Krista Bugden
Krista Bugden
Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden worked as a Rehab Exercise Expert at a physiotherapist clinic in Ottawa, Canada for 4 years.

Updated: Aug 5, 2020
26,070Views
LifeSpan TR800-DT3 Treadmill Desk 2

Did you know that if you sit down for more than 90 minutes, your body’s metabolism slows down dramatically? Multiply that by at least six times and you get the sitting-down time of an average American in a day. It’s no wonder why our generation is suffering from heart diseases, obesity, and muscle degeneration! While this is indeed troubling news, we’re here to share one of the solutions to those working at their desks full-time.

What is an Under-Desk Treadmill?

Treadmill desks are the next best thing to a regular standing desk. While normal treadmills have side rails, these typically have a standalone treadmill base, so they can easily slip under any standing desk. In addition, its specially-designed features like automatic stop and safe speed range make it great for busy workers who are on the go. Not only do these provide more movement to combat our sedentary lifestyle, but placing a treadmill under your regular desk will also keep your fitness in check while doing office work.

Even if you’re at your home office and have all the time to work out, under the desk treadmills can give you the additional warm-up that you need because—let’s face it—relaxation often takes priority over exercise.

Benefits of Having a Desk Treadmill

Aside from preventing health problems, an under-desk treadmill can also give our bodies small bursts of recovery during long working hours, which signals our brain to “move.” This results in increased productivity and better creative outputs. Today, many companies have already adopted treadmill work stations in their offices knowing the benefits they provide.

Who May Want to Get an Office Treadmill?

People have different preferences when it comes to their physical activities— some want intensive exercises while others choose the comfort of lighter movement. Walking on a treadmill combines some of the benefits of a workout with the ease that people look for. Because of this, an under-desk treadmill is more likely to be the next great lifestyle addition to the following people:

  • Company owners or human resource officers who want to champion health and productivity
  • Home-based freelancers who want to start or maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Health-conscious office workers whose health and fitness are a priority

Whatever industry or work setting you’re from, the following under desk treadmill reviews will give you insights about several features, so you can find the best fit for your working needs:


Top 7 Best Treadmill Desks Review

LifeSpan TR1200- DT3 Under Desk Treadmill
1 Best Overall

LifeSpan TR1200- DT3 Under Desk Treadmill

LifeSpan

The TR1200-DT3 is the mid-range treadmill offered by LifeSpan. It marries together some fantastic features of its high-end models at an intermediate price offering. First, its sleek but broader walking area of 20″ x 50″ (2” wider than the LifeSpan TR800 -DT3) allows its users to be less conscious about where they step. Its upgraded motor supports continuous use and weights of up to 350 lbs while its impact-absorbing compression shocks minimize walking noise, ensuring a seamless experience. The recommended speed setting is 2 mph for typing, but users can crank it up to a top speed of 4 mph. It automatically pauses once you step off, too. It’s an appealing feature for those who busy their minds with work-related thoughts.

As for its console, it can sit neatly on top of your desk, allowing you to monitor your step count. Settings for your under-desk treadmill can also be input beforehand through its user-friendly LED display. Even though the console seems simple, it has a USB port for mobile phones, and its latest version boasts of a Bluetooth connection that allows its user to upload data to a fitness tracker app.

This top-selling treadmill has gained popularity because of its durability, lower step-up height, and a fair price of $999.00.

Pros
  • Its flattened motor hood makes its design sleek and understated
  • Very quiet
  • Perfect for all-day use
  • No assembly required
  • Easy transportation
  • Lifetime warranty for the frame and a three-year warranty for the motor
Show more
Cons
  • No incline settings (while walking at an inclined angle is not recommended by ergonomists, it would be nice to have that option)
  • Console's loud beeping sounds (these can be muted through the settings)
  • Old-fashioned console design
Show more
LifeSpan TR5000-DT3
2 Best Heavy Duty

LifeSpan TR5000-DT3

LifeSpan
$1,499.00

LifeSpan’s premium product is the TR5000 -DT3, which is perfect for shared all-day use. This model is built to withstand weights of up to 400 lbs with its 1” thick reversible walking deck, high-mileage belt (20” by 50”), and durable black aluminum side rails. These ensure long-term, heavy-duty usage in the office. Its maximum speed can also go as fast as 2 or 4 mph depending on the predetermined setting.

Like the LifeSpan TR1200, the TR5000-DT3 has six independent compression shocks, making it whisper-quiet. Its motor upgrade of 3.0 HP supplements this by becoming virtually undetected by those in nearby spaces. Like previous models, it has Bluetooth, auto-stop, and pedometer features as well as its superior construction.

The console also works like a charm as it displays the user’s time on the treadmill, calories burned, belt speed, distance traveled, and step count. Finally, the warranty is the same as other LifeSpan treadmills— lifetime for the frame, three years for the motor, two years for parts, and one year for repair labor. This model originally costs $1,499.00 but is now on sale at $1,299.00 with an extended three-year warranty for the motor and parts.

Pros
  • Made for heavy-duty use
  • Low-maintenance
  • Whisper-quiet
  • Great for shared office use
  • Low step-up height
  • Adjustable speed range for safety
  • More compact console
Show more
Cons
  • LED step counter only has four digits
  • Power button is difficult to reach (but this equipment has an energy-saving mode)
Show more
Titan Fitness Under Desk Walking Treadmill
3 Best Budget

Titan Fitness Under Desk Walking Treadmill

Titan Fitness
$489.99

A contender for budget-friendly under-desk treadmills is the Titan Fitness treadmill, which sells at just $489.99. Having size specifications of 25” by 65” (wider than the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3), this equipment fits those who walk with longer strides.

In contrast with the LifeSpan treadmills, the Titan Fitness treadmill has a safety key instead of automatically stopping once you step off. While the noise reduction in this equipment remains undeclared on the Titan Fitness website, its motor is quiet. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is the sound of your own footsteps. Furthermore, though this product is half of LifeSpan’s price tag, it only gives a 1-year warranty regardless of which part was broken.

Its features remain to be top-notch as their four-digit console display records burned calories, distance, speed, time, and step-count through the Fitshow app. Its maximum user weight is also relatively high at 250 lbs, and with a top speed of 4 mph, this model may be a good choice for those working from home.

Pros
  • Significantly cheaper than other treadmills
  • Handy console can be placed on top of your desk
  • Has a safety key
  • 250 lbs maximum weight capacity
  • Top speed of 4 mph
  • Exports your data into an app
  • No usage time limit
  • No assembly required
  • Motor is quiet
Show more
Cons
  • Just a one-year warranty for the entire device
  • Does not have an impact-absorbing function
  • Beeping sounds from the console cannot be muted
  • Compact, but wider than other under-desk treadmills
Show more
EGOFIT Walker Under Desk Walking Treadmill
4 Best Compact

EGOFIT Walker Under Desk Walking Treadmill

Egofit
$399.00

If you need fitness equipment for multitasking through several activities, the Egofit Under Desk Walking treadmill might a good choice. Because it’s so small at just 19.7″ by 29.5”, you can use it as you alternate between a standing or sitting position. It saves a lot of storage space, too. Despite its size, this treadmill is powerful and can withstand up to 260 lbs. Its patented walking traction system also allows its motor to last five times longer than others, although its warranty is only up to a year.

What I find pretty neat about this under-desk treadmill is that it has an ergonomic fixed incline. However, if you’re someone who wants to use it for a strenuous exercise routine, the Egofit walker treadmill may not give you the results you want as its top speed only goes up to 3 mph. In addition, its size is troublesome for those who are taller and tend to take longer strides.

As for its display, the data for your steps, time, speed, and calorie count are all located on the LCD screen at the top-right corner of the treadmill. It has no bulky console. Instead, settings can be adjusted through remote control. At just $699.00, the Egofit walker can be your next everyday companion.

Pros
  • Very portable and the most compact under-desk treadmill to date
  • Powerful motor
  • Can be used while sitting or standing
  • Allows the user to multi-task different activities (both at home and work)
  • No bulky console (just a remote and fixed LCD display)
  • Quiet at just 70 Db
Show more
Cons
  • No option to export fitness report
  • Manual stop and start button
  • Those with heights of 6 feet or more will have a problem with the limited strides
Show more
LifeSpan TR800-DT3 Treadmill Desk
5 Best Value

LifeSpan TR800-DT3 Treadmill Desk

LifeSpan
$799.00

The TR800 -DT3 is the most compact and portable treadmill desk in the LifeSpan series, weighing only 96 lbs. It might be the match you’re looking for if you only need a few hours of additional walking throughout the day. While its 2 HP motor is only built for lightweight use, it has a speed range of 0.4 mph to 4 mph, which most treadmills at a price of $749.00 don’t offer. The option to use this under-desk treadmill to work up a sweat can support your workout routine even without multi-tasking or juggling your workload.

The LifeSpan TR800-DT3’s walking dimensions of 18” by 25″ allows it to fit easily under smaller-sized standing desks. Though it’s compact, it still features six compression shocks that allow users to move silently with ease. However, it is only built to support weights of up to 200 lbs. This would probably be a good mix of features for someone who already has an active lifestyle and just needs a bit more physical activity to maintain their recommended body mass index.

This model’s console also has the same features as other LifeSpan treadmills (automatic stop, step count, calorie and distance reports, as well as the belt speed). The latest updates include a Bluetooth connection for the complimentary app, but connecting to Mac computers may require more effort.

Pros
  • A budget-friendly option for treadmills with lifetime warranties
  • Can function both as an under-desk treadmill or workout equipment with its 4 mph maximum speed
  • Fairly quiet
  • Portable
  • Gives the same fitness report as its high-end counterparts
Show more
Cons
  • There is a three-hour limit on the usage
  • The narrow deck is not a good fit for taller people who tend to take bigger strides
Show more
REBEL DESK TREADMILL 1000
6 Best Home Use

Rebel Desk Treadmill 1000

Rebel
$699.00

Another under-desk treadmill that is preferred in home offices is the Rebel Desk Treadmill 1000. Its 1.5 HP motor allows continuous use at a 2 mph maximum speed, just enough to type while walking. If you have a small working area, the Rebel Desk Treadmill will easily slip into any standing desk of at least 4 ft in height. Though its size specifications are 18.1” x 49.6”, making it slightly bigger than the LifeSpan TR800-DT3, it is a cheaper option at just $699. Unlike other treadmills on the cheaper end of the spectrum, this boasts a sleek stainless steel look. If you’re going to bring this to the office, though, it is somewhat eye-catching because of its silver and black design. Its console likewise seems to be an outdated visual noise from the ’70s, but it can still track walking speed, distance, and time.

The Rebel Desk treadmill base can also withstand weights of up to 250 lbs and provides some cushion so that your feet and knees don’t get strained. Unlike other models, though, it does not minimize the sound of your footsteps. If you’re in a home-based club like me, this probably won’t be a problem.

Those eyeing the Rebel Desk Treadmill because of its price would be happy to know that it has a 20-year warranty on the frame and a two-year warranty on other parts and labor costs.

Pros
  • Good warranty given its relatively cheaper price
  • Can be used all day
  • The motor is quiet
  • One of the smaller treadmills on the market
Show more
Cons
  • Frame and base can break over time with heavy loads
  • Built-in cushion will only support your steps, but not silence them
  • Console only shows three types of fitness data
Show more
iMovR ThermoTread GT Desk Treadmill
7 Best High-End

iMovR ThermoTread GT Desk Treadmill

iMovR
$1,649.00

For the more serious exercise enthusiast, the iMovR ThermoTread GT is a beauty to behold specifically because it was engineered for durability and designed to maximize its console’s touchscreen display. Not only does it record all basic data, but it also computes the user’s standing and sitting time to accurately determine calories burned. A USB port is also available for data download or upload.

For iMovr, safety is of utmost concern, especially in the office. This is why users are required to agree to a liability waiver through the console and it only allows speeds of up to 2.5 mph. It also saves the settings and data from up to five users.

As for its treadmill components, they’re regarded as an engineering masterpiece—3 HP high-torque motor, weight capacity of 400 lbs, superior Bakelite material, aluminum side rails, and six compression shocks. It also comes equipped with a super-silent fan. All components combined hit a sound level of 42.7 dB—something that your local librarian would not even detect. Having the mentioned features means that it’s quite heavy— 20″ by 50″ in size and 147 lbs in weight. Of course, to me, this sounds like a sturdy, reliable piece of equipment.

At $1,649.00, the iMovR ThermoTread GT Desk Treadmill costs the most, but in my opinion, offers the best return on investment.

Pros
  • Advanced console options
  • Well-thought safety settings
  • Strong motor with the hush-hush that people at the library can tolerate
  • Great for multiple users
  • Warranty: 3 years on the motor, 2 years on parts, 1 year on labor
Show more
Cons
  • The company promised an innovative upgrade called the iMovR CloudStation, which could save user and hardware data via the Internet. This was expected to be released in 2018 but is still in the works today.
Show more

Reasons to Buy an Under-Desk Treadmill

By walking at least 30 minutes per day, you will increase your physical and mental capacity and will gain the following results:

Benefits to Your Physical Well-being:

  • Walking increases heart and lung fitness, reducing the probability of developing heart disease or suffering from a stroke.
  • It will enable you to better manage long-term health conditions such as increased blood pressure, high cholesterol, recurring muscular pain, joint stiffness, and diabetes.
  • Using your legs daily will strengthen your bones and improve your sense of balance.
  • Eventually, you’ll notice your muscle strength and endurance growing.
  • With proper diet, walking will contribute to your fitness by reducing fat that would otherwise be accumulated during hours of sitting.

Benefits to Your Mental Well-being:

By simply walking, you can enhance the neural connections in your brain, which help increase memory, reasoning, and learning.

  • It also prevents memory loss because movement allows oxygen and blood circulation to flow better throughout your body. This fuels the brain’s cognitive function, making you more productive, creative, and focused throughout the day.
  • Having the right amount of movement in the day can improve one’s sleep quality and prevent interrupted sleep cycles. This increases your body’s recovery rate.
  • Since movement replenishes your brain’s GABA neurotransmitter, which is in charge of anxiety and depression, symptoms from these mental disabilities can be reduced.
  • In addition, it can boost one’s mood because physical activity is proven to increase dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which fight against stress.
  • Checking your under-desk treadmill’s pedometer and stats will give you more motivation to continue your new fitness regiment.

How to Choose the Best Under-Desk Treadmill

There are different types of treadmills available on the market, and it’s important to select one that best fits your working arrangement. Since each under-desk treadmill has its own pros and cons, you can balance them by first answering the following questions:

Do you work alone at home or do you work with others in an office?

Depending on your setup, you might want to let go of some features such as noise reduction to give way to your preferred size specifications. However, if you’re planning to use it in the office, a silent treadmill might be non-negotiable (especially for your officemates).

How much space do you have?

Regardless of your working setup, checking your work area’s dimensions and existing desk specs is crucial before you buy an under-desk treadmill. While most treadmills are made to complement any standing desk, having a tiny space indicates that you need your desk treadmill to be portable.

What are your weight and height?

I’ve read some reviews from people complaining about how their new under-desk treadmills are either too small or too flimsy. It’s important to know your weight because some models can only accommodate 200 lbs while others were built for weights up to 400 lbs. In the same way, our height will more or less dictate our stride. The taller we are, the longer our strides. This means that you might want to reconsider the compact treadmill that you’re already eyeing and go for one that has bigger dimensions.

What is your current fitness routine?

If you’re someone who already has a solid fitness regime and just wants a treadmill for an additional workout, please note that most under-the-desk treadmills only have a top speed of 2 to 4 mph. This is because they were built for walking while working, not for working up a sweat. Now, if you don’t have an exercise plan at all and live a completely sedentary lifestyle, it’s best to select one that will allow you to transition from zero to a four-digit stat on your treadmill console.

Budget or durability?

For every piece of equipment, it’s always one or the other— if you want something more durable, then it means you need to stretch your budget. However, for under-desk treadmills, you can always stay within the budget by exchanging some features for durability. For example, if you’re not that techy, you won’t need the console’s app feature to track your progress. The older generation prefers writing down the details rather than understanding the workings of a Bluetooth connection. When it comes to warranties, it depends on how you view the return on your investment. Some may prefer investing on one treadmill for the rest of their lives while those who are on a tight budget will opt for shorter warranties, knowing that in the next few years, they can buy the latest model.

After answering the above, you may now go back to the under-desk treadmill reviews and consider the noise, size specification, weight capacity, speed range, price, console features, and durability or hardware quality.

What Are the Alternatives?

Most of us probably started with standing desks. No, not a high-tech one, but just your good old-fashioned taller desks. The problem with this is that it cannot accommodate everyone’s heights perfectly. Heck, if the same person wears heels one day and flats on another, the desk can’t keep up. This is why adjustable standing desks were invented. Nowadays, high-tech standing desks can store height settings at a click of a button. For those on a tighter budget, they can also buy a desk, which can be manually lifted and set in place.

Standing Mats

Though just standing is so much better than sitting all day, it still brings a considerable amount of fatigue to our legs and joints. Ironically, standing with no movement will cause more problems. This is because our joints are not meant to absorb all the pressure from the hard floor while the rest of our body is disengaged. By cushioning our feet with standing mats that are about 1” thick, we create a sense of instability that prompts the rest of our lower body to create minute movements. Today, there are approximately three types of standing mats— flat, non-flat, and active. As described by the name itself, flat standing mats are leveled while non-flat mats have varying texture and shapes. Some non-flat mats are inclined at the front while others have ridges. Active mats also offer a great deal of movement because they create a swinging motion involving your legs and pelvis.

Balance Boards

Balance boards are a step up to active mats. Aside from the swinging motion, they will bring the challenge past your pelvis and up to your torso. Yes, that’s where the abs are. Now, a major concern that usually comes up with balance boards is their safety. I can already imagine some staff stumbling and destroying their laptop in the process. It is true that there are extreme balance boards available in the market, but those designed for the office have a tilting degree of about 15 to 20 degrees. Nowadays, different balance boards have been boss-approved. Some of these are the beginner versions of rocker boards (allows back-and-forth or right-to-left swinging), wobble boards (swinging on all sides), or the Level Balance Board by FluidStance (wider base with less tilting degree). For the office, I’d stay away from roller boards altogether simply because the base isn’t attached to its board.

Leaning Chair

At some point during our workday, we do have to sit down. Another good innovation is the leaning chair, which removes some of the pressure from our feet and legs. Characterized by higher heights than ordinary chairs, these allow us to transition between sitting down and standing up with no difficulty. Because of the height and back support, we can also stretch our legs and bodies as we work. For me, one great thing about my leaning chair is that it has a tilting motion that puts some movement into my waist area. Existing leaning chair designs are quite unique from each other and offer several different ergonomically-friendly highlights. It’s best to check which ones will benefit you the most considering age, job, and budget.

Under-Desk Bikes

If you want more activity while sitting, under-desk bikes were also invented so our legs can “work” with us throughout the day. However, some would complain about the seats, which often fail to support the lower back. Like leaning chairs, it’s of utmost importance to check each feature of under-desk bikes. These include levels of adjustment (so it can perfectly match your height and weight), tension settings (so it won’t become boring in the long run and still challenge your leg strength), stats display (so just like the treadmill, you can check your progress), and desk-chair-pedal compatibility (others have problems because their under-desk bikes get in the way of their swivel chairs and office desks). In contrast, what I like about this is that they can still work with or without the desk, just like under-desk treadmills.

If you’re still unable to make the shift from sitting down to walking on an under-desk treadmill, you may try the above products first. If not, just try standing up every thirty minutes. Though it can be unproductive, I found that planning my tasks ahead of time enables me to remain productive even as I walk away from my computer. I can walk toward the water dispenser, photocopy some papers, talk on the phone while pacing, or read while standing up.

Conclusion

The human body was built for a rigorous and lung-pumping movement like running, lifting, and hunting. As innovation permeated our societies, we easily became comfortable sitting down in front of our computers, eventually losing movement along with our decreased productivity and diminishing health. That’s why most of us can’t stay seated and tend to get distracted after a few hours. It’s not your fault at all—it’s because the body wants us to get up and take care of it.

Walking on a desk treadmill won’t instantly give us a healthy body. It won’t even be nearly as effective as a full workout session. It instead helps us get out of our sedentary lifestyles by integrating movement into our working hours.

The list provided above will hopefully help you make the under-desk treadmill transition and create a healthy multitasking routine based on your needs.


Author

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden worked as a Rehab Exercise Expert at a physiotherapist clinic in Ottawa, Canada for 4 years. She has an Honours Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. She uses her extensive knowledge in this area to educate others through well-researched, scientific, and informative articles. Her passions include helping others and inspiring each person she meets to get the most out of their life.

Comments