Learning how to balance while using a treadmill desk is easier than you think.

As an avid user of a treadmill desk, I’ve read of other peoples’ concerns with this device, and actually came across a posting in which the user was asking how to keep their balance.

The purpose of a treadmill desk is to alleviate the body from the harmful effects of prolonged sitting.

You will not burn a lot of calories walking 3 mph on a treadmill desk while holding onto the machine.

Save the calorie burning for the gym or a regular treadmill (don’t hold on), and reserve the desk device for the purpose of avoiding lots of sitting.

How do you balance on a treadmill desk?

Start out at the slowest speed. Don’t feel you must go 2 mph if you’re new to this instrument.

My treadmill desk starts at 0.4 mph. This is unbelievably slow, but if you have issues with balance, start this slowly.

Then gradually, as your body’s balancing mechanism adapts, increase the speed  —  say, to 0.6 mph, and see how you do.

If you get in the habit of holding onto the rails, your balance will always remain compromised because it won’t have a chance to adapt.

The only time you should hold on when using a treadmill desk is when you’re using the mouse or keyboard, in which case, there will be natural arm and hand contact with the machine.

But if you’re simply reading some e-mail, the latest news or watching a video, there’s no reason to hold on.

If balance is an issue, this isn’t inherent in the treadmill desk; it’s inherent in your body’s lack of adaptation to a moving tread.

The only way to adapt is to walk with a natural arm swing, to promote a natural gait and good posture: the way you’d walk anywhere from point A to point B.

If you’re doing a lot of scrolling, the scrolling arm/hand will be making contact with the machine’s desk portion.

I advise placing the other hand in a similar position on the desk portion to even things out.

But when there’s NO mouse or keyboard use, keep both arms at your sides and swing in correlation to the speed you’re walking. This is the natural way for the body to move.

If you feel like you’re going to fall off or lose your balance, lower the speed.

If you have a balance issue at the slowest speed, then resist the temptation to cling onto the machine. The best way to walk on a moving platform is naturally.

If you feel like you must struggle to maintain your balance at the slowest speed on your treadmill desk, keep struggling, because struggling makes the body more efficient by forcing it to adapt.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.