Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Writers Get Fit Resources & Ideas

As writers we spend a lot of time sitting down at a desk, focusing on a computer screen and/or writing, typing, reading.

Hazard of our lives, right?

Well yes and no.  We do need to be fit if we want our brains to function at top efficiency, if we want to avoid things like obesity, depression, heart disease - to mention a few of the  hazards of the 'sit-on-your-butt' work life-style.

So how do we find the time to get away from our desks?  Well, the truth is, we probably won't.  So I've been reading about the stand-up desk, the treadmill desk and other helpful goodies to help keep myself  moving.  I'm still working through how to do this for my space but thought I'd share some of the info I've uncovered so far.

There's the treadmill desk.  First reaction to this was, weird!  No way!  What the #*&^? This concept apparently comes out of  done by a doctor at the Mayo Clinic a few years back.

The theory here, grounded in numbers and facts, is we need to be exercising all the time, not just a short burst at the gym, or a brisk walk after work.  
So here's the deal.  If you walk at just 1 mph, which is slow enough for most of us to be ale to do  most of the tasks involved with writing, you're going to burn a heck of a lot of calories - as I understand it 20 times more than just sitting. 

You can consider buying a actual Treadmill desk which would be staggeringly expensive at somewhere over $4,000 which most of us can't afford.  But if you can, have at it. 
Or you can get yourself a Treadmill and create your own. If you can get a treadmill from friends, family, or maybe buy one at a yard sale you can get it free or pretty cheap.  From there it takes a bit of imagination and minimal construction ability and/or a friend who has such to create your own treadmill desk. Check out Treadmill Desk site and Build Your own Treadmill desk.  You can buy a 'treadmill desk'  (check out Amazon for ideas and cost and ideas) separately from a treadmill, combine them and save considerable money, though even that can be expensive.

Okay, so we know this is the best idea (ideally with a desk that can be easily raised and lowered - again, more expensive).  

But what are you going to do if you just can't afford any of it right now? 

Well, you can set up your work space so you work standing up.  Standing burns more calories than sitting.  You could buy a cheap 'stepper' and use it.  There are small weights you can purchase in most low cost retailers like Ross or TJ Maxx, keep them by your desk and use them to do simple exercises while you read or talk on a speaker phone. Consider replacing your desk chair with one of those stability balls.  You can find them really cheap on sale at times and sitting on that while working will work your core muscles even while you sit. You could hang a work space on your wall so you can do your noting, plotting and planning standing up.  Just  standing burns calories, remember. Oh, and standing is great for your thought processes as well.

So what am I going to do?  I have a treadmill.  I'm going to check it out, see if/how a desk could be added and work into doing at last part of my writing at the treadmill.  I may not be able to do it all day as suggested, but I know it will work for stretches of time.  It will be a most interesting experiment.


  1. Interesting! I've read that getting up to stretch every 30 to 45 minutes also helps, even if it's just to walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water. I try to get up and hoop a little every so often too. My hoop is my greatest discovery so far this year!

  2. Thanks for the hula hoop mention - another great way to work at keeping fit.


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