10,000 steps a day for health maintenance – simple right?
Honestly, that is a load of crap. I don’t know whooo is getting in that many steps a day, but back in February of this year, it certainly was not me. Actually, I was glued to my pink velvet desk chair working alone and in silence for 9+ hours a day.
Two years after the pandemic hit and therefore two years of working from home, I was feeling more disconnected from my body than I had ever felt.
I wanted to have a balance of health and excelling while working from home, but it didn’t feel possible. With a constant flow of messages coming in from our worldwide team members and a rapidly expanding company, I would hop onto our messaging apps first thing in the morning and proceed to work all day, sitting.
There was a time in my life when 10,000 steps came easily to me, when I would spend my morning outside for a daily run. However, I was driven away from my daily habit for several reasons that all hit at once – working from home, my own ambition to excel in the workplace, and a horrible case of covid that wreaked havoc on my lungs and health.
Now I’m left with thoughts like: How were people getting 10,000 steps a day? How did I once get that many steps a day? How could I get back to feeling like me?
Enter the idea of walking and working.
I saw a video of a ‘walking desk’ setup on TikTok and thought if I was going to keep work a priority but also shift to focusing on my health, maybe this was the answer.
Plot twist (more like exactly where we all knew this was headed) the Amazon desk treadmill (also called a walking pad) was just the thing I needed.
I am obsessed with aesthetics but also on a budget – AKA I had to buy the cheapest well-reviewed tread I could find because those things can be priceeeey. I’ll include a few options here so you can grab one that fits your needs!
Getting set up
There are many desk treadmills on Amazon if you’re looking for something a little higher quality, but this one got the job done! It does not go over a 3.8mph speed which is fine for walking and working purposes.
If you don’t have a standing desk – you will probably need a standing desk converter.
This is just a device that will raise your desktop or laptop to eye level so you’re not hunched over. Again I am a babe on a budget, so I purchased mine on Amazon. Not the most aesthetic but we’re in this for health and wellness, not aesthetics (@me, insert eye roll).
All set up and ready to walk?!
I will warn you, there is somewhat of a learning curve. My first walk I thought, “oh no, have I spent all this money and made a mistake?”
At first, it’s a little hard to focus and honestly a little uncomfortable. Not physically – just it’s a little hard to multitask. I mean I had been sitting to work for as long as I had entered the post-college work force (and I am somewhat uncoordinated).
Good news! After the first 3 days of so, I found myself well-adjusted and comfortable on the desk treadmill.
I began walking and working at the 3pmh, which is a 20-minute mile. I also set an approachable goal for myself at 10,000 steps a day. For me, a 5’3”, 29 year old female – that equates to about 2 hours of walking and working. After two hours of walking and working, I am always a little sweaty and adequately tired.
As I got more comfortable, I was able to up my speed. My tread specifically increases in increments of .2. I can now walk and work at a speed of 3.8 which is plenty fast enough for me. I do not find myself wishing the tread went any faster – 3.8 is a brisk walk.
Is walking and working realistic? Productive?
I see videos on TikTok of people walking their entire work days. For me, this is not doable. As Creative Brand Director, I work on a variety of tasks that take different amounts of consideration and detail…and focus.
I find walking and working good for tasks that are simple to moderate on the complexity scale. Things like planning the social feed, making photo selects, setting up projects and deadlines. I do not walk and work for more complex tasks – like writing an in depth email or crafting up a beautiful email template.
All the props to those people out there walking 30,000 steps a day – it just can’t be me! I encourage you to find what kind of tasks work best for you. I am a deep thinker and problem solver, so I find at times I literally need to sit and think things out.
Should you get a desk treadmill?
Yes, absolutely. The walking tread has allowed me to shift my mindset and make time for being active which I was absolutely not doing in February. Two hours of walking and working and two hours of being out of my comfort zone translated well into the rest of my life.
This feeling of being proud of myself after being a bit uncomfortable motivated me to do more. I began to take some of my daily walks outside and turned them into a daily run.
10,000 steps a day and really honing in on my nutrition (many factors here, not just the tread) allowed me to lose 20 pounds from February to June.
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ALL of that, just from a desk treadmill?
Sometimes, I find that when you’re trapped in a state of comfort and even sadness, it’s hard to break out. It’s hard to even think about how to get yourself out of a rut and can be intimidating. The tread is perfect for this. It’s an in-home solution you have complete control over.
The desk treadmill pushed me to be just a teeny bit uncomfortable everyday.
The feeling of 2 hours of work, both getting my job done and taking care of myself has made me so proud. All I needed was that little push to get outside of my comfort zone.
At the beginning of March I ran a half marathon, my longest run in about 2.5 years. Then, I began to run more regularly and learned to make time for myself outside of work. I became so comfortable with being slightly uncomfortable that I actually ran my first ever marathon at the end of April.
Seriously – I am so passionate about the walking tread, I could literally go on and on. I think if you’re in a rut and you’re working from home, this could be your SIGN to make that little change.
Get a little uncomfy, you can do this. Take it slow and steady. You’re going to make yourself to proud.