My Treadmill Desk

In 1996 I put a treadmill in my office so that I could work standing up. My goal was better sleep (the more I stood, the better I slept), not weight loss (the usual reason for a treadmill desk). It was hard to walk a lot. Mostly I stood still. It was noisy, too — my neighbors complained. When the treadmill broke I didn’t replace it.

Now I walk on a treadmill for different reasons: to lower blood sugar and learn Chinese. Above is my current setup. I use the laptop to study Chinese (using Anki) or watch TV or movies. Studying Chinese while walking is much easier than studying Chinese while standing still or sitting. I have used flashcards but Anki (shown on the computer screen) helps space repetitions optimally. The headphones (Bose noise-reduction) are for TV and movies. I don’t need them for Anki.

5 Responses to “My Treadmill Desk”

  1. Tobias Says:

    Now that more people view you as some sort of guru of quantification, and lest you want to become like the pompous academics you constantly make fun of, I’d suggest you start qualifying your statements for your broader audience (“Studying Chinese while walking is much easier than studying Chinese while standing still or sitting.”) This is not true for me.

  2. Seth Roberts Says:

    Thank you for your advice about over-broad statements — I agree.

    I should have said I find it much more pleasant to study Chinese while walking than while sitting. That’s not true for you? How long have you studied it?

  3. Marcus Yogaman Says:

    Great idea Seth!

    Does it not get a bit off putting? ie. is it really easy to concentrate whilst walking on it?

  4. Seth Roberts Says:

    It is easy to study Chinese, if that is what you mean by “concentrate”.

  5. Daniel Says:

    Haha, this looks like a great setup. I’ve also heard of people using stationary bikes or something similar.

    I agree that I am able to think a lot more when I’m walking, in fact going to take a walk is one of the best ways for me to clear my head or sort something out that I’m thinking about.