Just two days ago, I spoke to a group of young executives in London.
And I told that despite the entire “sitting is the new smoking” movement, it's still a bad idea to stand all day.
That's right: it's a bad idea to stand all day.
As a matter of fact, as I highlighted in my article “The 5 Sitting Mistakes That Fit People Make“, it's a bad idea to be in any single position all day. When you sit all day long, you get low back pain; when you stand all day long you get foot, knee and hip pain; and when you sit on an exercise ball all day long, you get slouchy upper back and neck pain.
This is why I personally shift into a variety of positions throughout the entire workday, from standing at my standing desk, to lying on the floor on a yoga mat, to getting into a lunge position with either leg, to kneeling on a pillow…
…to walking at a slow pace, walking at a brisk pace, jogging, and now, running at an all-out sprint.
Yes, I am now interjecting brief spurts of all-out, metabolism-boosting sprints throughout my work day, without even stepping away from the office. This is because I've converted my entire desk into a calorie-decimating treadmill workstation, and in this article you're going to discover exactly how I did it, which treadmill I'm using and which desk is best.
The Two Problems With Most Treadmills
When I set about to modify my standing workstation into a treadmill desk, I ran into a two big problems, namely:
1. Treadmills Have Motors.
Treadmills with motors – the kind you’d normally need for running, and the kind typically used at treadmill workstations – are not only big and bulky, but produce enormous amounts of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and “dirty electricity”, which has been linked to brain fog, altered cellular metabolism, cancer risk, and much more.
In addition, a treadmill belt that runs on a motor allows you to walk and run while leaning slightly backwards and engaging in a full-on heel strike, which alters your running and walking gait, destroys your biomechanics and can actually turn you into a worse runner or a sloppy walker.
2. Manual Treadmills Are Too Slow For Running.
So a non-motorized treadmill (also known as a manual treadmill) is a good solution compared to a motorized treadmill. But the problem is that most manual treadmills only reach a maximum speed of 3.5-4.0 miles per hour, and this means that you can never use a manual treadmill for running. Since I wanted to intersperse short fitness and metabolism boosting sprints into my walking workday, (e.g. stopping every hour to do a brief 2 minute sprint, or doing a bit of jogging in between consults and phone calls) this means I'd have to buy and find space for two separate treadmills – one for walking and one for running!
So over several months, I searched high and low for a treadmill that is A) a manual treadmill without a motor; B) compact enough to fit under my standing desk; and C) didn’t produce electrical pollution and D) could operate at both casual walking paces, light jogs and high running speeds.
What Is The Best Treadmill For A Standing Desk?
The solution that I eventually found is something called a “TrueForm treadmill” made by Samsara Fitness. The unique looking TrueForm has several extremely unique characteristics that set it apart from any treadmill on the face of the planet, and is unlike any treadmill you’ve ever tried.
First, there is no motor and there are no buttons. The treadmill is entirely manual and is powered by you, which means that you are not only exposing yourself to zero electrical pollution and saving 100% on electrical costs, but also moving far more naturally due to the non-motorized belt design.
When you walk on a TrueForm treadmill, you burn more calories, get better balance (especially if you don't use the rails) and build stronger leg and core muscles, since you’re doing the work instead of a treadmill motor. And the faster you move, the faster the treadmill goes, just like when you walk, jog or sprint outside.
But it gets even better, because the TrueForm treadmill is the first and only treadmill to actually teach you the skill of running. This is because the only way to really get the belt moving is to lean slightly forward, strike with your mid to front-forefoot, and maintain a high cadence, which means your body learns to run exactly like the most elite runners on the face of the planet run. This honestly took me a little bit of getting used to, because I'm used to being able to “lean back” and be lazy on a treadmill, and frankly, this treadmill instead forces you to move with pristine form.
Finally, the rails are removable. And although they are legally required to send you the treadmill with the rails attached, you can take them off for the ultimate balance-enhancing experience as you walk, jog and run.
-100% dirty-electricity free manual treadmill powered by your body…
-Small footprint for easy integration into an office or home work or gym setting…
-Automatically goes from a slow walking pace all the way up to an all-out sprint, with no buttons or adjustments…
-Teaches you how to walk and run with flawless biomechanics, using your own muscles and calories…
-Easy to use, with removable rails should you want to go “rail-free”…
Now in a moment I'll show you the desk that I'm using with the Trueform treadmill, but first you need to know that the good folks at Samsara Fitness are offering all the BenGreenfieldFitness readers a 10% discount on this treadmill when you click here and use code BEN10.
Which Standing Desk Should You Use With A Treadmill?
For my standing desk, I chose to use something called a “Rebel Desk”, which is an adjustable-height desk is a desk that can be moved to different heights.
Like the treadmill (and unlike most other standing desks), the Rebel Desk uses a smoothly designed hand crank to move the desk up and down, once again removing the need for any desk-adjusting motor and any electrical pollution in your office. The desk moves up or down half an inch with each turn of the crank, and it takes about 10-15 seconds to move the desk from sitting to standing height (turning the actual crank is a simple motion that requires little effort, so unfortunately, no extra calorie burn there).
The desk includes for two organizer trays that attach to the side of the desk, and also a charging station that has USB ports and electrical outlets should you need extra places to plug things into your computer. I take care of any electrical surges in this area by plugging the charging station of my Rebel Desk into a Greenwave dirty electricity filter.
Ultimately, the Rebel Desk is a beautiful, functional desk that offer a perfect amount of height and space for a TrueForm treadmill, and allow you to sit, stand, walk or run whenever you'd like during the day. It also includes the option for a chair that adjust up and down with the desk, and I own the chair too, which I'll use when I do actually sit, and also if I need something to lean against while I stand.
You can click here to get a RebelDesk to accompany your treadmill. The good folks at RebelDesk are giving all BenGreenfieldFitness readers a discount. You can use the code BEN to save $40 on the desk and code GREENFIELD to save $20 on the adjustable height chair that comes with the desk.
Of course, if you want to take a deep dive into making your office (and your entire home) as healthy as can be, I've got plenty more resources for you:
–Click here to watch my video on 7 more ways to reduce electrical pollution and dirty electricity in your office.
–Click here to get inside the Inner Circle, where I have a 30 minute video that walks you through exactly how I have this treadmill and desk set up inside my personal office.
–Click here to get a TrueForm treadmill now and turn your ho-hum, sedentary desk (or your standing workstation) into a calorie-decimating machine. Use code BEN10 to save 10%!
–Click here to get a stylish, hand-crank RebelDesk to accompany your treadmill, and use code BEN to save $40 on the desk and code GREENFIELD to save $20 on the adjustable height chair that comes with the desk.
–Click here for a Whole House Protection Package, which includes a filter for your water line, a cartridge for your electrical panel, a cartridge to put next to your WiFi router, a cartridge for your vehicle, two wrist wraps for personal use, and a bed mat. Use code “friendofben” to save 15%.
Questions, comments or feedback on treadmill desks, standing workstations, or making your home and office the ultimate nourishing environment for your body? Leave your thoughts below.
Also published on Medium.