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Should Your Kids Use a Treadmill Desk for Computer Work?

Updated on July 24, 2019
Lorra Garrick profile image

A former ACE-certified personal trainer, I've trained men & women of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, more strength & more fitness.

Few children sit with good posture.

A treadmill desk will eliminate this problem, as well as discourage snacking on junk food while using a computer. For physically inactive kids, a treadmill desk will be an opportunity to burn more energy and move their sedentary body more.

Skinny kids can benefit from a treadmill desk if they’re spending too much time sitting on their can while using a computer. So don’t assume your child wouldn’t benefit from a treadmill desk just because they’re thin.

You may already be aware of the mounting studies showing the health dangers of prolonged sitting for adults, but -- excess sitting throughout the day can also be harmful to children and teens.

In fact, the August 2011 American Journal of Preventive Medicine has a report (Owen et al) on the health hazards of excess sitting, and specifically states that the current and future health of children is “particularly at risk, given that they spend substantial amounts of their day sitting at school, at home and throughout transport.”

The paper adds that today’s format of technology and entertainment can aggravate the issue.

Well, how about a treadmill desk for your child or teenager?

Though parents don’t tend to worry about heart disease, blood clot and cancer risks in their kids, they DO need to understand that a treadmill desk can serve many benefits to kids who are glued to a chair all day at school and for hours at home.

Even if a person gets structured exercise time (e.g., gym workouts, soccer practices, wrestling and basketball training), a lot of sitting outside of structured workouts is still bad for the body.

I have a treadmill desk and do computer work on it. Parents who are concerned about their kids sitting too much should get a treadmill desk. Even if parents are unable to digest the idea of “old people” disease risks for their children, they should know that a treadmill desk will also provide more immediate benefits.

Immediate Benefits of a Treadmill Desk for Kids

This device will discourage munching on junk food. Less snacking means less likelihood of gaining excess fat, or possibly a few surplus pounds LOST if a child or teen is already overweight due to excessive snacking while sitting before a screen.

Next, using a treadmill desk will have a mild training effect on a sedentary body. The prolonged walking (even at speeds under 1 mph) will force engagement of lower body muscles. This will help offset the negative effects of hours of daily sitting.

Even if your child participates in sports, it’s still important to do whatever you can to fight prolonged periods of sitting (it’s bad enough that this occurs in school).

Do not underestimate the positive effect of sustained, prolonged slow walking (on a treadmill desk). This is so much better than sustained, prolonged sitting. And, in fact, when children sit before a screen, they are often draped on the furniture rather than technically sitting.

Discouragement of Mindless Computer Activities

If you don’t want your child feeding his or her brain with the latest mundane gossip about people who are famous for being famous (e.g., Meghan Markle) or other “celebrities” who’ve done nothing to improve the status of mankind, then a treadmill desk will be your godsend.

Draped on a super comfy chair, a teen or tween is more apt to spend long periods reading junk about people who are very famous but lack special talents or are only minimally talented and have contributed zero to society.

A treadmill desk will discourage endless time spent on the Instagram accounts of celebrities who seem to have no redeeming qualities, or on celebrity gossip sites that create the illusion that anything that Meghan Markle does is revolutionary. Do you really want your kid’s brain feasting on this stuff?

Challenging Computer Work and Homework

For heavier mental work or homework on a computer, however, kids should be comfortable. For instance, if your child struggles with story problems in math, they really shouldn’t be walking while trying to figure these out.

A treadmill desk is a very viable solution for parents who don’t like to see their kids spending so much time sitting at a computer. Even one hour a day on a treadmill desk will make a difference.



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