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A hundred lifetimes ago (in other words, before the pandemic), I spent a fair amount of time traveling. Between walks to and from the subway, walking to and from the grocery store, or just walking to and from a restaurant or a friend’s apartment, I’d cover at least three miles a day on average, if not more.
Of course, all of that changed in 2020. Working from home brought a new, more sedentary routine. I was lucky if I even took three steps, let alone three miles (that might be a slight exaggeration, but I think a lot of you can relate). My lack of movement exacerbated the aches and pains that come with being 30 years old. I also found myself losing mental strength as evening came. In a nutshell, I felt the effects of being understimulated.
Then TikTok convinced me to buy a standing desk and, most importantly, a folding treadmill.
I knew this was going to be an investment so I spent months researching and saving money. I just had a few requirements: the desk had to be tall enough to accommodate my height (I’m 6ft) and the treadmill had to be quiet and compact since I live in an apartment.
I finally decided on the perfect combination of a FlexiSpot Standing Desk and a foldable walking pad, and do not regret anything. I bought them both on Amazon, where I got them at a discount compared to their list prices.
The slim walking pad folds in half and comes on wheels, making storage easy. (I keep it under my desk when I’m not using it.) It comes with a remote and you can also connect it via the app. It goes about 3.7 miles per hour and has two modes: automatic, which lets you control how fast the belt goes using your feet and your own walking speed, or manual, through which you can set your walking speed using the remote. .
Here’s my routine with it so far: I start my morning by putting my desk in the standing position and treadmill at a very leisurely pace, about 1.5 mph. The key is to start slowly so I can get on my feet. Surprisingly, it’s not too cumbersome to try to type while walking; If anything, it’s harder to look down and send a text. Once I get comfortable with my slow pace, I’ll bump it up to 2 mph or (rarely) higher. I’ll spend most of my morning walking, sitting down for lunch and part of the afternoon, then going back around 3pm or so.
The physical benefits cannot be denied. The first day I used the treadmill, I walked over 12,000 steps. My posture was certainly better than sitting hunched over. Walking is also a low-impact way to reap the benefits of exercise; even only 21 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease.
There are also mental benefits to walking during the day. For one thing, it spices up my work day. Cleaning my inbox feels more, interesting? tolerable? ― if I’m walking while I’m doing it. Walking also helps me burn off stress, which I really appreciate for consistently covering COVID. It has also occupied my mind. Lately I’ve been missing space or needing to read the same sentences multiple times before really processing what I’m reading, but I’ve noticed that when I walk, my concentration increases and I tend to space less. I’m in a kind of mental stream.
Now, I’m not going to go ridiculously overboard with this setup; it’s not going to be a magic cure for everything that ails you. The privilege of growing old means that sometimes it will hurt. There will also be some days when you have no desire to be on your feet for an extended period of time, and there will be times when the mental fatigue that comes from living through one global crisis after another just won’t go away. .
But if you’re looking for a way to make working from home better for your body in general, here it is. Those who are thinking of upgrading their home office situation, consider this your sign. Below are the products that I personally recommend. I feel like they were worth every penny I spent.
The Walking Pad is perfect for those who just want to get a few more steps into their day. It’s compact so you can store it away when you’re not using it, quiet so your partner or neighbors won’t complain during the workday, and comes with enough basic features to get the job done. I have mine in white, but my exact model also comes in black. The brand also has a gray option. (Note: This product has a weight limit of 220 pounds, but there are other treadmill options with a higher limit.)
you can buy a Walking Pad S1 folding treadmill from Amazon for around $499.