The amount of people using treadmill desks in the UK has been growing steadily over the past few years and we sometimes get asked what is the best speed to walk at whilst working.
When I first started, I used to walk at around 2.3mph but I was using a shared Lifespan TR1200-DT7 so would only walk for around 40 minutes at a time so other people could take their turn.
At that time I would "save up" tasks that I thought would be easier to carry out whilst walking on the treadmill desk; doing emails and making phonecalls were things I felt most comfortable with at that speed.
Once I got my own treadmill desk (Lifespan TR5000-DT3 Ultimate Workstation) I quickly realised that not only was I spending a lot more time walking each day but I also had to get used to performing all work tasks whilst walking, or at least standing because my chair was removed!
I also figured that by increasing the time spent each day walking from around 1.5 hours to 4 or 5 hours was going to be a little harder physically. Had I maintained my higher speeds I would have potentially walked for 11.5 miles per day - even for an avid treadmill desker that is quite some way!!
After a little experimentation I settled on a walking speed of 1.1mph and programmed this in to the Preset button on my Lifespan DT3 controller.
At first this seemed distractingly slow! After all, I can't think of a time away from my desk that I would walk that slowly. However, I quickly settled in to this speed and because there is far less body movement I find I can happily carry out most work tasks including intricate spreadsheets and handwriting notes.
We have 3 people with their own treadmill desks here at the Treadmill Deskstore (perks of the job!) and the average speed we walk at is around 1.3mph. We also have a shared TR1200-DT7 and the people who use that seem to walk a little more quickly.
So, there you have it! I think whilst speed is entirely a personal choice, the "right" speed is probably going to be related to the amount of time you spend at your treadmill desk and the kind of work you do.
Even at my rather sedate 1.1mph I am achieving approximately 4,000 steps per hour but most importanly I am not sitting - which gets us back to why more people are starting to use treadmill desks in the first place!
(written in around 2,000 steps at 1.1mph!)