Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

The advantages of treadmill and stand-up desks

Disclaimers: The information provided is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Links in articles maybe affiliate or sponsored links.

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The below was actually first written a couple years ago when I was first introduced to stand up and treadmill desks. Now in 2017 I actually work at home and have a standup desk and a treadmill desk. My daily routine consists of standing for a few hours, walking for around 400 calories on the treadmill desk and then sitting for the remainder of the time. Below are my thoughts on this new way of working, originally written earlier but updated as necessary here.

standup deskWhen a standup desk was first mentioned to me I was skeptical. Could I stand all day, or part of the day? Would I want to?

I didn't know, of course, how hard or easy standing in the office would be. I had heard that sitting all day was similar to smoking and not very healthy.

I was excited when the desk – a Varidesk – arrived. The setup was easy. Basically you pull it out of the box, place it on your desk and that's it. Setup complete. Place your monitor or monitors on top and make sure cables are long enough that you can lift the desk to its standing position.

Once it's set up, the lifting or lowering takes about 3 seconds. Very easy.  Now it was time to decide: Do I want to stand or sit and how do I decide when to switch?

I decided to start standing. I got used to the new standup desk – but not that quickly. I stood and stood and stood and stood – all day. I went home and was sore. Could I do this every day?  Why did I put some lofty requirement on myself anyways?

I tried again the next day. I even went on a six-mile run that evening. My body was definitely hurting. But I knew of the health benefits, it actually helps me be more alert during the day and standing added around 300 more calories per day, according to My Fitness Pal, my calorie-counting iPhone app.

I started to like standing and stood most of the day. Some tasks are easier while standing:

  • Writing
  • Video Editing
  • Talking on the phone – I actually like walking around while on the phone.

Some tasks that I don't like to do standing up:

  • Eating lunch
  • Reading and editing copy

Going to meetings throughout the day and sitting down feels like a treat. Sometimes, when I'm out of the office for a few days and have attended meetings where I've sat most of those days, I'm looking forward to my standup desk.

Clearly, you don't have to stand all day or even most of the day. These standup desks are designed to make the transition quick and painless. You might start standing 10 or 15 minutes for each 45-60 minutes of sitting and go from there.

hamster wheelTreadmill desks are another new way to work. I started using one in late October 2014 while at MedTouch. I try to hop on it at least once a day.

It's been a great addition to my day in the office. I move from standing to walking back to standing.

I try to go on the treadmill desk for at least 60 minutes per day. Not necessarily in one session, but at the least I try to go 30 minutes twice throughout the day.

I go at 2 mph which is a decent speed to be on calls without being too much out of breath and it's even possible to type. But it does take some practice. The first time I tried to type while walking I wasn't very successful. It probably didn't help that I tried to go 3 mph. Heck, I walk at 4 mph in the gym and run at around 6.5-8 mph. I had to remember that this wasn't the gym!

Using the mouse can be a little trickier even at 2 mph, but works for many tasks

Burning off more calories, of course, is great because it allows me to eat a little more that day. 😱 It also makes me feel great. And finally it makes me feel coordinated: Typing, walking and talking at the same time sounds like an accomplishment. Good thing I don't chew gum.

I currently use this treadmill at home. It's easily pushed underneath my stand up desk and helps me maximize space.

Treadmill for desk

(Most of this content was written in 2014 and then updated in 2017.)

Interestingly, I'm still using a lot of the techniques I started three years ago today. Just the location and exact tools have changed a little bit.


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Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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