Walking the Walk in Affiliate Marketing – By Shawn Collins

by FeedFront Staff on August 24, 2009


If you’ve spent any time at WickedFire.com, you’ve probably come across “turbolapp”, one of the moderators and active members on the forum.

Outside of Wicked Fire, “turbolapp” is a Texas-based affiliate marketer named Lauren who works while walking on a treadmill, which she has dubbed the ” Turbostation.”

FeedFront’s Co-Editor-in-Chief, Shawn Collins, recently talked with Lauren about her treadmill desk, why she works while walking on a treadmill, how to make your own treadmill desk, and her fear of ending up on YouTube.

Shawn: How did you get started with exercising on the Treadmill Desk?

Lauren: I was 9 months pregnant lounging on the couch (my favorite place to be at that time) flipping through channels and I came across a special on 20/20. They were interviewing Dr. Levine from the Mayo Clinic about his in depth research of NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).

You know all those funny stats like: you burn 130 calories vacuuming…9 calories kissing? That’s NEAT.

His idea was that if we could subtly increase NEAT in our daily lifestyles, then we would burn a lot more calories. He (literally) brought his lab to a corporate office setting and had the employees walk on the treadmill all day at 1-2 mph.

If you think about it, that’s fairly slow. Here they were, on these treadmill desks, talking on the phones, typing at the computer, doing everything they have to do anyways for 8 hours, but they were doing it on a treadmill and they were burning an extra 500-1000 calories a day.

These people had the pounds just melting away! At this point in the story, I just thought it was really cool. But then they interviewed a woman who worked out of her home office and had decided she could do the same thing with her treadmill.

She just laid a table leaf over her treadmill “arms” and put her laptop on it. She had been doing it for a year and had lost something like 70lbs just walking slowly on a treadmill all day while she worked.

By then I was looking down at my bloated belly, thinking about the 50lbs I had gained, how my back was about to give (I’ve had back issues since I was 12), and how I had this really nice treadmill in the back room collecting dust, and thought, I could totally do this!

My husband and I went to Lowes that day and got a flat piece of wood to screw down to the treadmill arms and VOILA there was my first my treadmill desk! There’s even a picture of me on my blog when I was preggo and huge, just struttin’ my stuff.

Of course, since then, there have been a few upgrades. I took away the laptop, and opted instead for a PC with a 32 inch monitor that hangs off a wall mount with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Shawn: How long have you been posting your exercise information on turbowalkstation.com?

Lauren: Actually, the stats posting all started with Twitter. With the recent upgrade of the Turbostation (that’s what I call my walk station) I was way pumped about it. I kept Tweeting about my stats on my @Turbolapp Twitter account. My fellow Tweeters were supportive, bless their hearts, but I know I was getting annoying constantly Tweeting stuff like :”ZOMG I JUST BURNED 1K CALORIES!!11!”

Not wanting to alienate my followers, I decided it would be more appropriate to create a new Twitter account just for my Turbostats and treadmill desk related stuff. So the @Turbostation Twitter account was born and I just kinda went crazy on it with all the stats updates.

Soon, I started finding other people on Twitter that had treadmill desks (yeah, there are actually others out there) and we all keep each other motivated and challenged. It’s been very instrumental.

Meanwhile, I thought, you know I’ve always wanted a blog but never had anything to say before (that I thought people should actually listen to, anyway. ha!) and I have friends and family that aren’t on Twitter, so I created the blog at turbowalkstation.com.

It’s actually worked out well; combining the two (I have a plugin that feeds my Twitter messages to my blog, so yea! Instant content!) and I get a lot of questions on Twitter like, “How do you make one of those?”, “Why are you doing this?” and “What the hell is that?” to which I just point them to appropriate page in my blog.

Shawn: Do you really get work done on there?

Lauren: I really do. Some people are mystified either because they just can’t picture it (there are a couple of videos on my blog for you skeptics out there) or they think ‘yeah, that’s nice but it wouldn’t work for my situation’.

Basically, your only lifestyle requirements need to be: 1. Work from home 2. Work on a computer. That’s it. I don’t care what it is you do on your computer all day, if you meet those two requirements, you can do this.

I’ve had people say, ‘yeah, but I’m a programmer and it would be too hard to code’. Sorry, doesn’t fly. I have a couple of friends on Twitter that are programmers and they code at 1 mph, baby. That’s the key.

You increase and decrease your mph depending on your work load. Even at 1 mph you’re still burning an extra 100 calories an hour and at 8 hours a day…well if you’re a programmer, I’m sure you can do the math. And remember there’s always the incline!

Shawn: I read on your blog that you’ve had back problems. So, is the treadmill desk more comfortable for you to work than sitting at a desk?

Lauren: Totally. Sitting is about the worst thing out there you can do to your spine. Standing is better, but it starts to hurt after a while. Walking is one of the best things you can do for your back. It slowly stretches and strengthens the muscles that support your spine.

Truth be told, this is the real reason I’m doing it. For anyone who’s ever been in chronic pain, it can be so debilitating and depressing. I was tired of being 30 years old and feeling like I was 80. Since I’ve started walking everyday on the treadmill my pain is 99% better. I haven’t felt this good since I was a kid.

Shawn: What’s your power song (song that gets you pumped when exercising)?

Lauren: I don’t listen to music. I think most people listen to music when they exercise because it’s a nice distraction from the tedious torture they’re putting their mind and body through. I don’t need a distraction.

That’s the beauty of this whole thing. I’ve always been the type to get absorbed in my work. It’s the same thing when I moved my work to my treadmill. I get lost in my work and next thing I know, I look down and I’ve been on for 100 minutes and burned 500 calories.

Shawn: Any regrets about posting your progress online?

Lauren: No way. If anything it feels great to be challenging myself and motivating others. When I make my progress public I feel like I have a responsibility to myself and others to keep at it.

Shawn: How can people create their own Treadmill Desk?

Lauren: My hubby, Steve, was nice enough to do a video tutorial on my blog to help people make a treadmill desk with their own treadmill. It’s all going to depend on your treadmill, but as long as it has some sort of “arms” to lay the desk on, you’re good to go.

For those of you that don’t have a treadmill you can get them off of Craigslist for cheap. I know a guy that spent 75 dollars on the whole thing, including the treadmill, the desk attachment, and screws. Money shouldn’t be an obstacle.

For those that have the money to burn and don’t want to DIY, there are already-made treadmill desks out there for a pretty penny (just be sure to check the mph limit, some don’t go above 2.0 mph. I, for one, enjoy my options).

Shawn: Any advice for affiliate marketers that want to get in shape?

Lauren: Find what works for you and incorporate it into your lifestyle. Keep the NEAT mentality in mind while you work. It doesn’t have to be a treadmill.

Some people use stationary bikes, others use a giant exercise ball to sit on while they work at their desk (apparently the balancing on the ball encompasses the NEAT and it’s great for the back) It doesn’t matter what you do, just keep moving.

Shawn: Have you ever gotten really into something on your screen and then flung off the back of the treadmill?

Lauren: LOL, No thank goodness. When I first started I was so scared I was going to be one of those people on YouTube that go flying off their treadmills. I do make sure to attach that safety cord to my waistband every time, just in case.

Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine.

Download the entire FeedFront issue 7 here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/17376069/FeedFront-Magazine-Issue-7
FeedFront issue 7 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/article00date/2009/08

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

SurfShelf August 25, 2009 at 5:53 am

The boredom on the treadmill was killing me. I had to force myself to use it. One day I found something called a SurfShelf. It's a laptop/portable DVD holder for excerise equipment with consoles like treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes. No more boring workouts! I just love the thing.

Sue August 31, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I found the TrekDesk to be an amazing option for those of us who want a full sized desk that can be adjusted to our specifications and affordable too.

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