Treadmill writer-in-residence

tread desks

Next month, I’m taking another step in my campaign to fuse the worlds of walking and writing. I am becoming the world’s first treadmill desk writer-in-residence! How does one become a treadmill desk writer-in-residence, you might ask? And: what on earth does it mean? Well, read on and I’ll attempt to answer those questions. But the best way to find out is to drop by the collaborative multi-disciplinary Discovery Centre on the fourth floor of the MacOdrum Library at Carleton University and experience it in person.

Basically, the “residency” will consist of me working on one of the two treadmill desks overlooking the Rideau Canal and serving as a resource for any Carleton student, faculty member, staffer or alumnus who wants to hop onto the adjacent treadmill to talk about a writing or communications project they need some help with. The genesis of this project was the fact that in my role as a writer and editor with Carleton’s Dept. of University Communications, I have a large office in a beautiful new building beside the Rideau River, but no window in that office. I do have a laptop, however, so I’ll often find a place with natural light to work. Which led me to the library and the treadmill desks.

Now, I’ve tried a treadmill desk before. That experience wasn’t entirely satisfying — largely because the unit was in my dark and gloomy basement. The treadmill desks at Carleton are in a much more pleasant location. And I know that in addition to improved physical and mental health, the benefits of walking include a creative and cognitive boost, even if you’re doing it indoors. (This just skims the surface of the many amazing things walking can do for us as individuals and societally — for the full scoop, read my book, available pretty much anywhere.) So, with the importance of physical activity and the risks of a sedentary lifestyle in mind, I’ll be getting back onto the rolling rubber and trying a treadmill desk again. Inviting others to join me will make things more fun. Hopefully, as a National Magazine Award-winning writer and editor with more than 25 years of experience as a journalist and communications consultant in a wide range of subject areas, I’ll be able to help members of the Carleton community with their writing and communications challenges. I’m available to consult on any project large or small.

My treadmill hours will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. throughout February. Contact me — treadmill at carleton dot ca — to book a session. Others times and days may be available as well.

It’s dark and cold in February, which happens to be Heart Month. Walking outside in the winter can be an incredible experience, but it’s hard to type when it’s -20C. So let’s talk about writing — and get into better shape at the same time.



5 thoughts on “Treadmill writer-in-residence

  1. Great initiative, Dan! We’ve overcome the challenge of a room without an interesting view by using wallpaper with a picture of an amazing landscape. So we’re looking over Camps Bay beach with the 12 Apostels mountains in the backdrop (Cape Town, South Africa), as we’re walking and working on our treadmill desks 🙂

  2. Heard your interview of CBC Radio One…the Public Service Commission has just implemented their pilot project which will see the use of 10 treadmill and bike workstations across the country. We met them earlier this week and have to say their pilot project was very well thought out and implemented, nice to see this type of innovation in the Federal Public Service.

    Keep up the great work and Keep on Walking 😉

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