I loved my walking pad and treadmill-desk setup when I first got it a year ago.
After a few months, the novelty wore off and I got bored of using it.
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone like me who needs novelty and accountability to form routines.
A year ago, I received a $300 bonus at work and I knew exactly what I was going to use it on — a walking pad.
I'd bought a standing desk from Costco a few months prior and this felt like the final piece of the puzzle. After all, TikToks of people using their treadmill desks joyously at home had been popping up on my For You Page for months.
It was easy to convince myself this purchase was worth it because I live a pretty sedentary lifestyle and spend 40+ hours a week at my desk working from home. I thought I'd feel better about myself if I could get steps in while doing a necessary task.
For the first three months, my walking pad was terrific. Every day, like clockwork, I'd pull it down from the wall behind me, raise my standing desk, lace up my sneakers, and get to walking. Soon, my daily walks became twice-weekly walks. Then I walked once a week at most.
Currently, the walking pad is gathering dust behind me and hasn't been touched in weeks.
It became really easy for me to avoid using it — especially once the novelty wore off
Summer was the kiss of death for the walking pad because I was able to make even more excuses for not using it.
I didn't want to get sweaty because I was meeting friends for drinks later. It's too hot and my office doesn't have air conditioning. I have too many camera-on meetings today, and I don't want people looking at my bouncing head. I'd have to put on a sports bra, and I don't really want to do more laundry. It's so nice out, I can walk outside instead (I never did).
Plus, taking it up and putting it away became more annoying than I cared to put up with — it's heavy at almost 70 pounds. Once it's down, that's where it is until I muster up the energy to put it away or ask my fiancé to move it. I hated that I couldn't just sit at my desk at a moment's notice.
Looking back, the walking pad lacked a few key elements that would make it routine-worthy for me
In hindsight, the walking pad missed the two things I need to form a real habit: novelty and accountability.
I tried to build accountability into the habit when I convinced my friend to buy a walking pad early on in my journey. We'd text each other our miles and whenever she was walking, I felt guilty if I wasn't also.
But her walking-pad habit didn't last either, and with that, I lost the accountability I needed.
Left to my own devices, I was reminded of how bad I am at sticking to routines that are only for my own benefit. I'm much better at sticking with things if someone's counting on me to do it ... unless it's exciting or interesting. Unfortunately, the novelty of the walking pad also wore off pretty quickly — and it's been hard to get it back.
Some days, I'd reignite the flame by giving myself a new challenge, like walking to as much of Pitbull's discography as possible (a wild, delightful journey) or trying to walk a 5K during the workday (I didn't even make it halfway).
When the adrenaline of a new hobby finally wore off, the walking pad became a relic among my pom-pom maker, scrapbooking supplies, and cookbooks.
Maybe one day I'll revisit the walking pad — perhaps during the winter when I have fewer plans and low temperatures outside make the idea of sweating more appealing. For now, it's a 70-pound hunk of metal that reminds me I should probably save my money and stop picking up new hobbies.
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