Working with a walking desk

My new home treadmill arrived several days ago, and having fought off a bout of flu I have started using it.  It is positioned under my Ikea standing desk which is much MUCH cheaper than the ‘official’ ones – it is a Frederik desk like here, and they really do work well.

The treadmill is a domestic one sold by a UK reseller, although most likely sourced from China somewhere.  The important point is that it is quiet, low, and slow.  I won’t be running a marathon on this thing and it isn’t meant to go fast like a gym one.  Instead, continual slow sessions of walking will accumulate into a workout will still meaning I can take conference calls and work at the desk.

This piece has been written while using it and I have to say it is a really, really easy thing to get used to.  I was impressed by Stephen Wolfram (of Mathematica fame) who used one, and also Neal Stephenson and his diatribe Arsebestos wherein he explains just how much sitting down is killing us.  Now, I don’t take that as evidence nor my own annecdotal experience but I do observe that when I used a standing desk I never had any back pains, and when I gave up for some time and re-used an office chair I ended up with a sacro-illiac joint problem which extended painfully for some months.  So back to the standing desk, and now the treadmill, and onwards to Skeletor!*

* (A character in Stephenson’s Reamde who is a lore writer).


A breeding-pile has appeared on my cabinet

I recognised the symptoms; interesting projects are being stored in all the right places, the hopper in which the ‘will-be-fixed’ items are placed has started overflowing, and along with the ‘essential-but-it-is-winter’ (so can’t be stored in the shed) the leftover bits from work exercises and the quirky-but-fun presents from family have started to accumulate on the only available spaces in my study and I think they have started to breed.


The evidence is unmistakable, even if easily refutable.  The pile has grown larger in the past year since I refurbished and painted the room in place (moving piles around from corner to corner) and since setting up the standing desk with home treadmill and whiteboard wall.  The pile is now comfortable territory and sometimes I wave and greet familiar objects jutting from its edges – projects started one weekend and then abandoned when the working week intruded, or essential fixing tools which have to be close at hand when needed, then not returned to their place in some drawer.

As Stephen Covey observed (The Seven Effective Habits of Effective People) those who get the most done, decided beforehand what to do.  They prioritise, they categorise, they get things done.  Mostly, I’d have to admit, by deciding a lot of what not to do.

So the need remains, and I have one radical solution.  Dump it all in my son’s room.  He’s away at university and I can pretend that sweeping it into there will somehow help me declutter myself over here.  Done.

I might build a smart mirror

I took a read of this and thought I could build my own smart mirror.  I have a couple of LED mirrors already which have lights either in the mirror, or underneath it.  Both have heating pads to remove misting so I guess that that will have to be removed, but otherwise it seems quite a straightforward build.

Now to source some components!