With the negative health effects of sitting disease becoming increasingly prevalent and concerning, it’s no wonder people are looking for a means to get out of their chair. One of the most active workstations available on the market is the treadmill desk. When buying one, you should know how to choose a treadmill desk.
Whether it’s for indoor exercise or under your desk, there’s bound to be a treadmill desk that suits your needs and desires! But what should you look for when buying a walking desk?
There are certain distinguishing factors which will determine how good a desk treadmill is.
Fortunately for you, you are about to the treated to the complete buyers guide to treadmill desks. This will help you narrow down the perfect walking treadmill to suit you.
In this treadmill desk buying guide, you’ll get your hands on the 20 features that you need to look out for!
Find out why so many people including which A-list celebrities are using this popular product
and what exactly to look for when choosing a treadmill desk.
Some people walk to work, well with this guide, you’ll be able to walk AT work!
Yes, you read that right!
Let’s see exactly what you should be looking for when choosing the perfect under desk treadmill.
Did you know? Treadmill desks have been shown to offer more physical development when compared with standing desks. But also achieving accomplishing impact on work productivity. Source
What are treadmill desks?
The walking desk is an office version of a treadmill which is designed to fit under a standing desk. Treadmill desks enable active sitting and a means of achieving indoor exercise. Some under desk treadmills even facilitate running.
Haven’t the time or good enough weather to exercise? Need to fit more steps or cardio into your day? Want to introduce more activity into your stationary sitting position?
The treadmill workstation just might be the simple product solution for your problems!
Find out more fascinating facts about treadmill desks here and why celebs are using them!
What celebrities use treadmill desks?
I bet you’re more interested in finding out which celebs use walking treadmills than finding out about choosing a treadmill for yourself! Don’t worry, I was the exact same!
But before I reveal who they are, have a guess what celebs use walking treadmills?
Made your guess? Ok, let’s reveal who they are…
Famous celebrities that use treadmill desks include Jimmy Kimmel, Victoria Beckham and Steve Harvey!
I would never have pictured Victoria Beckham as the treadmill desk kind of person, would you? What shouldn’t have shocked me is that she uses her sky high stilettos while on treadmill too! Google it, I’m not even joking!
How to Choose a Treadmill Desk?
Understanding what treadmill workstation will personally suit your needs and intentions as well as fitting it to the environment considerations will ensure you choose the perfect treadmill. When buying a walking desk, the primary considerations include purpose of treadmill desk, type of treadmill desk, price, speed the treadmill can achieve and reliability. The below list details these requirements and includes the important and nice to have features that you should look out for when purchasing a walking desk:
1. Intended purpose for treadmill desk
2. Space requirements for treadmill workstation
3. Type of treadmill desk required
4. Dimensions of existing standing desk
5. Height range of standing desk
6. Treadmill desk price
7. Noise of the treadmill desk
8. Speed of treadmill desk
9. Under desk treadmill remote control
10. Treadmill desk Bluetooth connectivity
11. Portability of treadmill desk
12. Storage of treadmill desk
13. Maintenance of a treadmill desk
14. Comfort of treadmill desk
15. Treadmill workstation handle
16. Weight of treadmill desk
17. Weight capacity of treadmill desk
18. Quality of treadmill desk
19. Treadmill desk assembly
20. Walking desk return policy
21. Walking desk warranty
Intended purpose for treadmill desk
The intended purpose of the treadmill desk is a paramount consideration when choosing the type of treadmill desk. In fact, after finding out about the key components of a treadmill desk, this should be the very next thing you should consider before you choose a product.
Answering the below queries will help narrow down your selection:
- Do I need a standing desk and a treadmill or just an under desk treadmill?
- Will I use the treadmill desk for exercise or just for walking while working?
- Where will I be using it?
- Will I use it at a desk?
- Do I want a manual or motorized under desk treadmill?
- Will it need to be suitable for running or an intense workout?
Space requirements for treadmill workstation
Under desk treadmills are by no means compact. You will need to allow approximately 335.04 m2 space to fit on under a desk. That’s not even taking into consideration the size of the height-adjustable desk.
Thankfully, there are a range of desk treadmills in varying sizes from small desk treadmills to larger, more robust desk treadmills.
Type of treadmill desk required
The purpose of the under desk treadmill will dictate the features that you will need it to have. Plus, the availability of power will be influential in your decision:
- Manual treadmill which doesn’t require a power source
- Electric treadmill which requires a power source
- Desk treadmill suitable for walking only
- Desk treadmill suitable for walking and running
Again, this goes back to the very first point about identifying the purpose of your desk treadmill.
Dimensions of existing standing desk
The width of your current standing desk will dictate how wide your under desk treadmill can be to fit underneath the desk.
Ideally, you should also leave some wiggle room to allow for moving the treadmill in and out without it hitting of the standing desk.
Plus, you won’t want the treadmill to be touching off the legs of the standing desk as this could cause damage to both components.
It could also create noise from the vibrations of the desk and treadmill banging off each other.
Height range of standing desk
When standing on an under desk treadmill, it will raise your height by approximately 3 – 9.5 inches, depending on the height of the treadmill.
However, to achieve optimal comfort, you’ll want a treadmill low enough so that when you stand on it, you are positioned in a comfortable and ergonomic height in respect to the standing desk.
This will consequently mean that you’ll need to raise the height of your sit-stand desk by this amount to allow you to stand at the appropriate height at the desk.
Fortunately, sit-stand desks are able to accommodate most height ranges.
It is therefore important that the height range of the standing desk can accommodate you at this elevated height.
This is easier navigated if you are in the process of purchasing both items either as a treadmill workstation or as a separate walking treadmill and standing desk.
Furthermore, if the treadmill desk will be shared with multiple users, it will also need to facilitate their heights as well.
If your current standing desk is already set at an upper height range to accommodate you on the floor, it would be wise to choose a low height under desk treadmill.
If you do have the opportunity to visit a showroom and try the desk treadmill workstation or even just the standing desk out for size, then jump at the chance!
The last thing you want is having to deal with the hassle of returning items.
Worse again is dealing with the aftermath of a poorly setup workstation which could put you in a worse posture than before and even result in pain!
Treadmill desk price
Treadmill desks can range in price from as little as $217.99 – $1999.00.
I completed an extensive cost review analysis on the least to most expensive under desk treadmills.
This study revealed that treadmill desks have an average price of $620.38; however, the price increases significantly if you need to purchase a standing desk to accompany the under desk treadmill.
Treadmill desks are one of the most expensive type of active workstation available.
This is when they are compared to other pieces of active office equipment which can introduce activity into your workplace or home.
For example, standing desks have an average price of $489.99. Desk exercise bikes have a lower starting price of $29.99 but they can cost as much as $1599.99.
If cost is a constraint for you or is not within your control, there are treadmill desks to suit most budgets. Some brands are just inherently expensive, such as the Lifespan treadmill desks, but don’t dismiss them immediately. These branded walking treadmills tend to be higher quality.
One of the cheapest treadmill desks that’s also from a branded company is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M
Noise of the treadmill desk
In a shared environment or noise-sensitive location, noise generated while using the desk treadmill will be important. The last thing you want is to be making a racket while people are beside you. Or even worse is annoying yourself while you try to focus.
The majority of treadmill desks claim to be quiet and noise generated from them tends to range around 40 – 50dB.
For example, the Egofit Walker Pro boasts having a noise level of < 70dB at the highest speed, which is rather noisy considering that it’s the equivalent to a toilet flushing or a vacuum.
Fortunately, this level drops to about 40 – 50dB when used under 2 MPH, the equivalent to a quiet office or conversation.
Running will obviously generate further noise.
Often the source of noise will primarily arise from you walking as opposed to the sound of the office treadmill itself.
Tip: If noise or floor damage is a worry, you can place the treadmill on a mat to absorb the noise.
Speed of treadmill desk
Walking treadmills tend to have a lower speed than a traditional treadmill. This is because the walking treadmill doesn’t typically intend to be used for running.
You can expect a walking treadmill to reach speeds between 2 – 8 mph. In comparison, a standard treadmill can reach speeds of around 8 – 25 mph.
If you’re using the treadmill for walking only, speed won’t be as much of a consideration as you probably won’t be able to walk very fast when performing most activities.
Each treadmill should provide the maximum speed that it can achieve on the website or brochure.
LCD display on treadmill
All treadmill desks feature a digital monitor which tracks your activity including:
- Calories burned
There are a few machines which have a console that you can position on your desk for tracking; they are easier to view and reach than controls at the base of the treadmill.
You probably won’t have much choice in the display that’s available, but have a look at the next section on remote controls – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Under desk treadmill remote control
Ideally, the monitor should be within easy access to prevent difficulty adjusting the controls while you walk.
Fortunately, many treadmill desks include a wireless remote control which controls features such as:
This enables you to adjust the controls with ease from a walking position as opposed to dangerously trying to reach to adjust them while you walk.
There have been some reviews where people have been using their TV remote to adjust the volume and it ends up increasing the speed of the treadmill!
How bizarre is that!
Treadmill desk Bluetooth connectivity
With smart watches and fitness tracking rising in popularity, it’s not surprising that treadmill desks are becoming compatible with Bluetooth and apps.
Now you can sync your walking desk with your phone to track and your activity. You can even engage in classes, coaches and compete with people in the app community!
It’s a great means of tracking your under desk activity and examining how a walking desk can improve your health, including your overall steps and energy levels.
This feature is relatively new and is becoming available in a growing number of walking desks, such as the Egofit Walker Pro and the UMAY Portable Treadmill.
Tip: Some treadmills even include Bluetooth speakers to connect your phone to for music while you exercise or walk!
Portability of treadmill desk
Desk treadmills can weigh anywhere from approximately 40 – 147 pounds. The overall weight of the under desk treadmill will be a significant factor in determining how portable a desk treadmill is.
While they are not the lightest or most compact of active workstations, it is likely that you will need to move the office treadmill out from under your standing desk.
Whether it’s to allow you to take a break from treadmilling and sit at the sit-stand desk. Or even simply to position it correctly or clean around the area.
Plus, you might decide to use the under desk treadmill by itself for a workout, something you probably wouldn’t want to be doing with a desk right in front of you!
Having a treadmill desk that’s movable can be extremely useful, especially if you intend to use it or store it in a number of different rooms or offices.
If it’s easier to move, then you’re less constrained to walking in one location
and this encourages it to be used more often and also by more people if you’re sharing it.
As you compare the dimensions between treadmill desks, there are evidently differences, and their dimensions can vary as much as 10 inches in length.
However, if you’re not severely caught for space, the overall footprint should not pose an issue.
Some under desk treadmills include wheels for easier maneuvering, such as the Sunny treadpad slim under desk treadmill 20740
Tip: If space is a constraint, a folding treadmill desk can be stored more compactly.
Storage of treadmill desk
The size of the treadmill desk will dictate how easily it can be stored. If space is limited or if you simply want to move it out of your way or out of sight, then you’ll need somewhere that can fit it neatly.
Some under desk treadmills are foldable which allows them to fit into more compact locations.
Some nifty places where folding desk treadmills can be stored include:
- Under a couch
- Behind a couch or furniture
- Under a bed
- Against an unused wall
- Under a desk or table
The treadmill should be kept in a dry, warm room indoors to ensure it doesn’t become subject to wet or damp conditions.
Remember, desk treadmills are designed for indoor use only.
Tip: If it doesn’t obstruct you while you stand or sit, and you have sufficient space under your desk, the treadmill desk can be stored there when not in use.
Maintenance of a treadmill desk
Keeping your treadmill adequately lubricated is a key factor in increasing the lifespan of the treadmill as well as having a quiet and smooth running machine. The frequency and effort that’s required to oil the under desk treadmill should be considered.
Some treadmills have an oil port which allows you to easily lubricate the unit without having to interfere with the running belt.
You’ll also need to clean the treadmill regularly too to ensure that the dirt doesn’t become lodged or trapped in components or create friction under the belt.
Comfort of treadmill desk
They key considerations with desk treadmill comfort is that the walking belt is an appropriate length and width for you to walk with ease.
You’ll also want a belt that’s non-slip and helps to absorb shock.
Some of the higher quality treadmills offer high density textured belts which include features such as:
- Water-resistant surface
- Sound insulation
- Shock absorbing
Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill is an example of a treadmill with this type of running belt.
Opting for a sturdy and wide stance treadmill will promote improved stability.
Treadmill workstation handle
Some treadmills feature a handle, similar to your standard running machine. This handle will need to be foldable if you intend to use it at a standing desk.
That is, unless you plan on converting your treadmill to a workstation with a treadmill laptop holder. A treadmill desk attachment is something I will cover in more detail, so stay tuned.
Weight of treadmill desk
Treadmill desks weigh an average of 71 pounds, give or take. This means they can usually be wheeled around easily enough.
However, you will probably need a hand if lifting it from one location to another, e.g., up or down a set of stairs.
If you need something sturdy, then a heavier treadmill is more preferable.
However, if you intend to move it frequently, a lighter treadmill should be sought.
So, if stability is as priority for you, a higher weighted walking treadmill will be sturdier and less liable to moving or wobbling.
Tip: Opt for a treadmill with wheels for easier handling and moving.
Weight capacity of treadmill desk
Desk treadmills come in a range of weight capacities. The weight capacity should be displayed on the brochure or website of the walking treadmill. This factor will contribute to the overall user experience.
Most treadmill desks which are designed for standing on have a weight limit around 220 lbs.
Exceeding the weight limit of a treadmill desk may not lead to any harm or damage if the weight limit is only marginally surpassed. There is a safety factor built into the weight rating to account for such circumstances.
However, it’s not recommended to ever exceed it. If weight capacity is surpassed significantly or frequently, it’s likely to result in an inferior user experience as the treadmill will probably feel wobbly or insecure under you and it is liable to greater wear and tear.
It can endanger your safety, damage the reliability and warranty of the treadmill desk, and could even break the walking treadmill if too much of a load is utilized.
This could lead to substantial injuries.
Tip: A good rule of thumb is to determine the weight that will be applied to the machine. Then add 10% to the weight to give yourself some extra freedom and peace of mind.
Treadmill desk assembly
There should be minimal assembly involved in a desk treadmill. You’ll probably spend your time unboxing, plugging it in and positioning it in the appropriate location in relation to your desk.
All in all, walking desks should take approximately 10 minutes to set up.
Walking desk return policy
If it’s your first time investing in a treadmill desk, a return policy will be more valuable in case you don’t like using the product. In any case, the longer the return policy, the better.
Most reputable companies offer a return policy of 30 days.
Sunny even offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
So, even if you realize that a walking treadmill isn’t for you or you want a different type of treadmill, you can usually return it, with limited hassle.
Just ensure you confirm the details of the return policy before you pay!
Walking desk warranty
The standard guarantee provided with treadmill desks is a 1-year warranty.
Most businesses will break the guarantee down based on a shorter warranty for specific parts. This is something that often catches customers as they might assume the warranty applies to all parts.
Sunny offers a 5-year warranty on the structural frame and 180 days on parts and components.
I have even seen Rhythm Fun to offer a 10-year warranty on the frame, a 2-year warranty on the motor and a 1-year warranty on parts.
Treadmill desks are yet another great means of introducing motion into an inactive life.
In fact, they’re probably the most active type of workstation that you can invest in!
While they are a more expensive option, they do give the best bang for their buck. Can you put a cost on your health?
A treadmill workstation grants you the luxury of active sitting; They offer an array of positions, from standing at a desk, walking at a desk and even sitting at a desk.
Plus, they double up as a running treadmill too if you pick one with that functionality!
The compact size of treadmill desks enables you to neatly fit it underneath your desk, under your bed or even at the bottom of your wardrobe or beside your couch.
Plus, with return policies available, you can always trial and return if you don’t enjoy the experience.
If you’re eager to introduce movement into your workday, study, gaming or whatever static activity you perform, then treadmill desks are one of a myriad of ways to get moving.
I have been actively researching numerous ways to introduce motion into my relatively static desk work, here’s what I’ve looked into so far in order of preference:
My personal favourite products so far are the
Sunny Portable Stand Up Treadmill
CoolMesh Pro Multi-Function Chair.
My aim with this website is to help you on all matters related to your home office and your work area. With that in mind, if you have any questions or comments on the above, please drop them in the box below. I’d love to hear them!