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I need to do a lot of sports as soon as possible because of health issues.

As a PhD student, I can either work on the computer or read books to be productive. If I want to do a lot of sports I need to be productive while doing so.

My first idea was to wear a virtual reality helmet like the Oculus Rift while in the gym/fitness studio. But the resolution is low and the product is not yet ready for main stream. (Also I don't know about advanced Linux support.)

The second option is reading heavy math textbooks, which I cannot comfortably hold while standing or walking for a longer period of time. This would couse neck problems, etc.

What is a good solution or device to read heavy books while walking on a treadmill?
The treadmill is at the gym (it is not mine).

I imagined something like the GoPad tablet holder but for books.

There is also a book holder from levo but it is expensive and it is not well suited for heavy text books according to reviews.

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Is the treadmill yours or do you go to e.g. a gym? This makes a lot of difference re. possible solutions. – Jan Doggen Feb 24 '14 at 12:11
The treadmill is at the gym. It is part of the university and almost always empty. – mrsteve Feb 24 '14 at 16:17
Check every treadmill available at the gym, some models already have a book holder. In general I suggest to have the book fixed and not moving, it's much easier to follow. – laika Feb 24 '14 at 20:08
You may want to consider a stationary alternative like cycling machine. That would be far easier to read. Or even a desk cycle to use outside of the gym. – Gaʀʀʏ Feb 27 '14 at 20:27
I know cycling machine is a good alternative. I will also work out on it, in the past I got problems with my knees but maybe it was a bad adjustment of the machine. I will check. I think it is possible to get used to reading and walking, but lets see. – mrsteve Feb 28 '14 at 4:04
up vote 3 down vote accepted

They make "standing desks" - or you can make your own. This helps with the standing part not the walking part. They also make treadmill standing desks, but they are expensive.

In your case, it sounds like the treadmill is at the gym and not in your home. And for math, an audiobook probably wouldn't work. Do you have to use the treadmill? What about an exercise bike? Then you could put the book on your lap.

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I chose one answer, the other answers are very well too. thx to all!! – mrsteve Mar 1 '14 at 10:35
+1 for the 'real-world' link – Jan Doggen Mar 4 '14 at 8:28

If you have a tablet, take photos of the book and read them there on your tablet. I do it a lot. Not on the treadmill but on my way to university, because it is difficult to hold big books while walking. However, I can not study math deeply without a pen and paper to follow the formulas. If you have a laptop computer and a smartphone, it seems like a good idea to download a virtual mouse app on your phone and navigate through the pictures of the book on your laptop which is on a normal desk just in front of the treadmill. If you don't have a smart phone, there are lots of good and relatively cheap wireless mouses in the market. However, I'm afraid what ever you do, it is not possible to be that productive while running!

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I got my appartment right next to the university so I save time on commuting. – mrsteve Feb 28 '14 at 4:06

How many pages do you realistically think you will read through in a half an hour to an hour of treadmill time. 20? 50? My experience is that I am lucky to absorb five or ten pages of advanced material.

If it is that low of a number I would either make photocopies or print out a few pages of a PDF copy and take the five or ten pieces of paper with you to the gym.

Also it is getting easier and easier to take PDF copies and run them through OCR for text to speech. Blog posts and articles on the web make ideal candidates for text to speech as well.

I use VoiceDream for the iPhone and it works superbly. The voices are getting better and better all the time.

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Thank you for the photocopy hint, that is a very good point. Getting PDF versions and using a tablet is a good option too, as 2-3 of the books are availiable from the authors for free. Text to speech won't work in my case, as the graduate math textbooks are largly very complex formulas. – mrsteve Feb 24 '14 at 22:48

same here because of hypermobilty and law school.

no need to make it complex, equip small flashcards and hit the journey. try to memorize what you've to learn.

making questions and notes, mindmapping make you learn while preparement. while working out you can overlearn with your imagination and memory.

in short: have a note in your pocket, look it and think about it while your activity.

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I didn't state that explicitly. I don't have to take exams, it's more like work as a researcher. So really have to read the books, as I don't need to memorize anything. thx anyways! – mrsteve Feb 24 '14 at 16:19

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