Taking Tea in the Kasbah

I am on a quest and it has nothing to do with finding a ring, a horcrux, or a wizard who will help me find my way home. It has taken me far and wide in the interwebosphere (that’s a word, right?) and has pushed me to think outside the box.

woman in the rain with umbrella

~"Rainy Evening" by h.koppdelaney

What have I been searching for, you ask?

No, it’s not the perfect cup of coffee or ideal soundtrack to listen to while writing.

Nor is it the perfect turn of phrase or that singularly awesome way to portray my main character.

No, dear readers, it is none of those things. It has proven much more elusive than that.

I am searching for the perfect desk.

I know, I know, the perfect desk doesn’t exist or if it does, it is currently being owned by someone who has no interest in letting it go. But I have faith it is out there somewhere. I just have to find it.

The perfect desk for me is one that can be multifunctional and can multi-task as much as I do. A tall order for such an inanimate object, you say? Yes, but I’m determined to find a desk that’s up to the challenge.

Why am I so obsessed driven to find such a desk? Because I can’t stand feeling like a slug anymore.


~ photo by quas via Flickr

My feelings of sluggishness are in direct proportion to the amount of time I have spent sitting in front of my computer working on my novel, blogging, and checking in on the multitude of social media sites. Compounding the feeling of sluggishness is the fact that I also spend much of my work day sitting at a desk at a computer or talking on the phone. An unfortunate side effect of all of this computer-related stuff is that I am doing a lot more sitting than I used to do.

pug at computer

photo by purpin via Flickr

A lot.

Way too much.

The need to get up and move throughout the day has now become one of my number one priorities, lest I become a crankier, surlier version of myself with an enormously wide butt.

So, fair readers, I have been looking for ways that I can limit the amount of time I am sitting but still be getting work done. Oh, I know I can schedule time to exercise (I do), I can make it a point to get up out of the chair every hour to move around (do that, too), or I could limit the time I am on the computer doing things that require me to sit (doing my best every day on that). But all of that is not enough to counteract all of the sitting I’ve been doing. Something has got to change.

Then one day when I was in my darkest moment of foggy-headed sluggishness, I remembered a brilliant idea that a co-worker made a few years ago as an antidote to all of the sitting we were doing at work.

And now her idea has inspired me to come up with what will be my version of the perfect desk:

Are you ready?

Here it is:

A desk attached to a treadmill so I can be moving while working. Ta da!

O.k., I know my idea is not a new one. Treadmill desks have been around for a little while. In fact, there are lots of treadmill desks out there on the internet. Many of them are fancy models, complete with cup holders and multi-tiered work spaces.

treadmill desk (fancy)

~ photo by Aaron Landry via Flickr

Apparently, treadmill desks are THE things in offices where employers are able to afford them for their employees. And I say good for them! I would love to be able to have one of these at my place of work, though I am pretty confident that I will never see the day when employees at my non-profit, social service agency will be given such a desk. It is simply too expensive.

Sadly, with a price tag starting around $1200, they are too expensive for my home office as well.

Was I ever going to find an affordable version of the ideal desk that could do it all? Was it within my grasp? I had to admit, it wasn’t looking too promising. In fact, it was looking downright discouraging.

And then a miraculous thing happened. One day, while reading a blog post on YA Highway, I discovered this short You Tube video that renewed my zest for the quest of the perfect desk:


How cool is that?!?!?

An easy to create, affordable way to write AND exercise all in one! Hurray!

My quest is now focused on searching for a good deal on a used treadmill for my home office. Then, once I’ve purchased one, I’ll get a shelving unit and a board to attach over the arms of the treadmill. It will take a bit of MacGuyver-ing to bring it to reality, but I believe it can be done.

*husband gives a concerned look with one raised eyebrow, wonders how much of this he is going to be roped into, tries to slink out of the room unnoticed*

I am sure that getting up out of the chair and moving more throughout the day will not only help me lessen the feelings of sluggishness, but it will also produce an increase in daily word count on my novel-in-progress, wittier prose, and a wickedly good hairstyle, all of which will result in a published book.*

So, astute readers, when I have achieved a state of perfect desk bliss, I will post a photo for all to admire.

Until then, how about you? Anyone else in danger of a developing a wide butt with all of your computer-related tasks? How have you dealt with it? What kinds of things have you done to get up out of your chair and get moving? I’d love to hear about it!

*results may vary

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21 thoughts on “A Quest for Movement

  1. So cool! I have felt the same way and recently moved my laptop to my kitchen counter so I have to stand while working. This forces me to flex and stretch to keep from getting stiff.
    But I want the treadmill desk, so perfect!!

  2. I’ve heard of people arranging their desks so they can work at them while standing up, but I’ll admit the treadmill thing is new to me. It sounds like a good idea, although I doubt I’m coordinated enough to work and walk at the same time.

    Good luck in your desk quest. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

    • Actually, I have raised up my desk surface at work as a compromise for myself. I was going to put that in my post, but the photo wouldn’t cooperate. It has been helpful to have a taller surface to stand at for part of the day. Thanks for stopping by, Mike!

      • My pleasure!

        I might try operating a desk stand-up style one of these days. The chair I currently use isn’t as comfortable as it once was.

    • I am hoping to feel a little more shape by using a treadmill desk. And maybe I can lose a little weight in the process! 🙂

  3. I would so lose my footing, slip, and whack my chin on the desk.

    I find I can’t write well while moving, nor can I read. But, I justify watching TV if I do my 45 on the elliptical instead of sitting on my heiney. Without commercials, I hit cool down as the closing credits scroll. Gotta love PVR!

    • I really hope I am coordinated enough to pull this off. 🙂 I love watching movies on my ipod while hitting the elliptical. It makes the time fly by. My plan is to make the treadmill desk easily removable so I can use the treadmill for workouts as well.

  4. I am on a virtual walk from Southlake, Texas to Toronto (where good buddy Sherry Isaac lives). I have a writing mascot who is making the trip in my place. I’ll mail him ahead of time to writers on the route so he can have his picture taken with my writing pal in a Starbucks en route.

    I do writing sprints–a lot. It’s the only way I keep my butt in the chair. But, when the timer goes off, the marching and walking begins during my break. I use a pedometer to track steps NOT logged on the treadmill during cardio (4-5 times a week now).

    Conserving energy is no longer a priority for me. I’m talking personal energy and going out of my way to make life harder.

    Ever stack things up on the stairs for your next trip up? Organized things at one end of the house that need to be moved to the other end? Spent ten minutes trying to balance all of your grocery bags so you only had to make one trip? No? Yes?

    It’s amazing how little time and how many extra steps it adds to move those things to their designated spot “in the moment.” When I move from point A to point B, I take a circuitous route (5-10 times around the table). For the last two nights, I did interval cardio while watching television because my step count wasn’t at 20,000 and it wasn’t a workout day at the gym.

    I do a little dance with the music at STARBUCKS when I have to wait in line for my drink. I’m meeting many new people that way. Most of the time. Some back away from “the crazy woman.” The baristas there now track my progress, too.

    DO let me know how that treadmill desk works. I may not be able to type, but I can talk into a recorder. PLEASE excuse the comment masquerading as a novella. You hit a hot topic for me at the moment. Good luck, Tami!

    • “I do a little dance with the music at STARBUCKS…” Lol! I would give you a huge thumbs up if I saw you at my local Starbucks. 🙂

      I don’t have an upstairs to my house by it is a bit spread out and we’re not the most organized family so I do get in a bit of walking back and forth between rooms throughout the day. Not as much as I’d like, but hey, every little bit counts, right? 😉

      That’s impressive that you’re getting in that much movement every day. Good for you! I’ll keep you posted on how the treadmill desk works out.

  5. I can’t begin to imagine how I’d walk and work at the same time – probably just not coordinated enough I suppose 🙂 One of the things I’ve done is set up a little space on top of a half height book shelf where I can stand up to read or handwrite or make phone calls. Not aerobic exercise, but at least I’m standing. I’ve never even heard of the treadmill desks so that was a complete and amusing surprise. Great post.

  6. Yay for figuring out exactly what you needed! Looking forward to when you can post pix. I also know folks who can read while exercising. I’ve tried that on my elliptical, but the up and down motion is too much. Someday maybe I’ll figure something out, perhaps books on my mp3 player.

  7. That’s a great idea! I’m not a multi-tasker so I don’t see myself ever using such a desk but there are days when I think my butt is getting flatter from all the sitting I do between my job and my writing nights. I try to get in walks as much as possible and started climbing the 8 flights of stairs to my office twice a day.

  8. I don’t think I could concentrate while on a treadmill. But if I could, I would definitely be copying! I am being a total slug at the moment. Started a new job recently and haven’t worked out how to fit everything in yet. When my gym closed down, workouts went out the window. Trying to figure out how to shoe-horn them back in again! (I could perhaps read blogs while on a treadmill though…)

  9. Writer’s butt, what an image. Thank god I have two dogs that BUG me to take them for a walk when I am in the thick of writing. Taking them out helps me move and clear my head-which is a good thing. I try to get up and do something else periodically so I don’t get cramped legs, but in the end, ahem, I don’t see a treadmill in my future.

    • Your dogs are like built-in timers, getting you up and moving throughout the day. My cats are not so useful in that way. 😉

  10. No WAY!! I had no idea these things were … real! Much less popular. I’ve got to come out of my fictional world more often! I LOVE IT! Gosh .. I JUST ordered a new treadmill and now my mind is rolling. I’m wondering….LOL! Hmmm….

    • You could make your treadmill accomodate a desk surface just like in the video. I am looking forward to getting one (hopefully soon). You’ll have to let me know if you make a treadmill desk, too.

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