Treadmill Desk – How to Build a Simple Treadmill Desk

If you’re like me you often don’t have enough time to work out. One solution to the problem is to walk while working. I personally am at my desk for 8 hours a day during the work week. With a treadmill desk near to my normal desk I can get a few hours of cardio a day while working.

A treadmill desk is very easy to make. Below is the guide.

First, The Treadmill
The first thing you will need to get when making a treadmill desk is, of course, a treadmill. I selected the

Gold’s Gym CrossWalk 570

Since I made my desk, it looks like Gold’s has updated their design, so you may have to find a different model.

What to look for in a treadmill
1. Book Lip: The 570 has a nice book lip that is just at the perfect height for a treadmill desk. When standing on the treadmill, that book lip is just below elbow height. Thus, the back of the desk can sit directly on the book lip without height adjustment.
2. Arms: This treadmill has arms long enough to hold the front of the treadmill desk.
3. Price: This treadmill was below $600, which is pretty cheap as far as I can tell.
4. Smooth Slow Speeds: One thing I wish the crosswalk 570 was better at is smooth slow speeds. If you are going to spend any hours working at your treadmill desk, then you will need to make sure the treadmill is smooth at slower speeds. The 570 slows some on each step, but it wasn’t enough to make me want to get something more expensive.

Tools Needed
Screw Driver
Drill (Optional) – if you want to pre-drill holes for your screws (which I recommend).
Router (Optional) – if you want molding on the edges.

1 Piece of Plywood – You need to make the top surface big enough from side to side to encompass the arms of the treadmill plus the width of your vertical wood blocks plus the width of the L Brackets. I bought a piece of furniture grade 3/4″ birch plywood from home depot. The sell it in 4′x4′ cuts. I had them cut it to 4′x16″.
2 Short 2″x6″ Studs – I used 2×6 pieces of wood, but 2x4s would probably also work. These pieces don’t have to be cut to a perfect length (mine are 16″ long), but they do need to be longer than the height from the lip on the desk to the treadmill arms. At both Home Depot and Lowes there is a scrap wood area, that you can probably find these pieces for free.
8 Corner Brackets – I used 4 inch, but 3 inch should work too.
4 hooks – You could probably get away with 2 hooks, but I went with 4 for more stability.
Adhesive Pads – These are to hold the desk in the treadmill book lip.
T Molding (Optional)- Putting molding around the edges will keep your wrists off of the wood corners.

Make Measurements
This Treadmill desk is pretty easy to assemble. The hardest part is just getting the measurements right.

1. Measure the distance from the center of one treadmill arm to the center of the other threadmill arm.

2. Measure the distance from the center of the hook to the edge of the hook.

3. Measure the distance from the center of the hook to the first screw hole.

4. Measure the distance vertically on your treadmill from book lip to the arms. These are not directly above each other, so you will have to eyeball it.

Now that you’ve got all of your measurements, it is time to build.
1a. (Optional) – If you are going to add molding to the edges, then go ahead and route a t-slot around the edge of the plywood.
1b. Attach the 2″x6″ vertical blocks to the plywood surface with the inside corner brackets. In this step we will not attach the outside brackets yet, in-case we have to move the brackets later. The distance between the two vertical blocks should be the distance between the treadmill arms plus the 2x the distance from the center of the hook to the edge of the hook.

2. Attach the hooks to the vertical 2″x6″ blocks with screws. The hooks should be attached with the top hole at a distance of the height of the treadmill arms to the book lip minus the height of the hook to the first hole. I would only put on one of the hooks on each side, and only the top screw until you have verified everything lines up later on the treadmill.

3. Double Check your measurements. Now that you have your hooks attached you should be able to put it on your treadmill, and verify everything lines up. If it doesn’t, then make marks of how much everything needs to be moved to line up.

4. Finish putting in screws. If everything checks out on the last step, then add the outside brackets, and rest of screws.

5a. (Optional) Add T Molding. This is pretty easy to add, but at the corners you will have to cut the edges of the molding and cut out the T.

5b. Add Pads. Attach the pads such that they will go in the treadmill book lip when on the treadmill.

6. Enjoy!

That’s it. You’re new treadmill desk is ready.

Add a screen
Now that you have your treadmill desk set up, you need some way to do some work while you are walking. I hooked up a Vizio 37″ LCD TV to use as a monitor for my computer. It can be used for the computer or tv. Because I like to have the monitor further back when just watching TV I got a mount that allows a 25″ extension from the wall. VideoSecu Articulating Full Motion TV Wall Mount

Before you get this one however, make sure that your studs are the right space in your wall for this mount. For me, this was the only wall I could mount to.

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3 comments on “Treadmill Desk – How to Build a Simple Treadmill Desk
  1. Susan says:

    Thanks for posting this (and linking from instructables). I just finished my keyboard tray based closely on this one and it works great.

  2. Thanks I’m excited to go build mine!!

  3. lisa says:

    Thank you! Thank you. I built mine last night and this is my first typing while walking. Every bit of detail helped for me, the two left hand person – remember I sit at a computer all day which is why I need this desk! I did not realize that it rested in the book lip, so my board is not wide enough (I uses a pre-made shelf from Home Depot.) but that would have been too high anyway. I have it set at a 90 degree angle for my arms. It is stable enough so far. Thank you again.

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