Finding time and space for working out has always been a challenge for me. In days of yore, I used to go to gyms and do a lot of strength training. I loved it. I loved the weight machines especially. In my most recent weight loss efforts, however, I could not rely on having a gym handy. There had to be something else I could do while still getting other things done. The treadmill desk became my solution.
I began working from home over three years ago and traveling a lot for work. When I first started at this new job, I had grand plans of how I was going to walk the dogs twice a day and do exercise routines in my house and get projects done and so much more… all because I’d be home. What I quickly found was that working from home means, at least for me, spending a considerable proportion of my day lounging around in pajamas with headphones plugged into my laptop so that I can be on calls. I couldn’t spend all that time away from a computer. That meant I either had to find time around my workday or multitask during it.
Enter the treadmill desk! I’d heard about these for a while but had always seen the super-expensive ones (like this $2,500 LifeSpan TR5000-DT5 Treadmill Desk on Amazon that comes with the both the treadmill and the desk). It also sounded really difficult to try to walk and type at the same time. That said, with no additional hours in the day and no more excuses to be had, I decided to build one and give it a go.
Building the DIY Treadmill Desk
The first thing to do was to get a treadmill on the cheap. I opted for one from CraigsList. It was nearby and about $100. Mine is the ProForm 995 SEL, which is larger than most of treadmills out there. It also has arms that come out from the console on the sides, making it challenging to find a standing desk or table that could fit over them.
That’s where IKEA comes in. IKEA has all kinds of options for creating custom tables and desks. I measured the width of the treadmill and the height to the top of the arms. None of the standard table legs were tall enough so I opted for the Gerton adjustable height legs. These go up to 42.5″ tall, which met my requirements, and could be adjusted up a bit more if needed.
The table top part was then easy. Their least expensive option, the Linnmon table top, was plenty wide to stretch across the treadmill. This comes pre-drilled to attach the legs making the building process a snap.
All told, my DIY treadmill desk from IKEA, including the treadmill from CraigsList, cost under $300. So there, fancy online treadmill desks!