Should I Buy A Treadmill Desk? (Pros, Cons & Reviews)
By Simon Gould
Treadmills are great for exercise but we have a limited amount of time in our day. The most time we seem to spend in our lives is working. How can we incorporate the two together so we're exercising as we're working. Well that has been thought of and the way you can do it is with treadmill desks. You can get some fitness in your day and lose weight all the while you're working.
The CDC says brisk walking is moderate physical activity and that we should do 2 hours and 30 minutes of it per week. That means we should do 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week which could be the working days of the week if you like. So what better way to accomplish this than by brisk walking while you're working by using a treadmill desk.
Advantages of treadmill desks
If you only need 30 minutes of brisk walking per day while you're working during the week then this is easy. Working while walking on a treadmill takes a little bit of practise but you'll get used to it. If you're looking to lose weight and burn calories then this is ideal because you can spend more time doing it because you're working for 8 hours or so.
How many calories you burn will depend on your weight and speed. Let's assume a gentle 2.5 mph walk, so you can still concentrate on your work, for 30 minutes and you weigh 180 lbs, you'll burn 210 calories. So you're looking at 420 calories an hour. If you do this everyday, it will have a significant effect on your weight and overall health.
You see some offices have treadmill desks among normal sit down desks. This gives the worker the choice of getting some exercise while they work or not. Getting people to think about their fitness and the fact that the company cares about their staff is a good thing. People are more likely to be productive and show up if the company they work for cares about their well being.
Disadvantages of treadmill desks
If you have one at home you're a bit restricted. You either set them up for walking and working and you can't run on them. There is no console or hand rails and no sign of a safety key. Running is a fantastic way to get fit and lose more weight and you can't do it when there's a treadmill desk attached, you certainly can't work while running. You're moving up and down too much to focus on something.
With many of the cheap treadmill desks we've seen you have no console or read out of your progress at all. There's nothing to tell you how long you've been walking and your distance. When I workout I like some stats to tell me how I'm doing during and afterward. Running is a natural exercise to do when you can walk briskly for a period of time. You evolve and exercise more intensively.
Under desk treadmill reviews
1. CitySports treadmill
The above treadmill is what an under desk treadmill typically looks like. There's no frame so it can fit under a desk. I don't know why it has a picture of someone running on it, because at it's top speed of 3.7 mph, you won't be doing any running. However, this is the most popular treadmill desk on Amazon and has over 2,500 ratings with an average of 4 stars.
The treadmill is quiet and it has a full display showing your workout stats like speed and calories burned. You change the speed using a remote control. One reviewer has had theirs for 2 years and is still delighted with it. It seems to be the best under desk treadmill Amazon have to offer. I've not tested it myself but the majority of customers seem happy with it.
2. UMAY under desk portable walking treadmill
This one seems to be Amazon's second most popular under desk treadmill and is an "Amazon Choice". The top speed is 4 mph which is a very brisk walk as people tend to walk naturally at 3.1 mph. The great thing about these is that they're easy to store. If it's in a home or office it can slide under things as it's so low. It has over 700 ratings with an average of 4 stars.
The weight capacity of 200 lbs which is significantly smaller than regular treadmills, but without a frame it's understandable. There's no set up or assembly with these, you just plug in and go. It even comes with some silicone oil to lubricate the belt if it needs it in the future. As with the others, it's controlled using a remote.
DIY treadmill desk
You can buy under desk treadmills. These typically come with no frame to fit under a desk. You would then buy a standing desk to straddle the treadmill and you're good to go. The treadmills cost around $400 and you can find a wide selection on Amazon here*. A standing desk will set you back around $200 and most of them have electric motors to adjust the height for each person. These can be found on Amazon* too.
So you're looking at $600 total. It's worth taking the time to choose the treadmill as there are many available. Another option is to add to an existing treadmill. If you want to work from home while on your treadmill then you can make a desk for it. This will require some tools and wood to make the desk. The wooden desk would sit on the handrails as they're usually a good height.
If you're convinced and you'd like treadmill desks for your home or office then the leader in treadmill desks of all sizes and types is Lifespan Fitness. They've been making treadmill desks for a long time and by the looks of it, that's all they do. They're rated highly by the Better Business Bureau so they should be good to deal with.
Personally treadmill desks are something I probably wouldn't recommend for the home unless you can afford a normal treadmill as well. To cut out running as part of your health and fitness is too great a sacrifice in my opinion. For the office I think they're great and an employee would enjoy working if they can get fit and lose weight at the same time.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here's my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*