So, for those of you who know me, who've been by the house or follow me on Twitter or The Book of Faces, then you know we've made the move to treadmill desks at home.
Let me start at the begins, as E used to say.
We are gamer nerds. Straight up, sit at the computer for hours at a time, grinding out a video game. It's fun, it's a way for Noah and I to interact together and share something we both enjoy together. We've primarily played World of Warcraft for the last 7 years, but we've played other games: Champions Online, Orcs Must Die, Unreal Tournament, and lately we've added Wildstar.
We've got the console games, the Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, all with the movement based games. We prefer the PC games.
We never intended to be those people who just sit in front of their computers, consuming in one way or another, in all of our off hours. It just sort of, well, happened. Between watching Netflix, reading social media, reading the news, listening to music and gaming, we were probably spending upwards of 5 to 8 hours in our computer chairs, on the computers. Certainly, we would make an effort to not be gaming when our daughter was awake, we'd help her with homework, we'd break for meals, all that jazz. But on a given otherwise plan-less Saturday or Sunday, we would spend the entire day more or less seated in front of the computer.
Then, a few years ago, a friend of ours sold Noah his exercise bike. Noah spent hours trying to figure out how to get a tray to accommodate a mouse and keyboard that would be wirelessly connected to a PC computer. That way, we could cycle and be online at the same time. It never quite worked out.
Despite the fact that the bike ended up in the storage building behind the house, and it was never really discussed after that, Noah apparently never gave up on the idea of tying computer use time to being active.
Our original set up: 2 computers, 4 monitors, CPUs on the floor, cats and stuff stored up above.
Fast forward to about a year ago. While cruising the internet, looking for the obligatory information regarding our games, outrageous acts by politicians and pictures of adorable cats, Noah was also reviewing information about treadmills. Specifically, he was researching treadmill desks. He would mention it here and there, but never with what I interpreted to be a lot of motivation.
Early in 2014, he seemed to be researching with a goal in mind: to build OUR treadmill desks. For us. To use. In the space pictured above. We had the disadvantage last year of being put in a precarious position financially (I left a job unexpectedly, and it turned out to be a brilliant blessing, but that's another story). I was effectively unemployed for 6 months, and we lived on our savings account, which is now depleted. So we've been living frugally and not making a bunch of big purchases if we can avoid it.
Having said that, since I made so little, we actually had a fairly impressive tax refund this year. Given that situation, and given Noah's research, about 3 weeks ago, we decided to pull the trigger on it. That's right, we ordered not one, but two treadmills. Not just any treadmills, but treadmills designed to be built into desks.
The Lifespan TR1200 Treadmill base designed specifically
for being put into a desk unit. It has a relatively
low step up height, wider surface for walking,
and it has a counter for your steps (which also
detects if you've stepped off of the treadmill and stops it after a defined time with no one walking on it).
They arrived on May 13. We enticed our handy man friend (who built the above set up for us and installed the counter/desk top) into coming over and helping us move the desk up. We raised the desk level about 8 inches and put down the treadmills. We had to pretty much tear everything out that was there before:
First, we had to take out the desk and raise up the brackets that support it.
We reinstalled the brackets, but left things a bit less "attached." This was so that we could adjust up and down, as well as closer or further away. This was primarily so that we could get a better sense of how the desk should sit once we were using the treadmills regularly. Also, behind the desk is a space for cords and such.
Then came the decision regarding monitor placement: up or down. Up was too high and uncomfortable, and down was a challenge as well. We also discovered that the desk was slightly too low. The problem with that was the numbness that came from having to reach too low to get my wrists placed right on the keyboard. We also had to place the subwoofer on a small table in order to allow the cord to reach from the CPU all the way down beneath the table. Hopefully when we get the channel built in to the shelving, that will be less of an issue.
And here's the final product. We're still working on trying to get the cords sorted out, but that will come with time. Mostly we need to drill that channel for the cords from the top down to the desk and then the cord/outlets on the floor. Either way, we're delighted.