My friend Anne-Marie Faiola, CEO and founder of Brambleberry, tweeted that she just put in a treadmill desk in her office. I saw a picture of it and was inspired to make one for my wife and I. I figure I could probably get an hour of exercise every day just by having a desk on top of my treadmill. This weekend I went to Home Depot and bought the materials to build out a super cheap DIY treadmill desk. I did a little research on the Internet to see what other people had made and it seems like most people screw the desk onto the treadmill which requires drilling holes into the handles and using mounting brackets. I watched this YouTube video before I came up with my own idea. I decided to take a different approach. I wanted to secure it on but have the flexibility of being able to remove the desk without having to unscrew it.

I ended up using the following materials:

  • Wood shelf (11.8″ D x 35.8″ W): $7.84
  • Hook and Eyes (need four): $1.96
  • 24″ Bungee Cords (need two): $6.89

Tools used:

  • Dewalt Cordless Drill

For less than $17.00 in materials, I constructed the desk in less than 15 minutes. It feels very sturdy. I’m pretty sure that I will be putting one of these inside thinkspace too.  I think our team office will have one so that my team can use it when they want to. I’m on the hunt for a used treadmill on Craigslist which I’ve seen running anywhere from $150 – $250 for the same Nordic Trac treadmill that I own. Cheap! If you’re in need of more table space and money is not an object, you can get a Steelcase Walkstation which costs $4,199. It’s quite amazing looking and if I had money to burn I’d like one of these. Another option is the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk which has a larger surface area and costs $479.

34 replies
  1. Anne-Marie
    Anne-Marie says:

    Great job on the treadmill desk. The bungee cords are a nice touch. My desk comes off too because you never know when you'll actually want to (crazy idea), use the treadmill for its intended purpose and run on it =)

  2. Peter Chee
    Peter Chee says:

    Anne-Marie, thanks for the inspiring idea. One of these days I would love to come up to your offices and see your operations. I bet your workspace is a lot of fun!

  3. joesunga
    joesunga says:

    Sounds like I need to make a visit to Lowe's. Thanks a lot for sharing, definitely going to add sticky adhesive so that my laptop doesn't fall. :)

  4. Peter Chee
    Peter Chee says:

    I haven't been running on the treadmill just walking at an incline. However, I have considered spray on rubber on one side of the desk so that the laptop doesn't slide around. Have to keep the other side of the table smooth for the mouse…

  5. Peter Chee
    Peter Chee says:

    Michael, glad you think it's awesome. I'm definitely happy with it — no excuse to not get exercise anymore now that I can spend time reading email while running around on the treadmill.

  6. Charlotte Freeman
    Charlotte Freeman says:

    I built one out of a used treadmill ($199 at Play It Again SPorts), an old folding table, a tie-down strap, a chunk of 2×4, and some packing foam. So far I've been using it for about a month and it's working great. Wish I was losing more weight, but I have leg muscles again, and the more I read about Levine's research at Mayo, the more convinced I am that sitting in chairs is going to kill us all. Here's the link:

  7. Sarah Mandish
    Sarah Mandish says:

    So… a year later. Is it holding up okay? Do you still like it? Would you recommend any changes after using it for awhile? I definitely need a removable one because I also run on my treadmill daily.

    • thinkspace
      thinkspace says:

      Yes, it’s holding up great and I’m using it more now than when I initially built it. No changes that I can think of — it’s still really simple to remove if you need to. I’m actually able to run full speed on it with the table still attached.

      • Gspadoni
        Gspadoni says:

        Yes I did make it! I just shared a pic on Twitter today. I’ve been using it for three+ weeks now. Here’s a link to the pic: (it’s not nearly as nice as yours).

        I found an old shelf in our basement that was left by the previous owners. I don’t know what it was for but it fit over the treadmill arms with a little room to spare so I thought “why not”? As the shelf was made out of plywood, it is really heavy — thus it stays put without needing any bungie cord’s or anything. Then I wanted a second level, so I wandered around Fred Meyer until I found something I thought would work; turns out a wire storage shelf was just the thing!

        It’s great because I can just unplug and then lift the whole thing off easily when I want to go faster (and am not trying to work while moving). I find my limit for speed while typing is about 2 mph right now — I’m most comfortable between 1.2 and 1.5 mph. It’s definitely an adjustment to being able to move and type and think all at once, but it keeps getting easier.

        Thanks so much for the inspiration. And congratulations on the half-marathon. Very awesome that you and Shauna both went for it. I’m still trying to complete a non-stop 5K. But I have a little farther to go to be at an “in-shape” baseline. Regardless, I’m working on it and can’t wait to be able to even contemplate a half marathon. Your challenge thrown out at Maya’s “See you soon” party, by the way, was the thing that got me started using the “Couch to 5K” app, so thank you for that, too!

      • Peter Chee
        Peter Chee says:

        This is great that you made something to work for you. Somehow I’ve managed to keep the top on the treadmill while running at full speed. I’ve even watched movies on a laptop while running.

        Glad you’re using the “Couch to 5K” app. Pretty sweet! Sounds like you’re getting in-shape for the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon next June! Next time you see Shauna ask her if she’s up for that one!

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