How to Make a Treadmill Desk

Home » The Homestead » Projects and How-to's » How to Make a Treadmill Desk

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Posts may contain affiliate links.

With a few minutes’ time and $25 of parts, I converted my traditional treadmill into a treadmill desk! Here’s how I did it.

How to Make a Homemade Treadmill Desk for $25 by Cosmopolitan Cornbread

I recently had a conversation with my friend Christy about health and aging and all those wonderful things. I’ve seen a number of studies over the years that show a direct correlation between how much you move and how healthy you are. One of the “bosses” of a group that did one such study, realized that his very own workers’ health was being jeopardized because they sat at desks all day long – so he replaced all of their desks with treadmill desks! He didn’t want his staff to risk health issues because of him.

So in the conversation with my friend, I mentioned how much I wanted a treadmill desk. I had seen them on the internet for a pretty penny, and always wondered if there was a way to convert my traditional treadmill into a treadmill desk. Well, she excitedly told me that she had done just that, and sent me the link as to how she did it.  Now I’ve done the same thing.

I made some slight changes to the original instructions. Here’s how I did it.


  • 1 board of 1 inch thick wood (see instructions for size) This can be a pre-made shelf, or similar hardwood. I don’t recommend using particle board because it isn’t as durable, and screws tend to pull out of it.
  • 4  x #4 x 2 – 3/16 Screw Eyes
  • 2 tarp straps or bungee cords (see instructions for length)
  • rubberized shelf lining


  • Saw
  • Sand paper
  • Drill

Measure the railings of your treadmill from the outside edge to outside edge.  The piece of wood that you will need, should be 12 inches wide, and the length of the distance you just measured. Cut the wood to the appropriate length if you can’t find a piece already cut. If you don’t have a saw, many home improvement stores will cut the wood to length for you, and often at no cost.


Homemade Treadmill Desk

Pre-drill a hole in the end of the board 2 1/2 inches from the edge, using a 3/16 drill bit. Screw an eye bolt into the hole. Repeat with all 3 remaining bolts. You will have two on each end of the board.

Homemade Treadmill Desk

Take the sand paper and sand all of the edges so there are no sharp areas or splinters.

Homemade Treadmill Desk

Cut a 4 x 12 inch piece of the rubberized shelf liner and lay it across the arm of the treadmill. Do the same on the other side.

Homemade Treadmill Desk

Lay the shelf across the arms.

Homemade Treadmill Desk

My board is 32 inches long. You want your tarp straps or bungee cords to be a snug fit, so purchase ones that are slightly shorter than the board. My tarp straps are 31 inches long.

Hook one end of the strap into the eye bolt.

Homemade Treadmill Desk

Run the strap under the arms and hook it to the corresponding eye on the other end. Hold the board still while you stretch the strap underneath so that it doesn’t move while you pull. Do the same with the second strap.

Homemade Treadmill Desk

Cut a piece of rubberized shelf liner the same length as your shelf. Lay it across the top. This will keep everything you set on the desk still, plus it is nicer to rest your forearms on than a plain piece of wood.

Homemade Treadmill Desk

That’s it! You have made your very own treadmill desk.

How to Make a Homemade Treadmill Desk for $25 by Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Now I know that by doing this, I am definitely not following my treadmill manufacturer’s instructions for use. So I recommend using your own judgement as to whether you do something like this or not.

I’m not running marathons with this here, I am simply casually walking at a slow pace while I am getting my work done. My goal is simply to be moving more throughout the day. When I want to do an actual workout, the shelf easily comes right off and can be set aside in seconds.

5 thoughts on “How to Make a Treadmill Desk”

  1. I LOVE This Constancee!! I have just started a new plan to get this old bod back into shape (with my first grand baby due this month I figured I had better get ready to chase a toddler around soon), and getting on the treadmill takes tie out of my schedule. This is a perfect way to get my steps in AND my work done!!

  2. I’ve been wanting to do this with my treadmill forever. I need to see if I can convince hubby since he loves to build things anyway. Then again my treadmill teased me the other day that it was dying so perhaps I should wait. It would be my luck that he’s put in that work and it would actually die. It’s only 13 years old, when I called about getting it repaired (because i thought it was dead) they basically told me “GLWT”.

  3. I’m so excited! We’re practically walking buddies now! This counts towards my required social life, right? I mean, even if we aren’t in the same room, house, or city, technically it still counts as long as we text regularly, right? right?


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.