Quite a lot has changed in the last few months. I'd have preferred to do more incremental updates, but instead will just batch the progress all into one big update.
Old walking treadmill broke -> new treadmill acquired!
My cheap GoPlus Treadmill$ broke after only a bit more than a hundred miles, so I bought a used IMovr ThermoTread GT$ on Craigslist, with about 300 miles on it and in pristine condition. Since it's in such good condition and the summer has been hot here in Colorado, so far it has lived indoors. I've been loving it so far1, a much less constrained walking area and much smoother than the cheap treadmill.
New sit-stand desk and active sitting stool
My employer kindly purchased equipment for working from home. While I contemplated figuring out some weird ergonomic stuff to get, unfortunately most of the eccentric options I was interested in, like the Varier Gravity Balans or the Humanscale Float desk all fell outside the bounds of both budget and reasonableness. So, instead, I ended up with the following setup:
An electrically actuated sit/stand desk, Ikea Idasen Sit/Stand Underframe.
I chose this desk because it has a reputation for being very stable even when fully extended, likely partially due to the leg design. This is particularly important for treadmilling, because the desk will be quite high when properly positioned, and the action of walking can tend to create little impulses through the floor and through your palms, which can cause some wobble.
I also read that Linak actuators and electronics are quite nice, perhaps superior to the Jiecang actuators found in many popular desks (Uplift, Jarvis, Evodesk, Geekdesk, etc).
One thing I particularly like about the Linak electronics is that it supports bluetooth. While the phone control is fairly lobotomized – it requires you to keep pressing on the phone to continue movement – it turns out there is a very handy idasen-controller script which allows computer control! So now I can get my desk to move to preset heights via keyboard shortcuts. This makes me disproportionately happy :)
I got just the underframe, with the intention of putting a very nice piece of wood on the top. However, I wanted to have a functioning desk quickly after picking up the underframe, and so I got a $30 piece of 4'x2' birch plywood from Home Depot. My woodworking friends tell me the edges could really use some improvements, and maybe finishing it would be good, or adding some birch edge tape, but I am pretty happy with it for now. I think the bare wood looks decent, and since it is was inexpensive I am not as concerned about drilling into it, spills, etc.
QOR360 "Ariel" active office chair, which I enjoy a lot so far. It forces you to use core stabilization to make sitting a bit more active, which prevents slouching. It is possible tilt your pelvis all the way back and round your back a bunch in terrible posture, so it does not entirely prevent bad posture. However, that posture is so extreme that it immediately feels ridiculous and so it is impossible for me to linger in it unaware.
The relative height I desire between the keyboard and screen is fairly constant between postures, since I am always upright.
Most monitor arms can't elevate the center of the screen to 30" above the desk surface, but that's where I want it for my proportions.
When fully elevated, standing desks can be a bit wobbly, and an articulated monitor arm can amplify this wobble. To me this is mainly a concern when walking on the treadmill, as impulses can travel through the floor or through my palms (although, putting much pressure through the palms should really be avoided!).
A variety of postures
This setup supports a variety of postures!
Walking / standing:
Leaning / active sitting:
One very nice thing about the QOR360 chair is that there is an option to not have caster feet, and the base fits perfectly within the width of the treadmill belt, so I can put it directly on top. Similarly, the Focal Mogo Stool$ I use for leaning can be used right on top of the treadmill, so I never need to move the treadmill.
You might have noticed something a little strange going on in this picture – there's a mug suspended on the right and a water bottle on the left! The idea is that if your drink is suspended by a rope, accidentally bumping it usually never spills it. It also frees up some desk space!
On the right, as usual for suspending lightweight things indoors, I am using adjustable tie-downs$ with adhesive hangers$. The adjustable part of the tie-down can then hook directly around the loop built into my combo coffee mug / french press$. It's made by GSI Outdoors, and so is intended for camping and such, but I use it almost every day. I like the convenience of just having one thing to clean, and the built in suspension loop is great for this purpose.
On the left, I am using a ChicoBag Bottle Sling$. I particularly got this because it fits 2 liter bottles, which I use for homemade seltzer water. It also nicely fits my 40oz Hydro Flask$.
Desk cable organization
I put in a silly amount of time organizing the cables. Here's what it looked like before:
What a mess! Here are some pics after organizing:
Granted, no longer having the speakers on the desk reduced the number of cables a bit. The "before" pictures were taken a few months ago, as it took me a while to get around to putting up this update.
And here are some pics of the underside, in case you were curious:
Here's the stuff involved:
After looking around at different cable management ideas, I came across the idea of using finger ducts, which let you stuff the cables in the box, and have them enter / exit at any of the slots. Most of them are plastic, though, and I wanted something more solid, that screwed into the desk. Happily, I found some metal 19 inch 1U server rack finger ducts$ which ended up fitting quite nicely for this application.
Screw-in cable tie bases$. Many of the cable tie bases out there are adhesive, but I wanted something more solid, so got ones that screw in. I thought I'd use a bunch of these, but I only ended up using one, to hold some charging cables.
CalDigit USB-C Pro Dock$, this was a bit of a splurge, but it's very well built and works great (and with Linux!). I particularly got it because it supports 85W of charging, whereas many hubs limit the rate of charge. I also liked the future-proofing of it being thunderbolt, though, admittedly, a plain old USB-C dock would be sufficient for my usage. I used one packet of Sugru$ to affix it to the bottom of the desk.
I knew I would love the IMovr, since I also had one in my setup back in Washington (as featured in the image at the beginning of the "Outdoor Computing with a Deck Desk" post). I actually wanted to get a different brand of treadmill, perhaps one from LifeSpan, purely for the purpose of comparison. However, there weren't any good used options, so I went with the reliably good (though expensive!) option of the IMovr.↩︎
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