One small step towards the 5kmph office

Solvitur ambulando.

A couple of years ago, I saw a news item on a sports-health expert who had turned an office (it was probably in California) into a workout workstation, by replacing the workers’ chairs with treadmills. “I spend my workday at 5 kilometres an hour,” the expert said. Since then, the 5kmph office has become a science fiction dream of Yours Truly, as someone who works at home.

Happily, the dream is gradually becoming a reality (thanks to some overextended credit). I’ve seen a few different adaptations of this general idea; the prototype I’m working on is, so far, relatively simple (although admittedly resource-intensive).

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This prototype suspends an iPad in a portfolio case over the treadmill console, on which sits the wireless keyboard.

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I’m actually writing this post while walking right now, as an experiment. Two details will need fine-tuning. First, the keyboard is not in an ergonomically correct position: I need to bend my wrists up as I type, and that’s a recipe for RSI; I also have to lean slightly forward, a recipe for back and posture problems. Second, because the iPad is suspended, it sways whenever I use the touchscreen controls. Fine-tuning this prototype, then, might begin by determining what kind of work can sustainably be done while walking. Maybe reading an e-book or scanning e-mail will better suit the walk-stationary workstation.

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2 responses to “One small step towards the 5kmph office

  1. use a voice to text program to efficiently reduce needless typing! Dragon(tm!) is the best!

    • That’s a great idea, and I have the iPad version already.
      An AU colleague has referred me to this site, so I know the experiment’s not just mad in the first place:
      http://www.treadmill-desk.com/
      It has good tips on things like desk construction and walking speed. And it seems there’s an online community for “treadmill desk workers.” Clearly there’s an online community for anything.

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