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Walking at your workplace (other than home offices)?

Hello! I'm pretty new here, but it seems like quite a few of you are working from home. How many of you are using a treadmill desk at offices outside of home?

I got a treadmill recently and set up a desk for it. I've been using it at home and I LOVE it. But now I'm finding myself spending a good portion of everyday 8-hour weekday daydreaming about bringing it in to my office at work. Sitting just isn't doing it for me anymore. I really want to be able to walk at work.

So I'm wondering how many others have tried convincing their supervisors to let them use treadmill desks at work. If you've successfully or unsuccessfully tried to bring walking to your workplace, I'd really like to hear about your experience. And I would be ever so grateful for any advice you might have as well!

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Hi Joy,

I would imagine the biggest problem would be the noise, not that it's that loud, but if you have coworkers close by the footstep and drone of your tread might get to them a little bit. If you have your own office, you could tell them you would sign some sort of waiver for insurance purposes if they are afraid you would fall off or something. Other than that, you can tell them that you would probably be more productive. I find my self psyched to dig into something I know is going to take a while, because I look up when I'm done and find I just walked a few miles and didn't even notice!


Hi Dan,

Thanks for your thoughts on this! I'm lucky enough to have my own office where I very rarely receive visitors. And I think it is plenty big enough to have both my treadmill desk and a small sit-down desk with chair for paperwork and such. I play music in my office everyday and my co-workers say they don't even hear it. So I'm thinking that the noise of a treadmill should be fine.

The waiver is a terrific idea. I work as a staff member for a public University and I wouldn't be surprised at all if their concerns end up being about safety...

It was actually my boss's idea! Our marketing director stumbled onto a YouTube video from one of the many news clips about it, and presented it to him. We are pretty wellness-minded here, though. So he was looking for volunteers, and the first few to try it didn't get past the first half of an hour (which is when I find it began to feel a lot more normal) and I was not hesitant to profit from their gain in that regard. I volunteered, and I have not desired for it to leave my cubicle ever since then.

There is some noise from the footsteps and the hum of the machine, as Daniel said. I work in customer service, though, where white noise is quite welcome to help us not hear the phone calls of our coworkers (it is really hard for me to focus on one voice when I can hear another too well, and many of my coworkers find it to be the same for them). The only concern anyone seems to have had was safety, so I do think the waiver is a good idea to help reassure those in charge.

Definitely mention the increase in productivity that is bound to ensue, though. Mention the studies showing how walking while working improves mood, overall well-being, and immune system (aka, everybody doing it could result in lower cost of insurance across the board). Those are bound to get some attention.
Hi Melody,

Wow! It was your boss's idea?! You must work for a really cool company! Good for you!

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and the issues people had. Has anyone else in your office stuck to it? I do have a couple co-workers who have caught the same bug and are excited about the idea. We were talking yesterday about the possibility of setting up a treadmill workstation in one of the empty offices down the hall and allowing people to sign up for it and rotate using it.

Do you know of any studies in particular that I should point people to? The benefits do seem so incredible that it is hard to imagine anyone not paying attention, but I am worried that the safety concern might outweigh it for some. Hopefully not, but it is a big public University that I work for and they may have some silly legal concerns. I think the better prepared I am to address their concerns and to point out the benefits, the more likely it is that it will be approved.

Safety isn't really as big an issue as some would think. You're walking at slow paces (1-2 miles an hour, generally), so falling off the treadmill is not the injury risk it would be if you were walking more quickly, jogging, or running. Beside that, there is also the little emergency cord that many treadmills / treadmill desks come with, so if you lose your balance enough to jerk the cord, the treadmill stops anyway.

Only two of my coworkers have tried it so far. We only have the one desk right now and I have to admit I'm monopolizing it. But only one other coworker seems interested at the moment. I have an early day and so she plans on trying it out on the day I go home early. If she likes it, she may well ask our boss to invest in another.

We are pretty wellness minded where I work. Our boss built a gym facility for employees to use (for free!), and we have a wellness program where - when participants are moving upward toward better health - participating means you don't pay for your health insurance. So anything we can do to be healthier, our boss is pretty much all about it. It's a small company, though, with around 25 employees, so I can understand that working at a University might be a little different.

As far as specific data, I cited some studies in this thread: . Does that help?
Fabulous Melody! Many, many thanks! I'll look closely at those studies.
Hi Joy

I've got mine set up in my law office. Client's always get a kick out of it. The noise is minimal. I don't know what kind of work you're doing but setting up a hands free phone and getting a small fan has helped make things much more comfortable. I have been somewhat sporadic using it but am always working toward greater compliance and it does get easier with frequent use.
I'm brand new to Office Walkers. I'm less than four weeks into office walking. It's working out and I love it; but let me respond to your post by sharing my experience.

I'm 58 and have been on my present job for over ten years. I have about 250 co-workers in my office. All together the organization employs around 400. My work is highly valued. I've won awards for the organization. For many years, I would have occasional lower back pain. I began associating the infrequent pain with long periods of sitting. In August, I began standing all day while working in my cubicle. I raised my monitor and created a large elevated shelf which became my desktop with keyboard and mouse. My back problems decreased. I began considering the treadmill. My previous manager approved; but a reorganization gave me a new manager. After getting comfortable with the new manager, I went for it.

A few days after the new manager approved, I found a treadmill on craigslist and moved it in on December 10th. Day one was rough. My manager was shocked that the treadmill all but filled my cubicle. The noise surprised me. I had tested the treadmill in a garage; not in a quiet office. Fortunately, my office neighbors were ok with the noise. By day two, the noise seemed ok with me. I am appreciated for my creative approach to my work and probably considered by some to be a bit of an eccentric. The initial response to the treadmill nearly overwhelmed me. I felt embarassed by the considerable attention and amused comments that I received.

After a few days, the comments turned almost entirely positive. I was finding my initial makeshift keyboard/mouse shelf confining. I designed a larger U-shaped desktop with a plexiglass window in it so I could view the treadmill display. One of my work neighbors (not someone I was particularly close to), offered to build my designed desktop. He delivered it two weeks ago. This was a real turning point for me. I had the desk space I needed. Folks are now expressing envy.

I always enjoyed my work; but the treadmill has really put it over the top. My CEO passed by and said hello to me while I was in a colleague's office. I suggested he check out my cubicle. He loved it! The CEO put the liability question to rest by saying that he had looked into making an on-site exercise space; but it would need to be staffed. He told my managers that the employee assumed responsibility for what he brings into his workstation.

That's my story. Obviously, it is working out for me; but every work situation is different. Good luck!
Hi Stan,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I found it especially interesting to read about your coworkers responses and the way you initially felt overwhelmed by all the attention your treadmill desk received. Also, I was encouraged by your CEO's response to any potential liability concerns. I am currently still using my treadmill desk at home, but hope to be asking permission to bring it to work by next month. (A sister University will have a treadmill desk set up this month for people to sign up to use. I'd like to wait until they've set the precedent since it may increase the probability of my request being approved.)

Do you have a small sit-down desk as well? Or are you walking and standing entirely now?

Hi Joy,

I am delighted to that you were able to glean some benefit from of my story. Tomorrow completes my 5th week with the treadmill at work. At this point, my pride in my efforts is more ascendant than my embarrassment about the attention. I am still looking forward to the day when being head and shoulders above the cubicle walls is considered matter of fact.

I agree with your waiting for the precedent before making your request. It is a very good strategy.

I have no sit-down desk. Unless I am in a meeting or working remotely (generally no more than 20% of my time), I am walking.

Hoping your on-the-job walking days are not too far in the future,


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