Improve Productivity With This Giant Hamster Wheel Desk

hamster wheel desk

If you get tired of sitting around at a boring old desk all day, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s now a more active alternative out there. The Hamster Wheel Standing Desk is pretty much what it sounds like – a desk that allows users to stand and walk on a human-sized hamster wheel.

Users can set their own pace on the wheel while completing a day’s work. The best part is that its creators have made the instructions available to the public. So if you’d like a Hamster Wheel Desk of your own, you can make it yourself.

Created by San Francisco-based artist Robb Godshaw and developer Will Doenlen, the desk is meant to increase productivity for those who like to be a little active throughout the workday. Detailed instructions are included on DIY sharing site Instructables. The Instructables page for this project states:

“You are not reaching your current productivity potential. Numerous esteemed experts agree that standing is better than sitting and that walking is better than standing. Despite this, your workplace only provides inhumane chairs and stagnant standing desks for you to use while you struggle to get through a workday full of distractions and bodily pains.”

People are constantly trying new methods to increase productivity. Being active has been shown to boost brainpower. So getting that exercise while working would likely decrease the need for several breaks throughout the day.

There are already some similar options like the more conventional treadmill desk. But the difference with the Hamster Wheel Desk is the ability to set your own pace, and of course, to build it yourself.

To complete the project, you need some plywood, skate wheels, pipes, wood screws, and glue. The instructions also mention that builders should have a good attitude, as the project could take a day or more and is likely a bit more involved than building a standard desk.

Image: Instructables


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

16 Reactions
  1. Hmmm, interesting…. But I’m not sure I like the idea of stepping on to a wheel like I’m a hamster. Sometimes I feel like a hamster on a wheel even without a desk like that! I don’t think I need to reinforce the idea. 🙂

    – Anita

  2. What a neat idea, although for working on a computer all day, I’m not sure that walking and computing (chewing bubblegum) at the same time for 8 hours a day mesh well 😉

    • Yeah, I don’t think I could do this all day. It might be good to have for certain tasks that don’t require a lot of concentration though.

  3. First off, the picture is worth a thousand, hilarious words. You will look ridiculous if you use one of these. But if you’re cool with it, hey, who cares.

    Second, I love that the instructions are available. It would be fun to build. Like giant Legos.

    • It’s definitely a funny image. I think that might be what draws some people to it. And I like the idea of making it too, but I think it looks pretty complicated so I think I’ll leave it to more skilled hands.

  4. I actually quite like it. I can imagine something like that in a Google office.

    I’d want mine to be a bright colour: orange or red.

    • That would be cool! Since it’s DIY anyway I’m sure you could paint it. And I could see these in an office like that too, where employees could choose to go for short periods of time if they need to get up from their desks.

      • Yeah, if you need to stretch your legs, it would be useful for some folks, though some might prefer to just go for a walk outside.

        Maybe some of these could be in schools. Could be part of a cross-subject school project.

  5. But wouldn’t that make you feel like a hamster? I know that it has some health benefits but I think physical exhaustion can somehow get in the way of your output.

    • Yes, I don’t think it would be a good idea to use this as your only desk. But it could work for multitasking for short periods of time if you don’t mind feeling a bit like a hamster.

    • What’s wrong with being a hamster? I’m yet to hear a hamster complain about being one 🙂

      Because you can control the pace at which you go at, the chances of exhaustion are less likely.

  6. I believe it could improve productivity as employees will be more active throughout the day. Also, psychical exhaustion would not really set in as you can control your own pace and if needed, you could just stand and work, there is nothing binding you to constantly walking in the wheel. Google is a brilliant example, Google has bizarre or “googly” ideas that are implemented specifically to aid their employees in their productivity, such as the interior of the buildings being multi-coloured or the “nap-pods” that employees are allowed to use if needed, hence why Google is an extremely productive company. I believe the wheel will have similar effects to productivity as Google’s “nap-pods” and other concepts have.

    • I’d be interested in seeing a video of this in action. As much as I LOVE the idea, and it looks really fun to me, I wonder how practical it actually is to use when you’re trying to type something, for instance.

      • Great points, Ryan. And I would also be interested in seeing it in action. I think it would be easy to type and do some basic work, but anything more involved could be difficult. I suppose you could just stand there to take a break and focus though?

      • Annie, the table looks to be quite wide and sturdy, so maybe more than basic things can be done on it. Also, I guess one could also stop walking for a bit while they deal with whatever needs a lot of focus.