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ESL Lesson Plan: The Pros and Cons of Treadmill Desks

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan: The Pros and Cons of Treadmill Desks

Level: Intermediate

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes

Objective: To engage ESL learners in a discussion about the pros and cons of treadmill desks, while improving vocabulary, listening, speaking, and critical thinking skills.

Warm-Up: (10 minutes)

  1. Begin by asking the students if they've heard of or seen treadmill desks before. Encourage them to share their thoughts and opinions on the idea of working while walking.

  2. Discuss the importance of physical activity and its impact on productivity and well-being. Ask the students if they think it's possible to combine work with exercise effectively.

Vocabulary: (10 minutes)

Introduce key vocabulary words related to the topic, such as:

  • Treadmill desk

  • Productive workspace

  • Innovative workstations

  • Prolonged sitting

  • Cardiovascular issues

  • Cognitive function

  • Monotony

  • Mobility limitations

  • Precision tasks

  • Distractions

  • Overexertion

Discuss the meanings of these words, provide definitions, and encourage students to use them in sentences.

Listening and Reading Exercise: (15 minutes)

  1. Provide the students with a short text discussing the pros and cons of treadmill desks. You can read the text aloud or ask a volunteer to read it.

  2. Ask the students to take notes on the main advantages and disadvantages mentioned in the text.

  3. After reading, initiate a brief class discussion to check understanding and elicit any questions.

Discussion Points: (15 minutes)

  1. Divide the class into pairs or small groups and assign them specific discussion points related to the topic. For example:

    • Group A: Discuss the physical health benefits of using treadmill desks.

    • Group B: Explore the potential drawbacks of using treadmill desks in a professional setting.


  1. Allow time for groups to discuss their assigned points and come up with key ideas and arguments.

  2. Bring the class back together and have each group present their findings to the rest of the class.

Vocabulary and Speaking Exercise: (10 minutes)

  1. Provide a list of sentences with missing vocabulary words related to the topic. Ask students to fill in the blanks with the correct words.

  2. Once completed, have students share their sentences with a partner, practicing using the new vocabulary in context.

Critical Thinking Exercise: (10 minutes)

Engage students in a critical thinking exercise by asking them to reflect on the following questions:

  1. Do you think treadmill desks would be suitable for all types of jobs? Why or why not?

  2. What are some other ways to incorporate physical activity into the work routine without using treadmill desks?

  3. How might companies address the challenges of implementing treadmill desks, such as space limitations and costs?

Homework (Optional):

Ask students to write a short essay or reflection about whether they would consider using a treadmill desk in their own workspace and their reasons for their decision.

Closure: (5 minutes)

Summarize the main points discussed during the lesson and encourage students to continue thinking about the relationship between physical activity and work productivity.

By incorporating warm-up questions, vocabulary exercises, reading and listening comprehension, discussion points, and critical thinking exercises, this lesson plan aims to help intermediate ESL learners engage with the topic of treadmill desks and develop their language skills in a meaningful context.





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