Update on Treadmill Desk
I’ve been using my treadmill desk now for two months. I am glad to report that my back pain has almost subsided. In fact, I went to the gym and lifted weights over the MLK weekend and felt strong and comfortable for the first time in several years.
Because I have a day job that requires me to sit at a desk, I am still sitting way more than what I think is healthy. However, I spend about two hours a day walking. This walking has helped tremendously. I’d like to get this number up to about four hours, but of all the things I’ve done, including physical therapy, road biking, and yoga, walking has been the most helpful.
I’m a big guy, 6’2″, 260 lbs right now. I used to be a big guy that was in solid, now I’m just big. Obviously, this has added to my problem, but even if I was thin, I’m convinced that we’re just not meant to sit down all day long. There are numerous studies that show the ills of a desk job, and not just for lower back pain.
I originally hurt my back lifting weights. This was over two years ago. I had done that before a time or two. In my previous experiences I would lay off for about a month and then start back lifting light weights. It seems like in the past it took about two months to feel back to normal. This last time however, I went six months without any significant improvement.
Finally, I went to a physical therapist. This did help a great deal, but I still had back pain. After that I started to road bike, partly to lose some weight and partly with the hope that the low intensity would help my back heal. Again, I saw some improvement, but I only really felt good right after a work out. Every morning I still woke up feeling very stiff. I also tried Yoga for about six months during this period, again, it helped, but I just wasn’t seeing the kind of recovery that I expected.
I work a day job as an analyst and when I’m home at night I like to work on coding projects. What that means is that I’m seated almost every waking minute. It finally occurred to me that if I didn’t change something, I was going to be in pain the rest of my life. I had heard about the benefits of walking/standing desks. It made sense to me that all the sitting was probably the root of my problem.
I wasn’t really willing to give up my hobby so, I decided that I needed a walking desk. I talked about putting that together in a previous post.
After two months my back feels better, almost completely better, and I think that if I can get my walking up to about four hours at home, I’ll be able to lose a few pounds. I am convinced of the virtue of the standing desk, I’d tell anyone who’s thinking about it, you should try it.
I am easing into it. I can go for about an hour before I start to get uncomfortable. I walk slow, about 1.5 mph and I’ll stop and stand at intervals to rest a little. Overall I feel much better. The biggest impact is that when I wake up in the morning, my back doesn’t hurt. I still have a ways to go before I would consider myself generally healthy, but the big problem that was plaguing my life, constant back pain, is mostly gone.