Working a 9 to 5 desk job has gotten a lot of heat lately. Not only are people tired of the monotony, but they are also tired of the effects of sitting all day, every day. First came the standing desk that let you do your work while standing comfortably for hours. But that still wasn’t cutting it for people needing a little more physical activity in their day.
Thus, a treadmill desk was born.
Our Favorite Treadmill Desks:
What is a Treadmill Desk?
A treadmill desk is pretty much exactly what it sounds like—a machine that lets you walk while you work at a desk. When it comes to choosing the right treadmill desk for you, you can either opt for an all-in-one desk with an attached treadmill base or purchase just the treadmill base and pair it with a desk of your choosing. Not sure which is right for you? Here’s a quick overview.
Treadmill Desk Base
A treadmill base is a moveable walking feature that you can put underneath a desk for some light walking during the workday. Treadmill bases cost significantly less than an all-in-one desk, although you’ll also have to account for the cost of a standing desk; you can’t just throw one of these machines under your traditional desk and expect it to work.
One of the plus sides to a moveable base is that you aren’t fully committed to walking throughout your whole workday; if you want to sit, you can just pack the base up and hide it away for a different day. Just keep in mind that not all of these bases come with a handrail. So while it has the freedom to move from your home office to your living room, you’ll need a little bit of balance if you’re going to walk during a movie.
All-In-One Treadmill Desks
All-in-one treadmill desks will have everything you need to start walking while you work. While you’ll often pay more for these custom setups, you won’t have to worry about finding the right combination of desk and treadmill base. A lot of these desks also include other ergonomic features for your workspace, like a keyboard. As is the case with all things stationery, the build on these desks tends to be higher quality than something you can fold up and put away. So if sturdiness is a concern, go for one of these builds.
Treadmill Desk Limitations
Unlike your standard treadmill, most treadmill desks aren’t meant for running, so they won’t hit the same speed range that you’re used to. Rather, most top out at about 4 or 5 mph. Similarly, you’ll want to keep an eye on weight capacity, as a number of models accommodate a lower weight limit of 220 pounds.
Benefits of Walking Desks
There’s no question that physical activity is an important component in maintaining a healthy body. But new research shows that regular moderate exercise may not be enough if you spend the rest of your day sitting. The Mayo Clinic has recently dubbed sitting as the new smoking and found that those who sit for more than 8 hours a day increased their risk of dying in a way that was proportionate to those who were obese or took up smoking.
Why does sitting matter so much?
Yale Medicine found that sitting increases your chance of depression, dementia, weight gain, and back problems. But even more than that, it hurts your vascular health. Your heart works more effectively when it pumps blood down to the rest of your body. Sitting all day makes your heart work harder, and one study found that men who watched TV 64 hours a week had a 64% higher chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who watched just 11 hours.
Walking provides a number of benefits, including:
- Increased Energy
- Reduced Stress
- Improved Mood & Focus
- Less Weight Gain
- Increased Heart Health
But the benefits aren’t just for the employee. One study found that those who utilized a walking desk at work increased work performance, both in terms of quality and quantity of hours put in.
The Best Treadmill Desks
Ready to get in those extra steps? Here are some of our favorite treadmill desks on the market today.
This underdesk treadmill from GoPlus is compact, lightweight, and available from Amazon. But don’t let the size fool you; this machine can hold up to 220 pounds and has a top walking speed of 4mph.
Some of our favorite features include its LCD display touchscreen to track calories, speed, distance and time and the remote control with an emergency break button.
This machine doesn’t come with a desk, so you’ll need to purchase a standing desk separately. But the benefit of being able to tuck it under a couch or in a closet when you’re done is more than worth it.
Want a convertible option that will let you run? Check out this GoPlus SuperFit.
Lifespan treadmill desks are one of the top brands in the walking desk world, and it’s easy to see why with this TR1200. This all-in-one pick features a treadmill and an adjustable desk. This treadmill can hold up to 350 pounds and has a patent-pending internal cable that is routed to the floor, so you don’t get stuck with a maze of wires. This is also one of the most customizable options on our list, with options for desk width and color. But our favorite feature is the fact that it has an ultra-quiet motor, so you won’t disturb the whole office each time you hop on to do some work if noise level is a concern.
3. Walking Pad
Another treadmill base on Amazon, the Walking Pad S1 treadmill holds 220 pounds and tops out just below 4 mph. But this machine’s biggest flex is that it folds in half for convenient storage underneath the desk, couch, or closet. This folding treadmill also features a remote control or an app to track progress and control the machine, although some users have reported problems with the app not recording the correct number of steps.
If you were waiting to see the Lander Treadmill Desk, which was previously dubbed the king of walking desks, you’ll be disappointed. IMOVR announced that because of supply issues, the Lander is discontinued. But the good news is that they partnered with InMovement to produce the Unsit Under-Desk Treadmill Base.
This base is 55% larger than other models, giving you a secure place to move. It’s also super heavy duty and holds up to 400 pounds. Unlike some of our other picks, this machine only gets up to 2 mph. One of our other favorite features is the Bluetooth app used to track your progress. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s one of the quietest picks out there.
If you’re looking for something with a little more speed, you’ll be happy to know that this Go Youth convertible desk reaches a max speed of 6mph. This walking desk has a max weight of 220 pounds, and it features a non-slip running belt and shock reduction system to support your joints as you move. It also offers 12 different programs to keep things interesting while you work. Other features include a remote control and LED display to track your progress.
Another convertible option, this walking treadmill features foldable handlebars that, when up, will let you reach speeds of 7.6 mph. Without the handrails, you can use the remote control to get the treadmill up to 3.8mph.
This machine has a 17-inch running belt, a silica gel column support and doesn’t require any assembly. It also holds 265 pounds.
The VIVO treadmill platform isn’t a walking desk, but it does help you turn your treadmill into a usable workspace. This ergonomic platform attaches to the handlebars of a standard treadmill with anti-slip rubber pads to keep everything in place without scratching your treadmill. It’s also sturdy; it can hold 22 pounds of products—perfect for your laptop or iPad. If you still aren’t sold, it also comes with a 3-year warranty in case you have any problems.
Other Helpful Items To Pair With Your Treadmill Desk
Here are some essentials to make your walking time successful.
As has been mentioned previously, a standing desk is a crucial part of a treadmill desk. You’ll need plenty of room to stretch your legs if you’re going to move them, after all! Standing desks range in price and quality. For the ultimate quality experience, you’ll be happy with the Lander Standing Desk. But if you need something a little more affordable, there are a handful of options on Amazon, like this adjustable desk from Furmax.
If you’ve never heard of an under-treadmill mat, you’re not alone. But Work While Walking gives the full lowdown on why this feature should not be overlooked. In a nutshell, under-treadmill mats, like this one from IMOVR, help prolong the life of your machine by keeping dust and debris out. Not only that, but it will also reduce vibrations and noise for others around you.
If you’re going to go through all the work to set up the ultimate ergonomic workstation, it only makes sense to include the keyboard. Choose from a specialized keyboard that will give your hands some room to work or add a keyboard tray to mimic a natural hand position.
Here are some of the most popular questions
Can I use a treadmill desk for running?
Most are made for walking and have a maximum speed of 4 mph, which works for the average American who walks 3-4 mph. Experts recommend a 1-2 mph pace for intense brain activity, saving higher walking speeds for less consuming work.
Can I add a desk to my treadmill?
If you already have a treadmill at home, you may be wondering if there’s a way to convert your current setup for work. And the answer is….kind of. While you may not be able to work on a full-sized monitor, you can purchase a treadmill platform to hold your laptop while you work. Just make sure to keep the pace down, so your electronics don’t experience a full shock factor.
Can I run on my treadmill desk?
Treadmill desks are designed to provide a sturdy workstation in spite of the movement of the machine. Therefore, most treadmill desks top off at 4 mph. If you’re a runner, however, you could opt for a convertible treadmill. These often will cap you at a walking pace if you use the remote control but will increase the speed range if you open the handrails.
Will a treadmill desk help me lose weight?
There are a number of factors that play into your body weight—food intake, nutritional content, metabolism, hormones, etc. Without going too much into it, walking burns calories, which will help you lose weight. Plus, it increases your heart rate to keep your heart and body healthy.
How much space do I need for a treadmill desk?
Work While Walking recommends 20 inches of space on either side of your treadmill base and 40 inches of clearance behind it.
Walk It Off
There’s no denying that sitting in front of a computer all day comes with health ramifications. Not only do 9 to 5 office workers experience back pain, but studies have found that there are a number of serious health concerns that come with prolonged sitting, including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to keep moving throughout the day. Treadmill desks are a great way to get in those extra steps and help you stay alert throughout the workday. And with an option for every budget and office size, there’s no better time to start investing in your health.
You might also be interested in: Cubii Under Desk Elliptical [Perfect Workout For The Office]
The 7 Best Treadmill Desks:
- GoPlus Underdesk Treadmill Desk
- Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk
- Walking Pad
- Unsit Under-Desk Treadmill Base
- GO YOUTH Convertible Treadmill Desk
- UREVO 2-in-1 Treadmill
- VIVO Treadmill Platform