Treadmill Desk Pros and Cons – Plus Amazing Health Benefits!

With people spending an increasing amount of time in a sedentary position and putting their health at risk, it’s no wonder treadmill desks are growing in popularity. But are treadmill desks worth it? Before you invest your hard-earned money in one, read on to uncover the key treadmill desk pros and cons that you need to consider.

Let’s get started!

Physical active inactivity contributes to over 3 million deaths worldwide every year. That’s 6% of all deaths which could have been prevented. Source

Treadmill Desk Pros And Cons

Treadmill Desk Pros And Cons

Pros of a treadmill desk

Cons of a treadmill desk

Improves general health

Can be expensive

Reduces static postures and sitting disease

Not very portable

Increases energy levels

Can be noisy when running

Burns more calories & encourages weight loss

Limited in speeds it can reach for running

Efficient means of increasing step count

Less functionality than a regular treadmill

Can be used for work and exercise

Consumes sizeable footprint

Can be shared with others

Adjustment period required

Relatively quiet to operate

People often talk about walking the walk at work. But what if you could do it physically as opposed to merely as a figure of speech? Stick with me for just a few moments of your time and you’ll get your hands on free and unbiased information in this article. Plus, if you’re in a hurry, I’ve included a cheat sheet table of the pros and cons of under desk treadmills.

Advantages of a treadmill desk

Improves general health

The body is designed for movement, whether it’s moving to get regulation going or to change your posture are to take some relief of muscles and joints in the body.

It is widely accepted that movement is paramount to your health.

Some of the chronic health effects associated with sitting for long periods include:

  1. Weakening muscles
  2. Weight gain
  3. Back pain
  4. Heart disease
  5. Diabetes
  6. Cancer
  7. Stiff neck and shoulders
  8. All-cause mortality

You may be surprised with the number of benefits that can be attributed to getting out of your chair and moving. What’s more, many of the below highlighted benefits arose from merely a week of using a treadmill desk.

The benefits of walking and using a treadmill desk include:

  1. Contributes to weight loss and reduced obesity, even with low intensity exercise
  2. Decreased risk of developing heart disease and heart failure
  3. Reduced risk of developing all types of cancer
  4. Reduced risk of developing diabetes due to improved blood sugar levels
  5. Encourages lower blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels
  6. Reduces development of skeletal and muscular pain, including arthritis and back pain
  7. Increased energy (87% of people), focus (71%) and productivity (66%) after a week of treadmill use
  8. Increase in memory and creative thinking
  9. Better sleep, energy, physical and mental wellbeing
  10. Decreased mental health issues including depression and anxiety (in as much as 30% of people)
  11. Increased life expectancy


So, all of those benefits arise from just walking even an hour a day?

Precisely, no magic pills, potions or expensive consultations or treatments! And what’s more, walking is free! Plus, that’s not even an exhaustive list!

Even if you don’t end up opting for a treadmill desk, I hope that this article highlights the astounding benefits of walking and gets you out of your seat and moving.

I even stood up after researching all that to write this!

Reduces static postures and sitting disease

The amount of time that we are spending in sitting positions and static postures incrementally growing. With mounting evidence offer negative health effects of sitting growing as well, walking treadmill desks are becoming increasingly popular as they are one of the most effective means of allowing you to be active at your workstation.

Most people will start out with a standing desk and alternate between sitting and standing postures throughout the day.

That is a step up from sitting for the whole day, it still leaves the user in a static posture whether they stand or sit.

The beauty with the treadmill desk is that it incorporates movement into a standing workstation.

Not only can you sit at your standing desk and stand up your standing desk, but now you can also walk or even run at your standing desk with your under desk treadmill.

Increases energy levels

Many people who use treadmill desks claimed that their energy levels have increased
as a result of the more active posture.

It made sound contradictory but there is even evidence to show that changing your posture will reduce feelings of sluggishness and promote a more energetic and invigorated you.

Treadmill desk users claim to feel more energized and less sluggish when they compare their energy levels to that when they were in a static posture.

You can probably relate to this yourself, if you’re sitting for a period of time and then you get up and go for a walk around. Whether it’s to get yourself a cup of tea or grab something, you start to feel a bit more energized.

Besides, nobody wants to endure the midday slump or the 3PM slump (or even the 4PM slump for that matter).

Burns more calories & encourages weight loss

With increased energy expenditure comes a greater number of calories being burned. This is because your body is working harder while walking when compared to sitting or standing at a desk.

Ultimately, this can contribute to weight loss, something which may be difficult people who have limited time for exercise on their hands.

Below I have included a chart which compares the average amount of calories burned by a person sitting at a desk compared to purse standing at a desk and finally using a treadmill at a desk.




80 calories per hour

88 calories per hour

210 calories per hour

Efficient means of increasing step count

With growing research surrounding the benefits of reaching higher steps over a day, under desk treadmill is an efficient way too hit your 10,000 steps without leaving your desk.

This is a huge advantage for people who are strapped for time and even the likes of people on fitness programs who need to reach a certain number of steps every day.

What’s more is that many people find walking on a treadmill utterly mind-numbing and dread the thought of using it.

Plus, there are some days when the weather is far from appealing and the last thing that you want to do is be or end wind, rain and cold trying to hit your steps.

The beauty of an under desk treadmill is that you can increase your step count from the comfort of your home or even your office.

Furthermore, since you are multitasking, you are more likely to be distracted by your work or activities as you walk on the treadmill desk.

You’re practically guaranteed to pay less attention to the time, feel less bored and you may not even notice yourself racking up the thousands of steps.

Treadmill desks can be used for work and exercise

The under desk treadmill can be used for a variety of activities, and although it tends to be targeted towards people working in an office, practically anyone can use it.

Examples of activities that you could complete while walking at a desk treadmill desk include:

  1. Watching TV
  2. Chatting to people
  3. Attending Zoom meetings or Teams meetings
  4. Reading your favorite book or newspaper
  5. Gaming
  6. Reviewing documents and paperwork
  7. Computer work that requires a higher level of precision

Of course, if you are using the treadmill desk at higher speeds, usually greater than 3mph, then the type of activities that you can perform probably need to include less precision and focus.

Examples of activities that you can perform while you are running include:

  1. Binge watching your favorite TV or Netflix show
  2. Listening to music or podcasts
  3. Chatting to people (albeit out of breath)
  4. Read large print a text
  5. Attend meetings where you require minimal interaction

Treadmill desks can be shared with others

There is no denying that treadmills are not the cheapest form of exercise or even active workstation equipment available on the market. However, you may soften the blow to your partner, manager or finance department by advising them that it can be used as a shared resource in an office.

Furthermore, you can share with your family and friends in your house to ensure that it never has a chance to gather dust. That’s one sure-fire way to get value for money.

Plus, it will also make for a healthier and happier home or office.

Tip: If the treadmill desk will be used for long periods of time or shared, consider questioning the manufacturer on how much use the treadmill desk is designed to tolerate.

Treadmill desks are relatively quiet to operate

The noise levels generated by a treadmill desk a relatively low and can range anywhere from 6 – 70 dB +. The majority of the noise will more than likely be as a result of you walking or pounding on the treadmill itself as opposed to the noise of the machine running.

That makes them much quieter than your standard running treadmill which tend to range around 70dB + in noise levels.

Besides, if you’re going to be using a treadmill desk in an office that could be shared with others, the design of it will need to have low noise in mind.

From the reviews I have read, most people state that their under desk treadmill is very quiet.

Since the noise is so low, some people even use treadmill desks while on conference calls.

If noise is a concern for you, I have completed a review of treadmill desks and identified the noisiest and quietest treadmills available on the market. In this article, I have also included some ingenious tips on how to keep noise to a minimum while using your under desk treadmill.

Disadvantages of a treadmill desk

Treadmill desks can be expensive

The average cost of a treadmill desk ranges between $217 – $4973. This means that they are not the most affordable or cost-efficient method of introducing activity into your home or work environment.

That aside, if you don’t already own a standing desk, then you will need to purchase one that can work in conjunction with your under desk treadmill.

Those figures combined can mean you may have to spend a few $1000 for a quality standing desk and treadmill.

Not very portable

The average weight of an under desk treadmill is between 40 – 162 pounds. Although that isn’t an extremely significant weight, it’s likely that you will need assistance with moving them between floors.

Also, if they don’t come equipped with wheels, this makes it more difficult to move them. This can become onerous if you need to move the treadmill on a regular basis.

Tip: If you intend to move the treadmill regularly, ensure that either the wish is low or that it comes equipped with wheels for easier movement.

Can be noisy when running

Treadmill desks tend to be relatively low noise when operated, but what could generate some death stares or even cause frustration to yourself is the beeping noise that occurs when you are pushing buttons to change the settings on the treadmill.

Some models do have the ability to turn off this beeping sound.

You can check the user manual for instructions on how to complete this or contact the manufacturer.

If you are curious about how much noise treadmills use, check out both of the videos below as they are using a treadmill while videoing. You might be surprised how silent they are!

Limited in speeds it can reach for running

With treadmill desk typically reaching maximum speeds of around 2 – 8 mph, they are not generally going to be able to support people who intend to run at faster speeds.

Good quality running treadmills can top out at as high as 12 mph. Therefore, running enthusiasts or professionals who require a treadmill to support higher speeds will need to research the maximum speed limit.

Considerations to bear in mind regarding treadmill speed include:

  1. If you have access to a running treadmill for running practice, e.g., gym
  2. If having an office treadmill that yields lower speeds will be sufficient
  3. If you could run outdoors instead of on a treadmill

Less functionality than a regular treadmill

Unlike your standard running treadmill, walking pads don’t tend to come equipped with as much functionality.

For instance, a walking treadmill often lacks features such as:

  1. Incline
  2. Interval settings
  3. Handles for holding onto while walking
  4. Heart rate monitors

They are often smaller in size too, which gives the user less running belt space in terms of length and width.

Thankfully, it’s not difficult to find a desk treadmill with the recommended running belt dimensions for walkers and runners. That is provided you pay attention to the belt length during the purchasing phase.

As you’re probably gathering from reading this article, unless you’re a professional or have purchased treadmills in the past, you really do need to know what to look for when choosing a treadmill desk.

Consumes a sizeable footprint

Treadmill desks are probably one of the largest types of machines that you can purchase for granting you the freedom to move at your desk.

This, in addition to the standing desk itself, it means that the walking workstation consumes a large footprint, and it may not be suitable for compact homes or offices.

The average area consumed by a treadmill desk is 379.16 in2.

That said, office treadmills do tend to be smaller than your standard exercise treadmill.

Adjustment period required

As with any new piece of equipment that you purchase, you will need to adapt and get used to how to use the walking treadmill at your desk.

For instance, walking all day on the very first day will probably leave you tired, sore and seriously contemplating throwing the treadmill out the largest window you can find!

It’s not advisable to spend large amounts of time in the same posture.

Evidently, you will need to build up your usage time. I tend to take it easy for the first few days, 20 minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening. Then I’d add in a few extra 10-minute sessions.

It’s highly recommended to regularly alternate between your postures, e.g., every 20 minutes.

Expert planning tip on the way…

What I also do is write out my to-do list for the next day (because I like to plan in advance and not have work thoughts sitting in my head all night). Then I consider the meetings, calls and tasks that would suit well with walking and pair them with my walking sessions.

There are certain activities which are not suitable for completing while walking.

While this is an individual preference to an extent, the tasks that you complete while walking are also dependent upon the circumstances and of your home or work environment.

For instance, you’re often not going to be walking while on conference calls with your video on and presenting.

As if I don’t feel like enough of a goldfish already!

However, if you’re just one of those attendees in the background on mute with the sheer luxury of having your camera off, then you can probably treadmill as hard as you like!

Just make triple sure you’re on mute if you are walking on a call!

As I mentioned previously, you’ll get to know which tasks best suit as you use it more and more.

Tip: You can expect to walk at an average speed of 2 mph while working at your walking treadmill.


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!

However, there are various advantages and disadvantages to getting a treadmill desk. They won’t suit everybody.

But I’d be willing to bet that they will only become more and more prevalent in homes and offices.

With the above list and cheat sheet, you can decide if a walking treadmill is the solution for you.

While they are a more expensive option, they do give the best value in terms of health benefits and multipurpose use.

So, the cost to health ratio is something you need to deeply consider when weighing out the benefits and disadvantages of getting a treadmill desk.

Especially if sitting disease scares you as much as it scares me.

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 can even double up as an exercise treadmill too if you pick one with the functions that meet your requirements!

The compact size of treadmill desks enables it to be slotted neatly underneath your desk, bed or even at the bottom of your wardrobe or your couch.

Thankfully, remember that with return policies available for most treadmills, you can always trial it out for a while 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 multiple of ways to get moving.

I have been actively researching numerous ways to introduce motion into my relatively static desk work.

The below items are what I’ve looked into so far in order of preference:

  1. Treadmill desks
  2. Standing desk converters
  3. Ergonomic chairs
  4. Standing desks
  5. Desk bike
  6. Kneeling chairs
  7. Standing desk chairs
  8. Anti-fatigue mats
  9. Balance boards

My personal favorite products so far are the:

  1. Sunny Portable Stand Up Treadmill
  2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M (high quality, compact, low-cost treadmill)
  3. Ergotron WorkFit-LX
  4. Bush Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk
  5. CoolMesh Pro Multi-Function Chair


With years of both professional and first-hand experience in office equipment and work settings, I now want to help you avoid making mistakes that countless others do. Whether you're studying or working from home, this site will help you create the ultimate haven for working safely, comfortably and productively in!

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