How a broken vertebra got me healthier working from home

September 24, 2021

Catchy title, isn’t it? Well, actually, it really happened. Let us go back to June 6th, 2021. I was cycling with a couple of people, wherein in an unfortunate circumstance, the rider in front of me accidentally hit me while he moved to the middle of the road. In the move he made, he took my front wheel with his back wheel, and I hit the road pretty hard with the right side.

My muscles stiffened up immediately in my back, but still, I thought it might be just because of the fall. I intended to cycle home again, but eventually, the ambulance drove me to the hospital.

The verdict

A broken vertebra, that was the verdict from the images they took. Pretty lucky, they said, if it was a bit more towards the back of the bone, it could have hit my nerves.

For the following days, I had to stay in bed and let my wounds heal.

My bed versus walking

I received a lumbar corset in the hospital and was allowed to walk again, but not for a long time. When I was allowed to leave the hospital, they told me I could only stay in bed or walk, and sitting was limited to 20 minutes.

Walking is something I don’t like. Please give me a bike, but not walking shoes. Cycling was no option for the first months, so walking it is, I said. Each day I went on my daily walk. When the weather was gray, it was a great time to walk. Why? Because there are fewer cyclists on the road.

As days/weeks passed by, I was able to do a bit more. When I started with physiotherapy, I began to sit for a longer time. However, that didn’t feel good, and I began to worry about managing it when I would be allowed to work again.

The treadmill

Thinking about options, I thought, why not buy a treadmill for walking at home. It would even be better if I could put it underneath my standing desk.

While searching on the internet, I found the Flow Fitness dtm100i walkingpad. What is great about the treadmill is that it’s foldable!

Folded treadmill
Folded treadmill

At first, I thought that the quality must be cheap and that it would break pretty fast. Eventually, I bought it, and I don’t regret it. It must be the best office upgrade I have bought in years.

The healthy dev life

Nowadays, I start my day sitting for the first 30-60 minutes. After that, I raise my desk and slide the treadmill underneath it. As it has two wheels at the back, it is pretty easy to move it.

Opening the treadmill
Opening the treadmill

For the next 2 hours, I work while walking. When I started this routine, I worked at 2km/h, and nowadays, I do it at 3,5km/h.

Faster is possible, but when moving too fast, it becomes harder to focus on the screen. 3.5km/h seems to be the ideal rhythm for me.

Getting used to working while walking

While I have had a standing desk for three years now, I mostly kept it at the lowest stand. Once in a while, I raised it to stand behind it only for 10-15 minutes. I managed to do 60 minutes or longer a couple of times, but it is never that comfortable.

While walking, you never have to change your position, as your body is continuously moving, and it just feels good all the time.

The whole treadmill
The whole treadmill

As said, my pace, in the beginning, wasn’t that fast. It had to do with getting my focus right. Being able to read, write and walk at the same time. It might sound easy, but it isn’t when you develop or need to focus on something. During calls/meetings, it is pretty straightforward. However, the first reactions when I came on camera were funny. “Hey Elio, are you walking?”

After a week or two, I got the hang of it, and now it has become a healthy habit that I could recommend to everyone.

It is stupid to think that an accident had to happen first to get me to work healthier, but let’s not overthink it and just enjoy it.

The treadmill verdict

After 100km of walking on it, this is my verdict of the treadmill:

PRO

  • Fair price
  • Foldable and compact
  • Silent
  • Easy to put in the position where you want to start walking

Con

  • Companion app doesn’t provide a lot of functionality. It would have been great if it connected to iOS Health
  • The band moves to the right side all the time. Maybe it is only on mine. I’m just worried the band will wear out faster.
  • Best for walking, not for running (max 6km/h). Not a bad thing for me, as I will only use it for walking. Some have already asked me if they can used it for running and walking. That is why I put it on the list.

I hope I have convinced you to think about buying a treadmill as well. Let me know how you enjoy working while walking.

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