If you have bought one our online products or visited Margaret’s Physiotherapy studio, you already know who I am. If you have not met me, my name is Richard and I manage Margaret’s websites. I am also her husband and I use a treadmill desk in my home office. Margaret asked that I write TrekDesk Treadmill Desk review and share my recent experience with my new standup desk and walking treadmill.
I work out of our home office and, like many people these days, spend a lot of my day in front of a computer. Although I exercise three to four times per week (I train at martial arts), I still need to move more each day. But winter (especially this winter), with its combination of cold weather and ice, keeps me inside and unable to walk as frequently as I should.
Last summer I attended a web development conference in Montreal where Brian Hoke, a web developer from Syracuse, was one of the presenters. Before he got into the details of web development, he enthusiastically spoke about his recent success with his treadmill desk. He later posted an article about the treadmill desk on his blog. After reading his post and speaking to Brian, I committed to change my work environment and replace my sit down desk with a standup desk and a walking treadmill.
(These walking treadmills are different than traditional treadmills that you find in a gym — these walking treadmills are designed for slower speeds, lower impact, and do not have the console mounted on a stand attached to the treadmill. The console is attached to the treadmill via a cable and can be placed on your stand up desk.)
The Search for a Treadmill Desk
Brian mentioned in his article that he purchased a LifeSpan TR1200-DT5. This is an all-in-one unit with the treadmill and the desk. I was interested in the same unit but, because I live in Canada and LifeSpan does not sell that unit outside the US, I was unable to buy it online.
I called the LifeSpan people and they recommended I purchase one of their other products on Amazon Canada. They told me that LifeSpan offers two walking treadmills, each with a different daily usage capacity.
- LifeSpan TR800-DT3 Treadmill: 3 hours daily usage.
- LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Treadmill: 6 hours daily usage.
I anticipated that I would use the treadmill more than three hours per day. I decided that the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 fit within my financial budget and the limit of how many hours I would walk in an average day.
Unlike the LifeSpan treadmill desk Brian has, this unit does not come with the standup desk. Amazon Canada suggested the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk as a companion to the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3. I read the reviews, compared my options, and decided to take the leap.
(Links on how to purchase these products are listed at the bottom of the blog under Where to Purchase. Note for our readers in the United States: The TrekDesk Treadmill Desk and the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 also on Amazon.com.)
Amazon is pretty amazing. The shipping charge for the two items was about $122. But if I purchased Amazon Prime for $79, they would waive the shipping charge for the TrekDesk and LifeSpan and anything I ordered for the next year from Amazon that qualified under the Amazon Prime program.
Since Christmas was approaching and I had not done my Christmas shopping, I decided to purchase the Amazon Prime. In the end, I only had to pay for the units and there were no shipping charges.
I placed my order on November 3, 2013 for the TrekDesk, the LifeSpan, and a silicone spray used to treat and maintain the LifeSpan. Everything arrived within a few days.
TrekDesk Treadmill Desk Review
Each of the products is very heavy and since my study is on the second floor, I needed help getting the desk and the treadmill up the stairwell in our house.
There was no real setup for the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3. I just put it in its place and plugged it in.
The TrekDesk, on the other hand, took about an hour to assemble. The packaging, instructions and parts looked like an IKEA product. All the parts and pieces were in the kit and the documentation was easy to follow. But like many products composed of many parts, I experienced a few periods of frustration during the assembly. I only needed a multi-head screwdriver to put the desk together.
Margaret made sure that the TrekDesk was at the right height so that my elbows rested by my side at roughly a 90-degree angle. The manufacturer states that the deck height of most treadmills is about 10 inches (the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 I purchased is about 6 inches in height) and that TrekDesk can be setup for people 5’ 4” to 6’ 4” without having to alter the height of the treadmill. They suggest that people shorter than 5’ 4” elevate their treadmill so that the TrekDesk is at the right height. If you do elevate the treadmill, make sure that it is flat and stable to avoid tipping.
The console for the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 treadmill is attached to the treadmill via a cable and rests on the TrekDesk.
I noticed on the Amazon comments area that a number of people took as long as 10 days to get used to the change from working is a sitting position to working in a standing (and moving) position. But, I did not find the transition difficult. It only took me a few days to get used to the transition from a sit down desk to a standup desk with a treadmill. I was surprised how quickly the change occurred since, like many people, I only used sit down desks throughout my working career and schooling.
I find that my back is less tight than it used to be and I am walking about 5 to 10 kilometers per day on the treadmill as I work. Before the treadmill desk I was hesitant to go out for a walk, especially when winter set in with its cold weather and ice. Today, walking is apart of my daily routine.
After using the treadmill desk for two months here are a few more observations:
- My energy level has improved now that I am using the treadmill desk and full spectrum lights.
- Before the treadmill desk, I had to stand up from my desk to take a break. Now, I have to sit for break!
- I have learned that standing up does not eliminate posture problems — only those associated with sitting down! I now have to be attentive to my standing posture. It appears that the road to proper alignment is a never-ending journey.
- I vary the speed of the treadmill when I walk. I generally keep it at 2.4 kilometer (1.5 miles) per hour.
- I can do all computer work when the treadmill is on (this blog was written at the treadmill desk). But I need to shut off the treadmill when I need to do tasks that involve putting pen to paper.
- The LifeSpan has a nice feature that I like a lot: when I get off the treadmill while it is moving it shuts off automatically after a few moments.
TrekDesk Treamill Desk Review Conclusion
If your work requires that you use a computer all day at a sit down desk, I strongly encourage you to consider a treadmill desk. You may find the change to be initially a challenge but, in the long run, you will find it very beneficial.
Your transition will go smoother if you have a professional evaluate the ergonomics of your setup and make sure that your alignment and posture are in good form. Thankfully, I have ready access to a qualified resource.
Where to Purchase — Amazon.com (US) and Amazon.ca (Canada)
We do not receive any income or commission if you purchase any these products. We do not participate in any affiliate or commission programs for the products listed below. We just want to provide the best quality information to you, our reader, free of any bias.
Readers in the United States
Readers in the United States can purchase the products mentioned in this post at the following location on Amazon.com:
- TrekDesk Treadmill Desk on Amazon.com
- LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Treadmill (designed for maximum 6 hours daily usage) on Amazon.com
- LifeSpan TR800-DT3 Treadmill (designed for maximum 3 hours daily usage) on Amazon.com
- LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk (the all-in-one unit used by Brian Hoke) on Amazon.com
- LifeSpan Silicon Fitness Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant (for maintenance) on Amazon.com
Readers in Canada
Readers in Canada can purchase the products mentioned in this post at the following location on Amazon Canada:
- TrekDesk Treadmill Desk on Amazon Canada
- LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Treadmill (designed for maximum 6 hours daily usage) on Amazon Canada
- LifeSpan TR800-DT3 Treadmill (designed for maximum 3 hours daily usage) on Amazon Canada
- LifeSpan Silicon Fitness Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant (for maintenance) on Amazon Canada
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