Walking treadmills and various office fitness equipment that you can use while working has seen an understandable rise in popularity over the last year, with many employers moving to a work-from-home strategy. Some professionals have found working from a home office to reduce daily cardio, something that can have repercussions for our long-term health.
Many of us don't have space for a dedicated treadmill, or the time to go for a brisk walk around the block every few hours, so having a walk-whilst-you-work alternative is a fantastic option for home workers who want to stay fit and healthy.
The American Journal of Public Health has stated that sitting down an excessive amount – meaning more than eight hours a day – can actually increase the risk of premature death or the development of some chronic diseases by 10% to 20%. Many of the best fitness trackers and health apps will alert users to move around at least once an hour if they detect that insufficient steps have been taken during the day.
Lots of us have started to invest in standing desks to provide some respite from hours of remaining seated while consumed by work, but what if you wanted to go a step further?
We've rounded up our top choices for the best under desk treadmills that can help you improve on your daily step count and cardiovascular activity whilst in a restrictive environment. These walking treadmills can also be used when gaming or watching online content, making them a perfect choice for anyone looking to improve their long-term health.
In the current ongoing pandemic, many previous ventures for work-day fitness are unavailable, such as gyms closing or local lockdown rules prohibiting unnecessary travel. The rising popularity and necessity for home working where possible has also eradicated the daily commute, removing valuable low-impact cardio from people's lives.
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The best under desk treadmills of 2021
The Lifespan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill is one of the most popular products from the Lifespan home working range, designed to support single users or small teams for sessions up to six hours. The TR1200-DT3 has six impact-absorbing shocks to help dampen noise while walking, and has an automatic stop when you step off the device, providing both safety and a swiftly silent environment for taking calls.
The TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill is available on the Lifespan website for $1,099 (around £800, AU$1450).
This walking treadmill is fully assembled out of the box and can fit under most standing desks. The control console is a little on the large side, but enables the user to control the Lifespan TR1200-DT3 with a few button touches, and will display all the ongoing fitness stats such as calories, steps and distance. Bluetooth connectivity is also available to upload any results into the LifeSpan Active Track fitness app, and a port is located at the rear of the control console for charging devices such as phones.
The Lifespan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill will support up to 350lbs in user weight and has two wheels located on the front of the device which will allow the treadmill to be moved like a wheelbarrow.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Walkstation Slim Treadmill is the cheapest option on our list, but comes with a plethora of features despite its low cost. The treadmill comes fully assembled and can be used right out of the box, with a built-in monitor to display your steps, calories burned, distance walked and current speed. It also has an automatic shut off, so you can simply step away from the Walkstation Slim knowing it'll power down after 10 minutes.
The Walkstation Slim Treadmill is available for $423.99 (around $310, AU$550) at the Sunny Health & Fitness website
This treadmill has a weight limit of 220lbs and is the smallest option on our list, measuring in at 50 x 21.5 x 6.5 in and weighing 54lbs. Its smaller size means the Sunny Health & Fitness Walkstation Slim Treadmill can be stored under a bed or sofa, making this a great option for anyone who doesn't want a permanent set up.
The Walkstation Slim is operated via remote control, which is fantastic if you can keep your hands free whilst working, though some people may find a desk-based control console more comfortable to use. The lack of a desk console also means your walking stats won't be at eye level, so you'll need to look down to actually check your progress. There also isn't any mention of if the smaller size and low price would mean the Walkstation Slim shouldn't be used excessively, so we would recommend this for light daily use.
The iMovR ThermoTread GT Office Treadmill was created specifically for use as a walking desk in working environments in response to the rise in health issues caused by stationary office jobs. iMovR claim this is the first treadmill desk base designed from the ground up to live in an office environment rather than a gym.
You can order the ThermoTread GT Office Treadmill directly from the iMovR website for $1,849 (around £1350, AU$2,400)
The iMovR ThermoTread GT is one of the sturdiest choices on the market, supporting a max user weight of 400lbs and sporting a commercial-grade 3.0 HP motor that operates silently to avoid noisy distractions. The treadmill also comes with a desk-mounted touch screen control console for ease of use while working and includes six compression shocks under the walking surface to provide support for joints during walking sessions. You can also store data for up to five different users on the control console, making this a great choice for shared workspaces.
Currently advertised as one of the quietest walking treadmills on the market, the iMovR ThermoTread GT kicks out just 42.7 dB during operation and comes with a lifetime warranty on the treadmill frame and a 10-year warranty on motor and electronics.
The LifeSpan TR800 DT3 Treadmill is a fantastic option for anyone who already has a standing desk and is looking to introduce some light exercise into their daily routine. The TR800 DT3 Treadmill can support up to 200lbs in weight and features a quiet motor to prevent frustrating noises while in use. The treadmill weighs in at 96lbs, but features two front-mounted wheels for easier movement around the home or office.
Lifespan sell the TR800-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill for $899 (around £650, AU$1,200).
You won't be able to walk at an incline (which generally isn't recommended whilst working anyway), but the treadmill measures at just 60.5-inches in length and 26-inches in width, making this a compact choice that should fit snugly under any standing desk. The TR800 comes with the DT3 control console that sits on your desk, displaying distance traveled, calories burned, steps taken and more. The Console also features a USB charging port for you to charge your mobile phone or similar devices.
The Inmovement Unsit Treadmill was also designed specifically for use in office spaces rather than gym environments, so you can expect a lot of features that focus on noise suppression and space utility. At just 42.9 dB while running at 2mph, this model is described as being 'library quiet' and is built wider than most other models on our list which gives it 55% more usable space when working.
The Unsit Treadmill is available for $2,295 (around £1,680, AU$3,000) from the Inmovement site.
The treadmill can be controlled via a dial console that connects to your smartphone via an app, allowing for easy, one-touch changes. This app data can easily be transferred to other health-tracking apps such as Apple Health or Fitbit for anyone using another fitness ecosystem.
The Unsit Treadmill has a maximum weight capacity of 400lbs and a lifetime guarantee on the frame (with a three-year warranty on parts), so this is built to last. It will also automatically switch off when no longer in use and will only activate if it registers a user that weighs over 70lbs to prevent injury to pets or children.
- In this article, we give you the rundown of the best in under desk treadmills - but also check out our guide on everything else you need to set up your home office.