How Not to Use a Treadmill Desk

Remember the treadmill desk I built a while back? Turns out there’s a bit more of a learning curve to walking while typing/mousing than I thought.

The gaming + treadmill learning curve is being covered in a different set of posts, so welcome to the trials and tribulations of just using the computer at all (aka Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started This).

Screen Tilt

Tilted Views
Tilted Views

My monitor does not have a tilt ability built into it—why, I have no idea since all of the other monitors in the house have no problem with nodding. But this guy? This guy is a stiff upper lip sort of monitor and refuses to bend to my whims.

Since I don’t have the supplies to build a properly tilted shelf for him, I ended up stealing some wooden shims from the pile ‘o parts in the laundry room. All it took was one row of shims to bring the screen to the right angle.

Which saved me a heck of a lot of grief that came from viewing and off-kilter screen. Diablo is dark enough without loosing anything to the tilt. *mutter*

Mousepad McGuyvering

High Tech Mousepad
High Tech Mousepad

The sponge I was using to prop up the original impromptu mousepad only worked when damp, so I knew it wasn’t a long term fix. I tried a variety of replacements (pillow, towel, foam) and ended up using a bag of beans I stole borrowed from my kitchen.

Oddly enough it’s been very comfortable to use, it held up well through a four-hour Diablo play session so I’m considering the problem fixed for now. I might need to upgrade the bag or downgrade the bean size, but good enough is good enough for now.

Future Projects

I don’t have the materials right now, but I’m planning on reinforcing the supports for the shelf (the brackets wobble a bit) and building a catch so that the shelf can’t slide forward off them. It’s a pain in the neck trying to move the monitor around without panicking that it’s about to fall off!

Things I Can’t Do on a Treadmill

I can watch Hulu. I can do online banking. I can surf the interwebs. I can even play games– as long as they don’t require precision targeting.

But I can’t do artwork, or creative writing, or anything that requires precision movement of the mouse. All of which turns out to be a much larger percentage of my computer usage than I had first thought.

So before you swap to a computer desk, take some time to figure out what you actually use the computer for. You may end up standing more than you walk, depending on your skill levels.

(And check if your treadmill is comfortable to just stand on for extended periods of time.)

((Mine isn’t. *sighs*))

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Albert

    Hi,
    I just recently read that article, too, and was thinking I need to put one of those in my office, but I don’t even own a treadmill. After reading your story, though, I’m even more motivated to get one – thanks for the inspiration!

    With Regards,
    ALBERT

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