We have a fun question from one of our loyal readers today that I thought would be good to post.

Dear Sensei,

After years as a college instructor, I’ve become an editor and work from home, sitting for upwards of 8 hours a day…ugh! My back and waistline are feeling the effects of this new job. I’ve read about Walkstation desks, but don’t have the $4,500 for one of the Steelcase beauties. My plan is to build my own, but on a very limited budget ($300 max), by purchasing a used treadmill. From what I’ve read, it’ll need:
a wide belt – the wider the better
a motor that can handle 5+ hours a day at 1.2mph
sturdy construction

Any suggestions?

Many thanks in advance!
Ruth

Hi Ruth, Thank you for your question..That is a fun project. There are a lot of different brands of walkstations, which are becoming more and more popular these days, and we are seeing the price become more and more affordable. However, as you said, they are still all well above the budget price class. After you build the walkstation I would like to hear about how it works for you. That will be very interesting.

Here are a few suggestions for you and anyone else wanting to build one of these.

Motor Size: 2.5-3.5 (or higher) you might think a smaller motor would be good because you’ll only be walking 1.2 mph, but that’s actually not the case. Treadmill motors actually have to work harder at lower speeds, and belts are more likely to slip. With a long duration of walking, a small motor would burn out quickly. The larger motor you can get, the better.

Wide belt: A wider belt is only for convenience. The reason a wide belt might be a good idea is because your focus won’t be on the treadmill, so you’ll want a little extra room for drifting, and mis-steps. It’s not actually going to make much difference in the quality or performance of the treadmill though.

Short belt: You can afford to get a very short belt because you won’t be drifting to the back like you do on a running treadmill. This may help you cut some cost off the overall price.

Lightweight deck: You obviously won’t be needing a very strong deck because you won’t be slamming your weight on it like you would when you run. This could also save you money.

I might actually suggest a Horizon T101, or a lightweightGold’s Gym. Both companies make quality treadmills in the budget area. $300 – $600. If you find a used treadmill in that range, just make sure it has a motor sufficient to handle it. The motor should be your main concern.

Thanks for the question and Good luck with it! Hope it all works out well for you.