My inexpensive DIY space-saving treadmill desk solution

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A lot of people are interested in treadmill desks these days, but they need a solution that gives them an inexpensive space-saving treadmill desk. Most solutions sold on the market these days take up a lot of room and are very cost-prohibitive. But I’ve found an inexpensive, DIY-based space-saving treadmill desk that I love. Every time I tell someone about it, they want to know where they can get it, so I’m going to share it with you today!

A few years ago when I was dealing with severe health issues and was looming closely to having a spinal fusion, one of the things I missed most was being able to simply move. Once I had my health issues behind me, I started to invest in myself. I told my husband I could either continue to pay for therapy that took me away from my day job and my writing and gym memberships that I should use but never actually did—or I could make a one-time investment in the equipment I needed and keep it here at my home office.

Treadmill desk down 1 One of those things I really wanted was a treadmill desk. Since I’m a fully-remote worker in the day job, there are many days when I never even leave the house. I don’t even get in steps walking across a parking lot from my car or walking down to a cafeteria for lunch. And quite frankly, it was killing my spinal health.

However, I’m a very petite person, so a lot of desk solutions don’t work for me—I even have a children’s sized desk as my regular desk because an ergonomic audit revealed that at 5’3” or so, I am too short to use a typical adult desk (designed for people 5’7”-6’0”) in a way that would support my ergonomic health. In addition to my personal needs, I also have space limitations in my home office. A giant treadmill and stationary table desk were not going to fit anywhere in my house. And a price with a comma in it was not going to fit in my pocketbook.

But I’ve never been one to let limits like that stop me, so I got to work doing research into DIY solutions that others had used. In the end, Amazon made it easy to put together a fantastic space-saving solution that cost me about $300.

The first breakthrough came when I found this folding treadmill. It doesn’t have fancy incline features or anythingWall mount desk folded 1 like that—but I don’t need fancy. I just need to walk at a steady pace. I had seen where some people even took the handlebar off the front, but I didn’t need to do that. The handlebar worked fine with my final setup. All I needed to do was not install the control panel on the handlebar. I just let it hang down and then I rest it on a shelf on the desk part of my setup.

Level treadmillThere is a slight incline that I didn’t like, but I solved that with two bricks from Home Depot and a towel under the back bar. The bricks are the perfect height to give me a flat surface to walk on. The treadmill easily folds up—I can do it one handed—and secures with a locking pin. It takes less than a minute for me to get everything set up.

And did I mention the treadmill is pink! Amazon does sell other color options…but why wouldn’t you want a pink treadmill?

The only negative about the treadmill is that it turns off after 30 minutes, but I find this helps me keep track of how long I’m walking. I usually walk about an hour at a time. I did find some reviews that said if you’re very tall/have a long stride, or you’re over a certain weight, this might not be the treadmill for you.

Side view folded upFor the desk part, I used a wall-mount desk. I work on a laptop, so there’s not a lot of weight (and the way I have it set up, the handlebar from the treadmill provides extra support when I fold out the base of the wall-mount desk). I found this one on Amazon that is a simple design and seems to be the most space-saving of the options that were on the site at the time I put this together.

The great thing about the wall-mount desk is that it gave me the opportunity to put the desk at the height where I need it from an ergonomic standpoint. I’m able to hold my arms in the right position with this solution and I’m in a good spot for looking at the screen.

When I’m through, I move my laptop back to my regular desk, fold upFront view folded the wall-mount desk, then fold up the treadmill. The whole setup, when folded, sticks out about a foot and a half. It is about two feet across.

BricksI’ve tried my regular tennis shoes and a pair of Vibram shoes while I’m walking. I’ve actually decided I like walking on my treadmill desk best in these. I don’t get fatigued because I’m walking slowly for a set period of time, but it gives me the chance to use my full foot and my toes and get a feel like barefoot walking. I rotate through—and you need to do what’s best for you—but I find myself coming back to the socks again and again.

This is becoming my favorite place to work. I’ve gotten to a point where I can fully work at a pace of 1.5-2 mph. I won’t win any races at that pace, but that’s not what I’m aiming for. I can work on my health while I work at my job or work on a book. In fact, I’ve typed this whole blog while walking at 2mph.

What about you? Have you tried working on a treadmill desk? Have you been looking for a solution that fits your space and your budget?


A few of my writer friends are sharing where they work too—stop by their blogs and check out their desks! You might find something that inspires you for your own workspace!

Did you enjoy this post? Leave me a comment and be sure to click above to follow the blog! I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. All content copyright 2009-2015, Kristen Ethridge

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