You won't catch me on this hamster wheel desk, posted on Instructables and recently featured by Fast Company. There's no way.

(CC) Robb via Instructables
(CC) Robb via Instructables

At every turn, I've railed against the "rat race" and any form of traditional work that makes me feel like a cog in a wheel.

Every aspect of my work environment is nontraditional. And while this is definitely nontraditional, just look at it:

Nothing says "I'm a part of the rat race" more than working on an actual hamster wheel for a desk. And that's why you won't catch me on it.

That said, I've worked for years using sit-stand workstations (which I use currently), and have previously owned a treadmill desk.

Benefits of a walking desk or treadmill desk include:

Cardiovascular health. Studies show that sitting for extended periods of time can have a detrimental effect on the body and your cardiovascular system, causing increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.

Increased productivity. The average worker spends about an hour each day just getting to work and back home again — so if you spend that time walking instead, it could add up to 30 minutes each day of extra productivity.

Improved concentration and focus while working at a standing desk or treadmill desk compared with sitting at a traditional desk. One study found that simply standing up while working resulted in 65% fewer distractions than sitting at a traditional desk or table.

Breaking up workplace sitting time with intermittent standing bouts improves fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort in overweight/obese office workers - PubMed
Implications of sit-stand and active workstations to counteract the adverse effects of sedentary work: A comprehensive review - PubMed
Based on these preliminary data from 26 studies, conducting large scale randomized controlled trials with ergonomic training as their essential component is recommended to understand the benefits of sit-stand workstations for prevention of sedentary work.

In the end—whether you go for a sit-stand desk, treadmill desk, or any other variant on the theme—your success depends on your commitment to make it work. These desks are not miracle workers; they will not power your day singlehandedly. But you can increase your productivity by putting in the effort to set up your desk properly and take advantage of its potential.

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