Sunday, April 19, 2009

Treadmill Desks. Avoiding the Barrister Belly

Gizmos and Gadgets for Attorneys Aside from running up the court house steps to file a last minute motion , the life of an attorney can be rather sedentary. Coupled with a steady diet of fast food on the run, long hours and stress, it can be a pretty unhealthy lifestyle. Just take a stroll around your local courthouse and you will see what I like to call the "Barrister Belly." Of course, an unhealthy attorney can be less productive. Increased sick days means less billable hours. It is particularly troublesome for the solo practioner who often cannot afford to miss the time out of work. Studies suggest that 84% of medical claims are the result of poor diet and lack of exercise. The United States Surgeon General suggests walking 10,000 steps per day to good health. Unfortunately, most of us walk less than half that amount as we would rather drive to our mailbox or watch a documentary about grass instead of getting up to look for the remote. But who has time to work out when you are chained to your desk? According to a recent ABA Law Journal article , some law firms have invested in treadmill desks. You can almost picture associates running full speed in wingtips with ties blowing back sweating over legal briefs. Maybe I'll just cut down on the Mickey Ds. Of course, maybe it's not really such a bad idea. The Steelcase Store offers versions from about $4500 to $6500 and can be purchased in various finishes, table sizes and can be retrofitted with a monitor arm. Too pricey? Another alternative is the Trek Desk which can be added to your existing treadmill. At about $479 with all accessories, the cost may be a little more appealing for smaller firms or those who wish to order in bulk. Still feel goofy about the idea of walking on a treadmill at work? You can try a pedal exerciser. Starting at around $40, this inexpensive option fits under your desk and you can pedal away as you work. Still too much? Check out an alternative. (Special thanks to Lauren for the tip.) (Editor's note: I give this advice to workout as I gaze at my own state of the art treadmill while eating a fried twinkie. I think I used my treadmill once for 20 minutes last year when the cable was out. My expertise in healthy living is limited to once accidentally eating a fat free muffin in June of 2002).


Jane said...

Thanks for the info. I remember seeing this on 60 minutes or something. Five thousand dollars is a bit much. I might pick up the cheaper version. I like that you can use your own treadmill. I have one in my office that I use during the day. It really does make a difference in how you feel.

Lauren said...

If you already have a treadmill you do the accessories for about 20 bucks. All you need is a table top for your laptop to rest on. See pics of my old walkstation at although the newest upgrade cost a little more than 20 bucks ;) And yes, Adrian, you should stop eyeing your treadmill and get your tail moving!

Lisa Solomon said...

I have been using a treadmill desk since November 2008, and have lost about 10 lbs as a result. You can find out more information about my treadmill desk (including pictures) at

There is also a Ning group called Office Walkers, which you can find at

William said...

Instead of running in the park or any other places, you should probably consider buying a treadmill. That treadmill is kind of unique but I think it can really help.

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Joseph said...

Avoid unhealthy lifestyle with that treadmill desk. Stress is one thing that we should always prevent so we can have a really good lifestyle.

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