Is it Worth Investing in an Under-Desk Treadmill?

March 07, 2022

animated image of a young girl exercising while working
Flexispot

It's no secret that sitting all day is terrible for your health. But, it seems as if almost everyone is trying to get healthier these days, and that includes finding ways to add a little more activity into our lives. Studies have shown numerous health hazards associated with prolonged sitting, including obesity, heart disease, and cancer. The best way to combat the adverse effects of sitting all day is to get up and move around every hour or so.

If you're like most people, you probably don't have enough time for a lengthy workout routine, so adding an under-desk treadmill to your office might be a good option. Under-desk treadmills can help you burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health, all while you work. The Under-Desk Treadmill was designed with busy professionals in mind and fits comfortably under most standard-size desks, so you can walk while you work.

But is it worth the investment? Here's what you need to know.

Under-Desk Treadmill

What is an Under-Desk Treadmill?

An under-desk treadmill is a treadmill that can be placed under a desk to allow a person to walk while working. Under-desk treadmills are becoming increasingly popular, especially among people who work at desks all day.

They're a great way to get in some exercise, and they can also help you stay more focused and productive when you're working. Under-desk treadmills are available in various sizes, so it is essential to measure the dimensions of your desk before purchasing one. Some treadmills also come with built-in desks, providing a convenient work surface.

Under-Desk Treadmill

What Are the Potential Benefits of Getting an Under the Desk Treadmill?

There are many benefits to getting an under-the-desk treadmill. Here are some of the most important ones:

Increases Calorie Burn and Promotes Weight loss.

The mechanism by which Under-the-Desk Treadmill increases calorie burn and promotes weight loss is through increasing the number of calories you burn throughout the day. When you're sitting at your desk, your body is in a resting state. Your muscles are relaxed, and your body is using very little energy.

However, when you're walking on an under-the-desk treadmill, even at a slow pace, your muscles are constantly working hard to keep you moving. This increased muscle activity results in a higher number of calories burned.

In addition to helping you burn more calories, using an under-the-desk treadmill can also help promote weight loss by keeping you active throughout the day. A recent study showed that people who replaced one hour of sitting with walking on a treadmill burned an extra 100-130 calories per hour. That may not seem like much, but it can really add up over time.

Keep Diabetes Under Check.

Studies have shown that regular, moderate-intensity exercise significantly reduces blood sugar levels and can delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. When blood sugar levels are kept within a healthy range, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is lowered.

What happens when you're inactive is that your blood sugar levels tend to rise because your muscles don't use glucose for energy. Under-the-Desk Treadmill can help reduce spikes in blood sugar levels by providing a steady flow of low-impact exercise. In addition, regular exercise helps the body better respond to insulin, which is essential for those with type 2 diabetes.

Increases Step Count.

The typical person only takes about 2,000 to 3,000 steps per day. With more evidence pointing to the importance of taking more steps throughout the day, an under-desk treadmill is a convenient method to get to the recommended 10,000 steps without having to leave your workstation.

It is a significant benefit for folks who are short on time and those on fitness routines that must complete a particular number of steps per day. It's been found that those who take 10,000 steps or more each day have lower rates of obesity and heart disease. Additionally, they tend to have better mental health and increased energy levels.

Build Muscles and Bone Density

The repetitive force of your feet hitting the groundworks out your muscles and the bones in your feet, ankles, calves, and hips in a very similar way to running or walking. Over time, this can increase muscle mass and bone density in those areas. Additionally, regular exercise, including running on a treadmill, has been shown to help prevent osteoporosis and other age-related bone diseases.

Lowers Stress and Enhances Mood

Research has shown that people who regularly exercise have lower levels of cortisol- a hormone associated with stress- than those who don’t work out. Exercise instead releases endorphins, the so-called "happy hormones." Endorphins are hormones that are released in the brain in response to stress or pain.

Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce pain signals or produce a feeling of pleasure. When conditions are right, such as during exercise, endorphins can override the stress response and produce feelings of pleasure and well-being. This is why many people refer to exercise as a "natural high."

It Boosts Your Energy Levels.

Yes, using an Under-the-Desk Treadmill can boost your energy levels. When you're sitting at a desk all day, your body is in a stationary position, and your blood flow slows. This can cause fatigue, make it harder to focus, and lead to health problems down the road. When you walk or run on a treadmill, it increases blood circulation, increasing oxygen and energy levels. Additionally, the increased heart rate associated with using a treadmill helps to boost overall energy levels.

Reduces Blood Pressure

When you regularly walk or jog, your heart becomes stronger and more efficient at pumping blood throughout your body. As a result, your blood pressure decreases because your heart doesn't have to work as hard to circulate blood. An under-the-desk treadmill can provide many of the same benefits as a regular treadmill, helping to decrease your blood pressure over time.

Cost Savings in Reduced Gym Memberships

An Under-The-Desk Treadmill can save you money on a gym membership by providing a convenient, low-cost way to get in your daily workout. Many people find that they are too busy to make it to the gym regularly, but with an Under-the-Desk Treadmill, they can easily fit in a quick workout as they work, during their lunch break, or at the end of the day. This should not replace your entire workout routine. Experts still advise that you supplement this exercise effort.

Under-Desk Folding Treadmill Walking Pad WP01

Do Under Desk Treadmills Have Any Shortcomings?

There are a couple of potential drawbacks to using an under desk treadmill in the office. Here are a few significant ones and some ways to mitigate them:

There is an Associated Noise Level.

The common complaint about under desk treadmills is the noise they make and can be a distraction in the office. If coworkers can see or hear you working out, they may be less productive. Even if you find a quiet treadmill, there is always a chance that it may still produce some noise.

There are a few things you can do to mitigate the noise of your under desk treadmill. First, try to find a model that has noise-canceling features. Second, make sure to place your treadmill in an optimal spot in your office – not too close to others and preferably near a window or in a dedicated room. Finally, be conscious of how loudly you're running your treadmill.

Treadmill Desks are Large and Take up A lot of Room.

Another potential downside is that an under desk treadmill can take up some valuable space in your office. Most under desk treadmills are about two feet wide and four feet long so that they won't fit under every desk.

If you have a small or cramped workspace, an under-desk treadmill probably isn't the best choice for you. If it doesn't fit under your desk, you'll either have to move your desk every time you want to use the treadmill or leave the treadmill out in the open, where it takes up even more space.

Working out at Work Necessitates a Wardrobe Change.

One potential con of using an under desk treadmill is that you may end up sweating more. If your office is particularly warm or if you tend to sweat a lot, then you may find that having a treadmill at your feet makes things even more uncomfortable.

Of course, this can be mitigated somewhat by wearing looser clothing or using a fan, but it's still something to keep in mind if you're considering purchasing an under desk treadmill.

Alternatively, you could keep a change of clothes at your office or keep a towel handy to pat off the sweat as it builds up.

It Takes Some Getting Used to Walking and Completing Assignments.

Another potential downside is that using a treadmill can be a bit of a distraction in the office. If you're constantly walking while you work, you may get less done than if you were sitting in your chair. Of course, this all depends on the individual and how comfortable they are working on a moving surface.

But, like with any new task you undertake, working out as you try and get jobs done will take some getting used to. Once you get comfortable with this multitasking, the setup is quite efficient for both goals.

Cost

Although under desk treadmills can provide an excellent way to sneak in some exercise throughout the day, they can also be quite costly. Because they are such a new technology, owning one has a higher up-front cost. This is one of the main reasons why many people choose not to invest in one. Many qualities under desk treadmills start at around $500, which can be pricey for some people.

If you invest in a high-quality machine, it will last for years. So the cost depends on how long you plan to use the treadmill. Again, if you work from home, the treadmill can essentially pay for itself in the amount of time you save, not having to go to the gym and gym subscriptions. Finally, because many people see them as luxury items, there can be a perception that they are not worth the investment.

May Not be Enough Exercise for Some

Most commercial models run at around 1- 5mph. Therefore, they are not designed for those who want or need to walk faster. In addition, these mechanisms tend to have a much shorter stride which reduces the amount of energy expended by the user and limits the treadmill's effectiveness as a long-term weight loss solution.

Chafing

Another common problem with using an under desk treadmill is chafing. As you walk, your thighs rub against each other creating friction and heat that can lead to uncomfortable chafing in sensitive places.

Adjustment Period

Many of us are not used to being active while working, so it takes a little time to get into the groove. An adjustment period is required because your body needs time to get used to the new movement patterns. When you start using an under desk treadmill, your body will try to resist the change by making tiny adjustments in how it moves.

Over time, as your muscles and nervous system adapt to the new stimulus, these tiny adjustments will disappear, and your movements will become more fluid. Until that point, you may experience discomfort or fatigue as your body works harder than usual to make the necessary changes.

Under The Desk Treadmill

What Should You Look For in an Under The Desk Treadmill?

When looking for an under the desk treadmill, you'll want to consider the following factors:

Noise

Noise can also be disruptive when trying to focus on work or studying. If you're looking for a treadmill that won't disturb those around you, look for one with low noise levels. Many newer models have been designed with this in mind and offer very quiet operations. Look for a treadmill with a smooth-running belt and a quiet motor.

Adjustability

Ensure that the treadmill can be adjusted to your preferred workout settings. You should walk or run as fast or slowly as you wish, and the treadmill console should allow you to make these adjustments.

Belt Dimensions

Minimum belt size requirements vary depending on the treadmill model, but a general rule is that the belt should be at least 48 inches long and 18 inches wide to provide a stable surface to avoid slipping.

Additionally, it's essential to ensure that the treadmill is long and wide enough to accommodate your body size. For example, if you are tall or have a large frame, you'll need a treadmill with a longer belt and more space on either side of the belt to walk comfortably. Also, make sure to measure the dimensions of your space before purchasing to ensure a good fit.

Stability

Stability is key when it comes to buying an under-the-desk treadmill. If the treadmill isn't stable, it could lead to wobbling or even tipping over, which could cause injuries. The material and architecture of a treadmill's frame impact its stability. The more minor the tremor and vibrations a treadmill generates, the higher the grade of the materials utilized in construction.

The quality of the running belt also influences a treadmill’s stability––cushioning characteristics prevent joints from strain, and a nonslip run area helps reduce the chance of falling. It's also important to consider maximum weight when contemplating stability. Most treadmills support at least 220 pounds weight capacity.

Speed

Under-desk treadmills have a maximum speed of roughly 4 miles per hour, far slower than a regular treadmill. The explanation for this is that the typical individual can safely walk at 1.2 to 1.5 miles per hour while engaging in other activities such as texting or studying. Nonetheless, under-desk treadmills with speed settings of up to 7 miles per hour are available, enabling more intense exercise programs outside of office hours.

Treadmill Horsepower

Continuous Horsepower (CHP) is the power that the motor can produce without stopping. You'll want to make sure you have at least a 1.5HP motor for continuous use, depending on your weight. The more you weigh, the more horsepower you'll require to keep the treadmill moving.

If you are over 200 lbs, then you will need a machine with at least 2.5 CHP. Anything less than this, and you might find the machine struggling to keep up with your weight, especially if you are walking fast or running. If you weigh less than 200lbs, a motor producing 1.5- 2.5 CHP is sufficient.

Space

Space is definitely a consideration when buying any piece of exercise equipment, but especially when it comes to treadmills. That's because they tend to be bulky and take up a lot of room. So if you're short on space, we would recommend looking for a folding treadmill that can be easily tucked away when not in use.

Budget

If you are looking for a quality treadmill, then it is likely that your budget will be around $500 or more. If you are looking for a more affordable option, there are many treadmills available for less than $500. However, the cheaper options may not last as long or provide as much durability and features as more expensive models.

Weight Rating

The maximum weight rating is essential to consider when buying an under-the-desk treadmill. You'll want to make sure that the treadmill can accommodate your weight. If it's not sturdy enough, it could collapse while you're using it.

Warranty

A warranty is an assurance from the manufacturer that they will repair or replace a defective product. When you are buying a treadmill, it is essential to look for one with an extended warranty on the frame, motor, and electronics. Longer warranties are also a good sign that the company has been in business for a while and has a good reputation. Look out for a warranty that offers 10 years to lifetime coverage on the frame and 5 years on the motor and electronics.

Extra Features

If you're looking for a treadmill with all the bells and whistles, then you can expect to pay upwards of $500. Below are some of the extra features to look out for:

Incline options and adjustable speed are also popular because they allow you to customize your workout.
Programming options let you choose from preset workouts or create your own.
If you are someone who likes to track their progress (Heart rate, Calorie Burnt, Distance covered, etc.), then be sure to find a treadmill with a monitoring capability.

Just be sure to read the product description carefully so that you know what each treadmill offers before making your purchase.

Under-Desk Folding Treadmill Walking Pad WP01

A Treadmill that Checks All the Boxes

Have you been considering buying a treadmill to help with your fitness goals but felt like the price was just too high? Or maybe you don't have enough space in your home for a large piece of equipment? Then this might be the perfect solution for you! The Under-Desk Folding Treadmill Walking Pad WP01 is a small, lightweight treadmill that easily folds up and fits under most desks. It's quiet and smooth, so you can use it while you work without disturbing anyone.

And that’s not it. Below are additional features that make this the most preferred under-desk treadmill.

It has a brushless motor, which is highly efficient and effective. This motor also has a long lifespan, complete with a five-year warranty.
The machine is thin, light, and portable. It has a folded thickness of only 6.7 inches, making it easy to slip under a sofa. The casters also make it easy to move about the house.
5-layer buffer design essential in noise reduction and foot comfort.
The roomy runway measures 47.2" x 18".
2-degree incline for enhanced knee protection.
Noise levels of below 53dBs.
It has a high weight capacity of 220 lbs.
Powerful LED display that indicates time, speed, distance, steps, and calories burnt, making it easy to keep track of your workouts.
Bluetooth wireless remote control.
Compatible for use with standing desks.
Safety function that uses ultrasonic sensors to detect a user’s location in actual time. The treadmill will slow down and eventually halt if the operator moves too far back.
Quality treadmill for $499.

In Conclusion

You've probably heard that sitting is the new smoking, and it's true. Studies have shown that people who sit for more than six hours a day are at a higher risk for heart disease, obesity, cancer, and early death. If you're looking for a way to sneak in some extra cardio at work, or if you just don't have enough time to go to the gym outside of work hours, an under-desk treadmill might be a good option for you. We’ve outlined the things to consider before making your purchase and hope that the information makes it easier to settle on the right under-the-desk treadmill for you.

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