Workout at Work

Posted by: Canton Becker    |    Sunday, November 18, 2012

In a couple months, I’ll be turning 40 years old. I’m amazed (and a little discouraged) to realize that I may very well have spent the majority of my waking life in front of a computer monitor. Ever since I started programming a Commodore 64 computer back in the 4th grade, almost every facet of my education, work, and entertainment has involved computers. I did some quick math and estimated that over the last 30 years, I’ve spent over 60,000 hours in front of a computer working, playing, and making music.

As such, it came as no surprise when I started gaining weight and generally feeling sluggish as I rounded year 38. But then I discovered a new workout trend that revolutionized how I spend my time in front of the computer.

Working Out At Work

I didn’t seem to have the time or motivation to add an exercise routine into my fairly crazed schedule… but what if I could walk five miles a day without leaving my desk? This is exactly what I started doing last year when I installed a TreadDesk treadmill under my desk and started “walking to work” every day.

For the past year, on any typical day at my home office, I spent half the day sitting and half the day walking 1.5 MPH on the treadmill. This let me benefit from burning off 650 calories per day without changing my routine one iota. By averaging about 20 miles per workweek, I walked over 1,000 miles in one year. Now I’m looking forward to celebrating when I’ve gone the equivalent of walking across the entire USA.

This practice has fundamentally transformed my life.

I’ve lost weight, and I sleep better at night. At work, I’m more energized and alert. Moreover, I honestly believe that when I’m walking I’m thinking in a different (and better) way than when I’m sitting. Maybe it’s something to do with how walking while solving programming problems necessarily involves cooperative activity in both halves of my brain? I’m not sure why, but for whatever reason I know for a fact that my body and mind are simply working better now that that I enjoy walking as an integrated part of my work and play.

Workout Desk
My TreadDesk treadmill and standing desk in Santa Fe, NM - albeit a little cleaner than usual...

Counting the miles
Keeping track of total miles in a spreadsheet so I know when I've crossed the length of the USA

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