Skip to main content

Adventures in exercising (while working)

Stephanie's post (below) made me think of the recent research that shows how bad sitting is for our health, even if we do also work out regularly.  Stephanie's comment that exercise, sleep, and healthy eating are not luxuries really struck a chord with me.  And it coincides with what I've been trying to do the last couple of weeks--move while I'm working.

While I'd really love a treadmill desk, I'm not sure where I'd put one, and they're pretty expensive.  So my fabulous husband decided to try out a set of simple elliptical pedals first.  We bought one for less than $100 on and so far, it seems to be working well, at least in terms of my writing output and productivity.  I currently have it in front of my kitchen island, and have my laptop on top of my microwave, which allows me to hop on the elliptical and still type on the laptop and read off the screen while I'm moving.  The transition has been surprisingly smooth, once I got used to reading a screen while in motion.

I don't have enough data yet to measure what impact this is having on my body, but I do notice a difference in the way I'm responding to and processing information.  I feel less anxious on the whole, I respond to questions more quickly, and I am definitely sleeping more deeply.  All in all, I'd say it's been a success, even if so far the results haven't
shown up on my scale.

What do you all think?  Do any of you have a treadmill desk?  What do you do to break up your work and/or writing day?


  1. I bought an Ergotron Sit Stand workstation about a month ago and love it. It gives you the ability to sit or stand while working just by moving the monitor and keyboard up or down. I have also added the same eliptical that you have into the mix but find it difficult obviously to type while on it. Reading is not so bad.
    Would love to have a treadmill under the desk instead - saving my pennies up for that.
    Overall I agree with you - I feel more alert and energetic during the day by standing or moving around for the majority of the day.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"ABD" -- what does it really mean?

I thought I knew what the definition of ABD was. It was exactly the same as defined here in Carnegie Mellon's University Doctoral Candidate Policies for All But Dissertation (ABD) : After the completion of all formal degree requirements other than the completion of and approval of the doctoral dissertation and the public final examination, doctoral candidates shall be regarded as All But Dissertation(ABD). I have, though, occasionally run into the term ABD being used as a somewhat disparaging designation for one who fulfills the formal degree requirements of the Ph.D. but never finishes the dissertation, and then quits the program. Most recently, I saw it in What They Didn' t Teach You in Graduate School: 199 Helpful Hints for Success in Your Academic Career , by Paul Gray and David E. Drew. Number 9 of their helpful hints is one that I strongly agree with: "Remember that a Ph.D. is primarily an indication of survivorship." They go on to say, "You stuck wi

Academic Exhaustion Syndrome: Four Recovery Strategies

The semester’s over. If you’re anything like the academics I coach, you feel like death warmed over.  Those last stacks of grading got done on sheer will, determination and fumes. And this is before considering your writing deadlines, committee responsibilities, and other demands.  You are suffering from Academic Exhaustion Syndrome.  Academic Exhaustion Syndrome (an advanced, more scholarly state of burn out) is a state of emotional, and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress, ending with grading, over the course of the semester and academic year. As the stress continues, you begin to lose interest and motivation to work, you have fantasies of standing up and screaming in the middle of a meeting, and you wonder what temporary loss of reality testing made you decide to become an academic.  This dreaded Syndrome can: Reduce your productivity and saps your energy Make you irritable and have thoughts of strangling an undergraduate Make you feel like you have nothing more to g

The Second Holiday Writing Challenge for Academics

Here's a little boost for those who need a little kickstart to write over the holidays.  I first offered a Holiday Writing Challenge  back in 2005, so I'd say it's about time to do it again. Here's what you do: Post in the comment section: what you'd like to work on (if anything) over the holidays, and the maximum amount of time you'd like to spend on it daily . Please keep this time limit reasonable and low unless you're under huge deadline pressure -- in which case you don't need this challenge in order to get something done! Whether you're a professor or a grad student, make sure you get a copy of the Dissertation Toolkit.  These tools will give you more information and tips for productive and creative writing.  For those of you who have had trouble making yourself write, you may want to start with VERY short writing goals . Even 5 or 10 minutes will be enough to get you jumpstarted.  Don't go more than 25 or 30 minutes withou