I spend an average of 12-14 hours a day on my computer: checking and responding to email, social networking, editing articles for WOW-Women On Writing, doing analysis and editing of book manuscripts for clients, working on a TV series adaptation of my book The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir, and writing the first draft of a new book project. That’s a lot of sedentary chair time.
As writers, it’s really hard to carve out time to take care of ourselves physically. I don’t know about you, but it seems that whenever I do take the time to go to the gym or out for a walk, I have so many story ideas that come to me when I have absolutely no way to write them down.
Then I saw a piece about the work and walk station on 20/20. I knew creating a treadmill computer workstation would be a great way to continue creating and drop the 30 lbs. that began padding my small frame little-by-little over the last six years. Finally, a way to get back into those Size 0 jeans! How’s that for multi-tasking.
So, I asked my handy-dandy hubby (a general contractor) to build something for me, using my HealthRider R60 SoftStrider treadmill. He suggested we repurpose a Pottery Barn ladder bookshelf to hold the computer. Hubby removed the lower shelves, then bought and cut a laminate board (from Home Depot) to fit around the treadmill console and work as a keyboard and mouse table. He secured the board to the treadmill handles by extra-strength Velcro strips (and it doesn’t budge). The height of the table is perfect for me—keeping my shoulders/elbows at a 90 degree L while I walk and type on my ergonomic split keyboard. (Yes, I’m using a Microsoft keyboard with my iMac until Apple comes up with one.) I have a wireless mouse, and also internet wi-fi throughout the house, so my work and walk station is complete with everything I need. Though I may invest in a set of external speakers, so if hubby wants to watch a DVD, he’ll be able to hear it over the sound of the moving treadmill. The best part about the way this station is constructed is that the Velcro allows the keyboard table to be removed easily, so the treadmill can be used normally.
My next foray into creating the ultimate active writing space will be to see how/if I can use a headset and Dictate, Apple’s voice-recognition software, to “write” my next book while I get into shape.
And, of course, I still have to decorate my creative space. I’m so excited! I’m considering creating a giant vision board on the entire wall around my workstation, or maybe a colorful, hand-painted craft and inspiration word cloud… Stay tuned for future posts showing my completed space—and an update about how my computer-chair butt has been transformed into a fitness magazine booty!
What are you doing to stay in shape? Do you have a fitness routine that works with your writing and computer-time schedule?