DIY Exercise Desk

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Posted on Jul 17 2014 - 8:00am by Jill
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Are you a blogger or do you work from the home at primarily a computer desk job? Well if you are anything like me you may have been struggling with a way to balance those long hours of sitting in one position when you are working on projects with getting up and moving or exercising.

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Let’s face it, our bodies are just not meant to sit down all day in one position. While my husband’s engineering firm has a companywide standard that every hour employees are to get up and walk and move, which I both admire and appreciate greatly as a stay at home/small business owner working out of my home as well as being an active homeschooling mom, time disappears way too quickly in the day to dedicate a set number of minutes each hour for movement.

Please do not get me wrong, I do my best to exercise regularly on my treadmill; however, I will fully admit that I am a runner and fast paced walker. I just simply cannot find it within myself personally to walk on the treadmill at a slow enough pace while typing away on one of those nifty treadmill workstation desks. I envision myself quite literally flying right off the back end of my treadmill, tripping, or any other number of things that would cause me to end up at my local emergency room rather than actually saving time and helping to improve my health.  A picture out of a good Bugs Bunny cartoon comes immediately to mind if I were to workout on an ACME Treadmill Workstation.

Also, due to my chronic health problems that I have shared with you all previously, my joints can feel like that of an elderly person, even though I am only in my mid-thirties. My problem is that I can squeeze in my exercise early in the morning on the treadmill, then I tend to walk and hike our rural property with the kids during the day and for school lessons, but since I am running an online business, blogging, and creating large printables I am finding myself more and more locked down in front of a computer screen throughout any given day.

I do love my job and all of the unique and special perks that come along with working from home; however, I spend hours before and after school in the evenings working away as any small business owner or blogger does. At the end of a 7 day work week I have worked a full time workload and then some. The problem is that this is extremely hard on our bodies, in my opinion, even if you do not have any underlying health problems. Exercise has to be made a priority but I personally feel that exercise on one end of the day when you work a desk job just isn’t always enough or going to solve my problems.

To be honest with you all, I am not a fan at all of recumbent bikes. To me a recumbent bike is like the poisoned apple of the evil Queen from Disney’s Snow White. Why in the world would I want to climb onto a bike and pedal all that time and go nowhere? It has always seemed odd to me as all means of exercise that appeal to me personally have me actively moving, kicking, or physically going somewhere. And to top it off, a recumbent bike could just as likely injure me as a treadmill would if you think about it.

Then, as if those lovely seven dwarves custom made something exactly for my dilemma, I saw the Sit N Cycle on QVC.  This is just what has worked for me personally. The Sit N Cycle is low impact, easy to use, almost silent when in use, low cost, and it keeps your body in motion easily while working on the computer.

I have been using my Sit N Cycle for a few weeks now to make sure the equipment itself was something that I could stick to, that it was indeed easy to use, and was comfortable sitting on. I almost instantly fell in love with it and then my husband and I began to map out our plans for a lightweight, small desk made just for this bike that I could use when working on the computer and answering phone calls. With that, I would like to introduce to you my DIY Exercise Desk!

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

To make your very own DIY Exercise Desk you will need the following materials:

  • Recycled wood (Or new wood)
  • Pretty Duct Tape (or paint)
  • Sit N Cycle (or Treadmill)
  • Various Tools (Drill, Tape Measure, Saw, Etc.)
  • Various Screws

Since my husband is an engineer he put some thought into this project and I helped ground his ideas.  Just because bigger is better doesn’t mean it will fit in our house, if that makes sense.  I do not have a full room to dedicate to this workout area, so I had to rein him in a little.  He had great ideas, but I think what he and my son ended up making is just perfect and basic enough to function perfectly for what I need: a stable desk to work on while exercising.

So, with a rough plan in our heads, my husband and son set about looking through various pieces of wood that we have amassed from other projects and things no longer being used and that have been disassembled. We recently re-arranged a few things in the house and ended up with some excess shelves, so my husband and son decided that those pieces would be best to use on the sides.

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Since they were shelves in a previous life the sides ended up having some holes in them. This was easily solved by putting some caulking in the holes and allowing it to dry.

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

The next task is the hardest. You must sit on your exercise machine and use it.  While you are using it you need to measure the maximum area that you will need to maneuver under it.  In this case I had to allow for the upward movement of my knees so that I did not get ready to exercise and then end up bumping my knees every time I was cycling.  You must also take the width into account for how much width you will require.  Here again I had to account for getting on and off as well and the spinning with my knees possibly spreading out over use through exhaustion.  With those measurements taken it was time to pick a depth that will accommodate my work computer and have my engineer husband and my son measure, cut, hammer, sand, drill, and assembly my new Exercise Desk workstation.

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Once the assembly was completed I decided on a fun color scheme.  I purchased two different types of duct tapes in a pretty aqua color and a purple paisley style.  You can use paint if you want to but I love myself a great Duct Tape.  I used the aqua tape and taped all the edges to roughly the same width.  I did this to make sure that no rough edges are visible and therefore could not hurt me while I was workercising (get it, exercising and working).

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

As you can see, I taped all the outer edges. Then I taped the entire inner sides as well.

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Then it was time to add the decorative purple paisley tape to the outer sides.  This fun pattern will make the work station not only look good, but it will also not be an eye soar in the room that I will eventually dread using if I hate looking at it.

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

To get the decorative covering of duct tape just right, I flipped the workstation on its side to give myself a level surface while applying it.

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Once the sides were completely covered I decided to add a border on the desktop to help prevent any splintering of the top surface and to create a box effect for my work station.

DIY Exercise Desk - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Now all that was left to do was to put my computer and desk area together, place the bike under the table, and get to work writing this post.  I have been having fun exercising with my new workstation for the last few days and I hope you can enjoy it too if you make your own.

Treadmill Note:  For those of you who want to adapt this for a tread mill all that you have to do is make sure you measure it, build it, and construct it so that as you use your treadmill you and your work area can be safe, secure, and easy to use.

What are your hurdles when it comes to regularly working long hours at a desk job and trying to exercise too?? 

*IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not a medical professional, nor am I pretending to be one, so please make sure that you discusses your fitness routine, goals, methods, means, and restrictions with your doctor prior to beginning any new exercise pattern or attempt to use new exercise equipment.


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