It Was Really Only a Matter of Time: This Human Hamster Wheel Now Exists

In an effort to prevent death by sitting, office workers and their employers have adopted all kinds of active desk situations, from standing to treadmills and bikes. Now, Pier 9 artist-in-residence Robb Godshaw offers another option for exer-working: the human hamster wheel.


(Photo Credit: Robb Godshaw/Instructables)

“I think the standing desk was the first shot fired in the battle against office rot, and the second was the treadmill desk,” Godshaw tells Fast Company. “But a treadmill gives you a fixed setting and it’s a distracting thing.”

Godshaw created the Hamster Wheel Standing Desk with Instructables developer Will Doenlen, and the pair offer DIY instructions on the site, for anyone who wants to make their own. Currently, there are no plans to mass manufacture the hamster wheel, although the designers are considering developing a version that generates electricity from its use, so it’s possible that future iterations could offer the option to generate enough power to run your laptop as you work.

Just be forewarned: some early testers got the wheel spinning so fast, they lost their balance and fell out. Godshaw says that adding the desk component makes it easier to maintain control of the wheel, and that he might add a brake in the next version.

If you want to build your own human hamster wheel, you’ll need time, patience, and the right materials, including four sheets of plywood, a pint of glue, 240 wood screws, and four skate wheels. We might also suggest a crash helmet, for initial testing.

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