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Maxed Out: Combining Exercise and Work
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | Clive "Max" Maxfield, Maxfield High-Tech Consulting

Well, I may not be super-healthy, but I am trying. As I pen these words, I am currently walking on (and working at) my treadmill/desk combo.

As you may recall from one of my earlier columns, I recently read a book called Drop Dead Healthy – One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A. J. Jacobs. I love this guy, because he is as kooky as you can get while still hovering on the right side of sanity. Two of his other books I really enjoyed are The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World (in which he describes reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover to cover along with some of the interesting nuggets of knowledge and tidbits of trivia he discovers along the way) and The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (in which he tries to follow ALL of the hundreds of different rules in the Bible, including always telling the absolute truth – you can imagine how that goes down with his wife – and stoning adulterers).

I have to admit that A.J. is one author I would really like to meet. One of the points he makes in "Drop Dead Healthy" is that spending eight hours a day working on a computer without taking any form of break or exercise is just about the worst thing you can do for yourself. One solution is the treadmill desk. The idea is that you spend at least half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon walking at a leisurely pace (as low as 1 mile an hour, although a little faster is better) while continuing to work.

You can make your own or you can buy one. He made his own, and all credit to him, but I am an impatient man. More importantly, I am an impatient man with a credit card, so I ordered myself a LifeSpan TR1200-DT treadmill desk from Amazon.

Figure 1. The LifeSpan TR1200-DT treadmill desk.

This little rascal is pretty substantial. The desk’s work surface is 46.5" wide x 31" deep, and the height of the desktop can be adjusted from 40" to 56" to support users from 4'10" to 6'8" tall. Meanwhile, the treadmill features a 20" x 56" walking surface and a high torque motor system that is designed to run for hour after hour.


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