As more and more people work from home these days, this has increased the demand for portable workout equipment like an under-desk treadmill. Under-desk treadmills are basically treadmill bases built to fit in compact spaces, such as under a regular office desk. You can easily set up the treadmill for light jogging or walking during your free time or while using a standing desk.
Some under-desk treadmills don’t have all the features present on gym-standard treadmills, like programmed fitness routines or variable inclines, but they do help users avoid the various health issues linked to a sedentary office lifestyle.
It may take quite a while to get used to an under-desk treadmill—finding your perfect working and walking pace requires a bit of trial and error, while walking or jogging can make it harder to work out properly. But if you’re seeking to set up a healthier office work program, an under-desk treadmill is an amazing option to consider.
You can narrow down your search by checking for stability to avoid injuries, the ideal noise level, ease of assembly, and adjustability to suit your height. For more information, keep reading our detailed guide to buying an under-desk treadmill below.
Benefits of Investing in an Under-desk Treadmill
You’re probably unsure of whether to buy an under-desk treadmill and need a little bit of convincing to invest in one. Of course, any amount of exercise you engage in will be beneficial for your overall health.
But if you don’t have the time for a gym session or don’t like going to the gym, it’s worth noting that walking can be beneficial for your overall health. Here are the major benefits you can get from regular walking or light jogging on your under-desk treadmill to get you in the know.
- Regular walking helps boost your metabolism, which builds lean muscles while torching calories and getting rid of unwanted fat.
- Walking helps improve your coordination and balance, which in turn not only improves your ability to exercise but also helps you work better.
- Walking can enhance your mood, so if you often feel down or low or under pressure at work, walking can improve your mood while enhancing your mental cognition and self-confidence. This, in turn, can make you feel much better about your working day and drive you to do better and achieve more.
- Walking strengthens your muscles and bones, thereby helping boost your blood circulation.
- Walking helps to exercise your mind, which can positively impact your productivity levels and quality of work.
- Walking decreases the level of undue pressure put on your joints and muscles while fixing your posture and reducing joint and low back pain.
- Walking significantly lowers your chances of getting type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart disease. If that doesn’t motivate you enough, we aren’t quite sure what will!
What to Consider When Shopping for an Under-desk Treadmill
Here are the most important factors you should take into account before choosing the best under-desk treadmill out there.
For starters, both your working surface and under-desk treadmill must be able to support you well. For example, some people prefer broader treadmill components to avoid missteps that can cause injury. As you definitely don’t want your desk to feel shaky while you write or type, a sturdy build in the right dimensions for your body type is non-negotiable.
It’s equally important to consider the amount of space available under your desk. Each under-desk model comes with its dimensions clearly highlighted in the specifications.
If you have a very small desk, you may need to replace it with a large one. Since under-desk treadmills are designed to work with standing desks, make sure you have adequate space to accommodate your treadmill.
On average, adults walk 3 miles per hour. Most under-desk treadmills have a walking speed of 0.5 to 4 miles per hour. If you also plan to get some training runs using your under-desk treadmill, make sure it’s got the stability and speed to cope with it.
Some under-desk models have a better speed than others and may even hit speeds of around 12 miles per hour (the average standard treadmill speed). However, keep in mind that most models don’t feature handles to clutch onto, which could make running or fast-paced walking a little bit challenging.
Electric or Manual?
The choice between an electric or manual under-desk treadmill will depend mainly on finances since electric models tend to be much more expensive than manual ones. But for some users, the choice could depend on logistics since electric models require an external source of power to work.
A manual under-desk treadmill doesn’t offer automatic inclination changes or preprogrammed workout routines, but it works well for light jogging and walking sessions. An electric under-desk treadmill is probably a better option for aerobic running and overall conditioning.
Size and Weight
A major edge of under-desk treadmills on their traditional counterparts is their small weight and size. Go for the smallest and lightest treadmill you find comfortable to ensure it’s easy to place at your preferred location.
And although this should sound obvious, it’s important to find out the total weight capacity of the under-desk treadmill you want to buy. Not all models are built and designed the same, so it’s important to choose the right treadmill for your weight and size to prevent the possibility of damage or accidents.
Wheels and Portability
Choose an under-desk treadmill with wheels to allow you to easily get it out of the way when it’s not being used.
Under-desk treadmills are low-lying equipment that can easily slide under the couch, bed, or another furniture item when not being used. If you like to keep your treadmill stowed away when not using it, get the lowest profile model so you can easily store it.
Just like standard treadmills, under-desk treadmills do make a bit of noise while the belt rotates. However, if you want your workspace to be much quieter, you should consider the noise level of the under-desk treadmill you’re considering. Choose a model that doesn’t interrupt your work and lets you engage in meetings and take phone calls without disruption.
You’ll actually be walking on the belt, so you should go for a wider and longer belt. Ideally, the belt should be at least 40 inches long and 18 or more inches wide.
Ease of Use
Many under-desk treadmills come equipped with a removable console and/or a remote control that can be placed on top of a desk. The removable console and remote control are very convenient since you won’t have to bend over to start, change speeds, or stop.
Like many other home gym equipment and furniture items, some things are easier to assemble than others. Make sure to read customer reviews to find out how much work is required to set up your new workspace (as well as how much assistance you should seek for the exercise).
Simple manual treadmills that cost less than $100 might not be sold as under-desk variants, but they have the necessary low profile. Advanced manual and electric models designed specifically to be used under a standing desk generally cost between $200 and $400. Top-of-the-range electric treadmills with removable components can cost at least $500.
Key Under-desk Treadmill Features to Look Out For
Safety features: Your safety is an important factor to consider when it comes to purchasing an under-desk treadmill since there are no handrails present like those found on traditional models. Many users are comfortable with using an under-desk treadmill at a light jogging or walking pace, but others might want to be able to add extra support with removable arms.
While regular treadmills are equipped with an automatic shutdown system in case the user slips and falls, many under-desk treadmills have sensors on the base to detect falls or inactivity, in which case the equipment should shut down.
Control options: Some treadmills can be controlled with the touch of buttons on the machine or on a folding rail. Others come with remote control for convenient operation. Some have both options to allow you to determine how best to operate your unit.
Some under-desk treadmills also have the standard analytics present in standard models, including distance, running speed, calories burned, and heart rate or pulse. This information can be found on a different panel or on the base. Some models even come with preprogrammed workout routines but minus inclination settings.
Inclination settings: The base of many under-desk treadmills usually stays at a flat 0-degree inclination, but some models have different inclination settings. However, users may need to adjust the decline or incline manually before beginning their workout routines.
Connectivity: From Bluetooth compatibility to app integration, some under-desk treadmills can connect to other devices and allow for fitness tracking or playing of music. This can be helpful for people interested in tracking the number of miles they walk or charting their progress.
Our Top Picks
Here’s our list of top under-desk treadmill recommendations. When putting together this list, we took into account various factors, including their speed, features, durability, ease of use, and cost.
Best Under-Desk Treadmill Overall: Citysports Treadmill
If you wish to walk while working, you can’t go wrong with Citysports Treadmill. It’s thin and nice for sliding below your standing desk, letting you walk at even 6km/hr (3.7 mph). It also boasts a wide variety of features.
With Citysports Treadmill, you can keep track of time, distance, and calories on the LCD monitor to help you stay on the right track and achieve your fitness goals. It comes with a remote control to help you adjust your walking pace.
At the front, there’s a pair of moving wheels that allow you to move the unit easily from one place to another. What’s more, the presence of built-in speakers allows you to belt out your favorite tunes via Bluetooth for that extra inspiration.
This under-desk treadmill is pre-lubricated and alerts you when it needs extra oil (about each 100km). All this, as well as the amazingly quiet operation, make Citysports Treadmill one of the best under-desk treadmills to buy today.
- Can’t be used for running
- Quiet operation
- Easy to store
- Simple yet effective design
Best Folding Under-desk Treadmill: Mobvoi Home Treadmill
Mobvoi is a popular smartwatch brand, but it also produces quite a fine treadmill as well. Mobvoi Home Treadmill not only functions as a walking under-desk treadmill, but it also turns into a standard running treadmill.
After running on it, you can fold it down for walking. At just 4.4 inches tall, it can easily fit under your desk or wherever you want to use it. It’s also easy to store.
With Mobvoi Home Treadmill, you can walk at speeds of up to 4km/h (2.7 mph). Or, if you’re feeling stronger, you can flip the riser bar up and turn it into a fully-fledged running treadmill capable of hitting speeds of up to 12km/hr (7.5 mph).
- Easy to store
- You can run at 12km/h
- Not the most affordable
Best Value-for-Money Under-desk Treadmill: SuperFit 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
SuperFit 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill is another amazing running treadmill that folds down, too, turning into a walking under-desk treadmill. It’s also quite cheaper than competitor brands like Mobvoi. It allows you to walk while working at your desk up to 4km/hr (2.7mph). Moreover, upon raising the handrail, you’ll be able to run at speeds of at least 12km/hr (7.5mph).
With a nice and quiet motor, this treadmill lets you use it in a cramped office space without disturbing others too much. Its multi-layer shield design and steel frame is strong and shock-absorbent, and the non-slip, five-layer belts prevent you from stumbling.
You can play your favorite songs from your phone with the Bluetooth speakers, and the front pair of wheels helps to move it around easily. The LED display screen monitors your stats and progress in real-time. In case of an emergency, there’s a safety button to power off the treadmill.
Moreover, SuperFit 2-in-1 also comes equipped with an LED display monitor showing distance, speed, time, and calories, as well as a remote control.
On the downside, though, this treadmill doesn’t fold down as well as Mobvoi Home Treadmill. Its power cord is a bit short and it’s a little harder to operate. But despite these deficiencies, it does represent great value for money and comes in various colors.
- Non-slip belt
- Allows walking and running
- Value for money
- Tricky to use
Best Under-desk Treadmill for Intense Exercise: Egofit Walker Pro
With Egofit Walker Pro, you can get some serious workouts under your desk while working. The treadmill has a 5-degree incline, which will definitely get your heart racing. If you’re a sporty person, you’ll probably relish the challenge of exercising at a 5-degree incline.
If you’re at least six feet tall, however, this device isn’t suitable for you. Otherwise, Egofit Walker Pro has loads to offer. It can be operated via remote control or an app, and there’s a pair of front wheels to help you easily push it around.
And overall, Egofit Walker Pro is well designed with alloy steel, and there’s an automatic lubrication system to keep things running smoothly. While it’s a bit pricey, its 30-day money-back guarantee ensures that you won’t regret your purchase.
- Small and portable
- Unsuitable for people over six feet tall
- Quite expensive
Best Premium Under-desk Treadmill: InMovement Unsit Under-desk Treadmill
InMovement Unsit Under-desk Treadmill is made specifically for office use instead of the gym. Therefore, you can expect loads of features focused on space utility and noise suppression.
InMovement Unsit Under-desk Treadmill can be controlled through a dial console connected to your phone via an app, enabling you to make simple, one-touch changes. The app’s data can be easily transferred to other fitness tracking apps like FitBit or Apple Health if you’re using another fitness tracking system.
InMovement Unsit Under-desk Treadmill weighs up to 400 pounds and, with a 3-year warranty on parts and lifetime guarantee on its frame, it’s designed to last for a long time. It’ll also automatically shut down when not being used and will activate only if it records a user weighing more than 70 pounds in order to protect children and pets from injury.
- Free phone tracking app
- Automatically activates if the user weighs over 70 pounds
- Expressly designed for use office
- Too heavy for basic movement (162 pounds)
- Wider and shorter than most under-desk models on the market
FAQs on How to Find the Best Under-desk Treadmill
Question: What Should I Check for When Buying an Under-desk Treadmill?
Answer: An under-desk treadmill should be easy to move, lightweight, and even foldable to allow you to move it around easily and store it when it’s not in use.
Question: Are Under-desk Treadmills Any Good?
Answer: Under-desk treadmills are absolutely worth the money spent on them because they provide three key health benefits: lower risk of premature death, lower risk of back and neck pain, and improved cognitive skills and memory.
Question: Can an Under-desk Treadmill Help You Lose Weight?
Answer: In a 2013 study, 36 subjects lost about 3.1 pounds after using an under-desk treadmill for one hour daily over a period of a year. Interestingly enough, obese subjects lost more weight—about 7.5 pounds—over the same period.
Question: Are Treadmill Desks Worth Buying?
Answer: Treadmill desks are an excellent way to work in more movement into typically sedentary lifestyles. Your low metabolism could be due to your job, instead of your genes, because it makes you sit for hours upon hours.
Question: Why Should I Buy a Standing Desk?
Answer: Standing desks provide various health benefits because standing torches more calories compared to sitting down. Therefore, standing throughout your workday may help decrease your chances of weight gain. In fact, one study discovered that people who use standing desks can experience a decrease in blood sugar rises.
The Bottom-line on How to Find the Best Under-desk Treadmill
When you work at your desk, it can be quite tricky to rack up the magic 10,000 steps required per day. However, there’s no point in putting your personal health at risk for just a salary.
Under-desk treadmills have become really popular wellness and work tools. They easily slash your sedentary hours by allowing you to take thousands of additional steps while working at your desk. In fact, many under-desk treadmill users report easier weight management, healthier joints, improved productivity, as well as a greater feeling of overall wellness.
If you want a quieter under-desk treadmill, Citysports Treadmill is the most silent of our picks, with its outsize motor. It also boasts the largest belt, making it perfect for taller persons. That said, its inability to incline limits the intensity of your workout.
If space is at a premium in your office, Egofit Walker Pro can be your perfect fit due to its small size, app controls, and inclined bet. It’s surprisingly strong, and its front support bar also makes it feel just like a standard treadmill. However, it has a very small walking area that will feel especially crowded if you’re at least six feet tall.