtes. dat zou niet werken voor mij.

    + hoe verstel je die dan, moet ik onder mijn bureau kruipen (aka boven mijn loopband?) nee dank je.
    Het was een serieuze investering, en ik ben blij dat ik ze gedaan heb.

  18. […] to my own investment in a walkingdesk, I have stepped + 4.000 KM this year, most of these while working at home.  For those who wonder […]


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