“Are you walking?” - Yes

“Is your background moving?” - Yes

If you’re reading this then it’s likely you’ve just asked me one of these questions, and as the 20th person who’s commented on it in the past 6 weeks I’ve probably just sent you the link to this post.

This is not one of my usual blog posts. Sometimes, blogs take weeks of thinking and days of typing and editing to develop but other times a blog is one of those things (like with a digital garden) that you just type to avoid having to have the same conversations over and over and hopefully more people get something out of it if it’s written down.

So, here it is. If you’re keeping up with my weeknotes you’ll know that 6 weeks ago, I purchased a walking treadmill (this one to be precise) in order to increase my step count and improve my overall cardio health.


Despite having been an experienced remote worker for over a decade, I had fallen into that trap of sitting at my desk or the sofa for hours at a time and I was only totaling up three-to-four thousand steps per day rather than the required average of ten thousand. I was feeling it too - my body was telling me I need to make a change. This is part of a wider focus on my health and the first steps in moving towards the routine of The lazy technologist’s guide to fitness.

The Setup

As a remote worker, I’m on calls (and on camera) for large portions of the day. In the first week of using my treadmill I didn’t really change much else about my work setup at all - this caused two unforeseen problems:

(1) My webcam setup wasn’t happy about either the lighting or trying to focus on me while moving.

(2) My blurred background made a few people feel nausea. I’d read that some people get headaches from blurred backgrounds and that a conflict in brain between motion and stationary expectations (such as with VR) can make people feel motion sick but I didn’t expect it with my treadmill. It wasn’t effecting me, but it was everyone else.

First one was a easy fix and a few hours of me fiddling with my lights, my camera settings and the speed of the treadmill and I had something that wasn’t too annoying.

The second one however required a bit of fiddling about, but I found a solution and that was to use a video background that made it look like I was really walking. Luckily I found these amazing example videos here that are free to download. Then, because I’m a Microsoft Teams user (kill me now!) I had to fiddle with replacing the built in videos with my newly downloaded ones - there is a good video here that explains the process. Basically, if your on windows you need to look in some horrible location in the %APPDATA% folder and if like me your on a mac then you need to dig into ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.teams2/, from there you replace the default video background with your newly downloaded ones and bingo! no nausea.


Well, 6 weeks in and I’ve gone from 3k steps a day to nearly 12k steps a day and I’m feel much better for it.

Hopefully you find this post (and all it’s links) useful. Feel free to reach out and ask if you have any more questions.