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Treadmill Desk: 10 Years Later

Treadmill Desk: 10 Years Later

It’s been 10 years since I first saw Dr. James Levine being interviewed on Primetime 20/20 while walking at a treadmill desk.

As soon as I saw it, I KNEW the treadmill desk was the perfect solution for one of my biggest problems — making exercise a regular part of my day.

Sure I’d go to the gym a couple days a week to walk on the treadmill but my mind was always back at my desk.sharon-on-tm

Remember this was 2006, before iPads and all the other ways
we can take work with us. I found it to be so incredibly BORING and it took forever to finish. And it was never enough.

Then I’d go back home and fidget in my chair because I was all revved up and found sitting to be boring. I enjoy food and want to be able to eat what I want (within reason)  and still lose weight. Exercise is the only way to accomplish that.

The Eureka Moment

So when I saw Dr. Levine on that treadmill desk, I literally yelled, “That’s it, that’s the answer!” And wasted no time putting together my first treadmill desk. After the initial trial run with a laptop on my dining room table leaf, I graduated to a full fledged desktop system with dual monitors.

Ten years later, it’s a habit. I’m at my treadmill desk right now, typing these words. I still have a regular desk, and the dual monitor make it easy to go back and forth if I need to take a break or have a quiet conversation.

Primetime 20/20 Appearance

In 2008 Primetime 20/20 did a follow up to the Dr. Levine story and interviewed me for the segment. They came out to the house and recorded HOURS worth of footage. It was the triplets’ 11th birthday that day and we got them out of school so they could get footage of me fixing them a snack. Want to guess how much made it to TV?

Yep, 24 seconds.

The kids were very upset that all of their footage ended up on the cuttiPrimetime 20/20 ng room floor. Here’s a picture of us with the camera crew. See the little green “It’s My Birthday” stickers on their shirts?

Anyway, it was really cool to see how stuff works on a location shoot.

The episode appeared on the show 3 months later, on August 1, 2008. Thanks to Primetime 20/20 for my 24 seconds of fame!

Random Notes

  • I don’t know how many miles I’ve walked, at least enough to have walked across America, maybe the world. I would love to see the distance I;ve walked plotted on a map, another one of the many things on my wanna do list.
  • I’m on my 2nd treadmill. Important Note: don’t let a company know you’re using their treadmill on a regular basis, they’ll void your warranty. They only want to sell their treadmills to people who use them for coat racks. Heaven forbid you actually plan to USE it!
  • Walking on a treadmill alone is not enough to keep the weight off. I haven’t missed more than a few days in 10 years, yet managed to gain much of the weight I initially lost. Fact is, you can take in more calories in an hour than you can work off in 8 hours of walking. We went through some tough times and I stuffed my face to cope. It’s a good thing I kept walking though, otherwise it would have been WAY worse than it was when I finally woke up!
  • To re-lose the weight, I used a combination of MyFitnessPal to track calories and Fitbit to track exercise — it’s been a magical combination for me. That’s really the key — find what works best for YOU. That’s why diets don’t work. It has be a way of life, something you can do indefinitely, because that’s the only way the weight will stay off.

Today, I still walk while working at my treadmill desk (strap the Fitbit to your ankle, otherwise it won’t count treadmill steps), which leaves all my Fitbit friends asking, “How do you do so many steps during the day?”

The best thing about working while walking — time gets away from you and you don’t even notice how far you’ve gone. As I wrap up this post, the dashboard says I’ve walked 240 minutes at 1.2 mph/10 incline, burned 1,128 calories and walked 4.8 miles.

Oh, and I weigh less now than I did in the Primetime 20/20 video. Hell yeah!