Whether working from home or from a place of business, sitting at a desk all day can take its toll on one’s health. And while a job change might not be feasible, modifying existing working conditions may be. Not only does movement benefit health, but it can also increase concentration and productivity.
When looking to outfit a workspace with fitness accessories, you have options. Experts in ergonomics encourage periodic movement and shifting positions while working at an office desk, which has led to the development of standing desks. Furthermore, as awareness has increased regarding the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle, the under-desk treadmill has recently found its niche among business professionals.
Here are some top products in the category of best treadmill desk:
- BEST OVERALL: Goplus Under Desk Electric Treadmill
- RUNNER-UP: Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
- BEST QUIET: UMAY Portable Treadmill
- BEST FOR RUNNING: GYMAX 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Treadmill Desk
Under-desk treadmills vary in features and functions from the standard treadmills that line the cardio area at your local health club. So whether you’re looking to bump up your step-counting game or are simply motivated to increase mobility during the workday, there are several factors to consider when shopping for the best treadmill desk. Initial features to consider include storability, exercise modes, and safety features. Below are some not-so-obvious features worth considering as well.
Frame material and frame construction affect a treadmill’s stability. The higher the quality of materials used, the less shaking and vibration a treadmill produces. As well, the quality of the run belt contributes to a treadmill’s stability––cushioning features protect joints from fatigue and a nonslip run surface can minimize the risk of falls. When considering stability, it’s a good idea to think about weight capacity, also. Most treadmills support at least 220 pounds.
Ease of use
Under-desk treadmills are relatively easy to use. With remote or app-based speed control features, you can manually adjust your pace while walking or running. Some treadmills come with preset programs that provide automatic speed control that you can select from based on your fitness objectives.
Under-desk treadmills max out at about 4 miles per hour, which is significantly slower than a standard treadmill’s pace. The reason for that is that the average person can walk comfortably at 1.2 to 1.5 miles per hour while simultaneously engaging in another activity, such as typing or reading. However, there are under-desk treadmills that have both walking and running modes, with speeds upward of 7 miles per hour, allowing for more vigorous fitness training outside of work hours.
Noise is an important consideration, whether one is working at the office or at home. A treadmill with noisy, clanking moving parts can be distracting. A treadmill with a smoothly running belt and a quiet motor should be priority if noise is a deal-breaker. A 2.25 horsepower motor or less is ideal for walking and should keep noise at a minimum––anything greater than 2.5 horsepower may increase the likelihood of noise distractions.
It’s important to consider that motors emit different levels and frequencies of sound, depending on their speed. If the treadmill maxes out at 4 miles per hour and that is the desired speed, then the motor might run slightly noisier than when operating at 2 miles per hour.
Adjustability and versatility go hand in hand. Some desk treadmills have adjustable consoles. Lowering the console allows the user to walk on the belt while positioned under a desk, but raising it allows for the user to operate the treadmill at a higher speed for jogging.
It’s also good to think about storage options when considering adjustability. Will you need to store your treadmill vertically? If so, looking for an upright folding desk treadmill to slide behind a bookshelf or into a closet is a good idea. However, if you plan to leave your treadmill under the desk or slide it under a sofa or a bed, then nonfolding or flat-folding options might be good choices.
Many treadmills on the market today arrive at your doorstep fully assembled, whereas others may require minimal assembly. Before purchase, consult the manufacturer’s information regarding assembly and required tools for assembly.
Our Top Picks
Based on an evaluation of the above features, brand reputation, and price, here is an overview of some of the best treadmill desks on the market.
This models’ combination of slim design and a spacious walking platform make it a very nice fitness accessory for your work space. The treadmill has an LED touch display to monitor time, distance, calories, and speed. But you can also control the treadmill from the remote control while in motion, which also has an emergency shutoff button.
With 12 exercise programs and a speed range of 0.5 to 4 miles per hour, you can increase cardiovascular endurance and maybe even shed a few pounds all while responding to emails and answering calls. The lightweight design and wheels make it easy to slip under a sofa or bed when not in use. The treadmill measures 51.5 inches by 23.5 inches by 6 inches and can hold up to 220 pounds.
- Slim design
- Spacious walking area
- Remote control included
- Compact and easy to store
- Can be quite noisy
- Belt can heat up after prolonged use
Also from Goplus, this model combines the features of an under-desk walking treadmill with versatile speed and a running surface for intense cardio workouts. Simply fold the riser to place under a desk for a maximum speed of 2.8 miles per hour during working hours and then lift the riser to increase the motor speed to 7.4 miles per hour for an after-hours jog.
The treadmill’s Bluetooth connectivity and performance speaker facilitates making calls and playing music from a smartphone. Monitor progress on the LCD display and use the remote control to adjust speed. A safety key attaches to clothing during operation in case an emergency shutoff is necessary.
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Built-in speakers
- Low profile can fit under desks
- Can convert into fast treadmill
- Quiet operation
The UMAY treadmill’s 1.5 horsepower motor keeps exercising on the job noise-free during each of the 12 programmed workouts. The remote control allows for different speeds and modes; it also has a convenient power-off button. The shock-absorbing belt adds stability and comfort to minimize fatigue during walking.
The LED display shows speed, time, distance, and calories burned. The treadmill is also compatible with the GFit app, which allows a smartphone to control the settings.
- Shock absorption for extra comfort
- GFit app compatibility
- Lightweight and easy to move
- No assembly required
- Belt can shift and need readjusting
The GYMAX features both walking and running modes, with a maximum walking speed of 2.5 miles per hour and a maximum running speed of 7.5 miles per hour––which is faster than comparable models. The premium 2.5 horsepower motor runs quietly even at high speeds, and the spacious running area measures 40 by 16 inches.
Use the dual function touch screen display to play music via Bluetooth or adjust the belt’s speed. Speed adjustment can also be controlled via remote control. Safety features include a five-layer, shock-absorbing, nonslip running belt and a safety key for emergency shutoff. The treadmill’s folded measurements are 52 inches by 27 inches by 5 inches.
- Nonslip running belt
- Compact modern design
- Convenient phone holder
- No heart-rate monitor
- Speed unit cannot be changed from kilometers
For a treadmill that can fit perfectly under your desk and keep you moving while you work, consider the Goplus Under Desk Electric Treadmill. If shoppers are looking for an option that converts into a full treadmill to run at faster speeds, then the GYMAX 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill is the ideal pick.
How We Chose the Best Under-Desk Treadmills
The best under-desk treadmills can keep users moving while they work, operate quietly, and are compact and lightweight enough to move around and store away when needed. Our recommendations include a range of products from simple compact units suitable for slow walking to two-in-one products that convert into full-speed running machines when required.
Our research showed that users are most concerned about noise levels while on a treadmill during work hours, since no one wants to be distracted by a noisy treadmill. As such, we made sure that our top picks stand out for their performance and operate quietly, with smooth-running belts, quiet motors, and shock absorption qualities.
We also made sure to suggest products that are easy to assemble and simple to use. Many of our top picks require little to no assembly and come with a remote control for added convenience.
To get the most benefit from an under-desk treadmill, it’s key to understand the treadmill’s features, functions, and intended use. While consulting the manufacturer’s product insert is recommended and helpful, sometimes a few topics are not covered. So here are a few common questions and answers as an additional resource.
Q. Can anyone use a treadmill desk?
Walking on a treadmill is a relatively safe activity; however, running and multitasking while walking may require a certain level of balance and coordination. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the treadmill’s safety features and start out at a slow pace. Once you feel confident, consider gradually increasing the speed while adding additional activities, such as writing and reading.
Q. Are treadmills Bluetooth compatible?
Most treadmills on the market are Bluetooth compatible, but be sure to consult the manufacturer’s description to be sure. Bluetooth features include listening to music, taking calls, and pairing with fitness apps on your smartphone.
Q. Do treadmill desks help you lose weight?
The main factor in weight loss is burning more calories than consumed. Daily use of a desk treadmill could aid in weight loss as a part of a weight loss program. It’s best to consult a physician before starting a fitness or a weight loss program.