Each day many of us spend a lot of our time sitting at our desks. But did you know that working on a treadmill desk has quite a few benefits for solopreneurs and freelancers?
We’ve all heard that “sitting is the new smoking”, and for me, working on my treadmill for a few hours each day makes me feel like I’m combating those effects, at least somewhat. I also seem to be able to think a little more clearly when I’m writing, and I feel more accomplished when I’m done with the day.
One exception: When I really need to problem solve, or if I’m learning something new, I’ll often work on my desktop or at least stop the treadmill for awhile. I can’t seem to do both at the same time.
Even though I know I feel better while working on a treadmill, it’s always nice to find studies that prove I’m right. Here are some of my favorite benefits of using a treadmill desk while working.
- Increased creativity. Have you read the Geography of Genius, by Eric Weiner? I love it, and I’ve been keeping a list of the tips he comes across as I read. One I thought was particularly interesting was how many geniuses seem to have had a habit of walking. He also mentions when they studied the effects of walking on the creative process, it does have a measurable effect. Just 17 minutes of walking increases “divergent thinking” which is a fancy way of saying creativity. The researchers found it could be outdoors or on a treadmill, doesn’t matter.
- Increased productivity. Though there is an initial period of decreased productivity as you get used to working on the treadmill, this study found “within four to six months, workers had become accustomed to their new routines, and the three performance metrics that Ben-Ner measured, quality of work, quantity of work and the quality of exchanges with colleagues, all steadily improved, according to a weekly survey the workers filled out.”
- Health benefits such as reduced osteoporosis, weight loss, and increased circulation. Basically, any benefits you’d get from walking, but the added benefit of decreasing the amount of sedentary time you have during a day.
I like my setup a lot, but it’s not perfect. The pros are that my treadmill was inexpensive, and the attachment moves out of the way for when I want to use the treadmill for a more vigorous workout. Also, my treadmill can fold up, so it takes up less floor space when I’m not using it. Cons are that I don’t have great access to the speed controls, so I don’t adjust them while working as often as I might otherwise.
What do you think? Would you ever try working on a treadmill? Do you already? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
P.S. I wrote this article while walking on my treadmill desk :)
This is a guest post from Alison Willoughby. Ali is a virtual assistant, freelance writer, and self-care enthusiast. Visit her at Ali The Happy VA.
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