Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Treadmill Walking Desk

Take Care of Your Clients By Taking Care of Yourself
As a financial advisor, I spend a lot time sitting at my desk staring at my computer screens. Like many other professionals, the sedentary nature of the modern work day is not healthy for us bipedal hominids whose physiology has been shaped by 8 million years of on-the-move evolution.

The documented health benefits of walking and standing more throughout the day include reducing the chance of cardiovascular disease, obesity and joint pain. Now it’s more practical than ever to achieve these health benefits in the work environment. Welcome to the treadmill walking desk.

Source: Koch Capital

A Better Work Environment 
This is a picture of my wife’s (Jennifer Winn) treadmill desk configuration. She’s a busy executive consultant and coach whose hectic work schedule limits regular work out time. However, Jennifer still stays active on those days she is confined to the office, and has graciously provided this 2 minute video of her customized treadmill desk in action.

Click here to watch the video

Source: Koch Capital

Treadmill Desktop Adaptations 
Rarely does complex furniture with embedded electronics function perfectly right out of the box, so I’m sharing the two adjustments we made to optimize Jennifer’s work space configuration. Without naming specific treadmill desk providers, the biggest issue we ran into was the limited weight bearing strength of the desktop itself. 

With Jennifer’s dual 27” monitor setup as seen in the video, the original vendor-supplied desktop sagged in the middle almost immediately. So much for the 300lb plus weight support claims by this vendor. We chose to contract out for a custom desk top built with sturdy 1 ¾ inch plywood wrapped in finished laminate. This fixed the sag problem as well as the limited work area since we expanded the overall desktop surface area, length and width, to better fit Jennifer’s working space needs.

Having a custom desk top built really isn’t the big deal you might expect, plus the better working space size was worth the additional cost.  BTW, swapping desktops was straightforward….the hydraulic desk legs will fit a larger desktop size. 

The second modification we made after several months of operation was upgrading her PC to a small footprint unit that could sit right on the desktop itself. More on small footprint computers and accessories later in another blog post. 

The original treadmill desk configuration utilizes a large metal bracket that bolts underneath the desktop to hold a tower-style workstation. While the vendor videos of a PC mounted underneath the desktop going up and down look impressive, in reality it’s awkward for both PC operation and treadmill comfort. In my humble opinion, ditch the undersized stock desktop and oversized hanging PC bracket for a custom configuration that will make your treadmill desk really hum. 

Stay active and healthy…..Jim

About Jim Koch
Jim Koch is the Founder and Principal of Koch Capital Management, an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) in the San Francisco Bay Area. He specializes in providing customized financial solutions to individuals, families, trusts, business entities and other advisers so they are better able to achieve their financial planning goals. Jim sees himself as an “implementer” of financial innovation, using state-of-the-art technology to provide practical investment management and retirement planning solutions for clients.

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