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Get and stay active with a desk-job fitness essential

If you’ve noticed your activity level going down while working from home, an under-desk treadmill may be the perfect solution. When paired with a standing desk, it’ll help you keep moving during the day, warding off the negative health side effects associated with sitting still all day. If you’re tired of coming up with excuses to avoid exercise, slide one of these treadmills under your desk to transform your day and your lifestyle. 

Why get an under-desk treadmill

Getting your steps in has tons of health benefits. Walking on an under-desk treadmill means you can get those benefits without having to alter your schedule or endure bad weather.

Walking for even a few minutes each day can accomplish a multitude of good things for your body, both physically and mentally. Walking can:

  • strengthen your heart to reduce the risk of heart disease
  • lubricate joints and strengthen muscles to ease knee and hip pain
  • improve mood and energy levels
  • clear your mind to help you think creatively

Walking inside on a treadmill won’t have all the same positive effects as taking a walk outside, but it’s better than sitting for hours, especially if you turn off your screen and focus solely on walking for a few minutes.

How to pick an under-desk treadmill

Treadmill size

If you want to be able to store your treadmill when it’s not in use, make sure it’s small enough to fit under your bed or sofa or against the wall and that it’s lightweight enough for you to move easily. Built-in wheels help make storage easier. Some treadmills even fold up for even more convenient storage.

Conversely, if you’re tall, check the treadmill’s specifications carefully. Many treadmills designed to fit under desks are also compact and may not offer a long enough stride length for taller people to use comfortably.

Treadmill controls

Since under-desk treadmills have collapsible handles or no handles at all, they also lack the traditional interface for controlling the treadmill’s programs and speed. Most desk treadmills make up for this by coming with a remote control. Some also offer app controls to use the treadmill through your smartphone. Some can even change speed automatically according to where you’re walking on the footpad.

Noise level

If you want to bring your desk treadmill into an office environment, or if your home office is in an apartment, quiet operation should be a high priority. Look for a motor of around 2 horsepower and a sound level of fewer than 50 decibels for the quietest — and least disruptive — operation. Placing your treadmill on a mat can help minimize noise while also protecting your floors.

Safety features

Desk treadmills should be used with caution because they don’t have handrails like a traditional treadmill. Look for treadmills that can stop operating when they detect that the user has stepped off the treadmill.

If you plan to use your treadmill for running as well as walking at your desk, choose a model that has collapsible handles that can be folded out for use when running. Make sure that the treadmill has a high enough weight capacity and maximum speed to be used for running, too.

Best under-desk treadmills

Best WalkingPad P1 Ultraslim Foldable Treadmill

WalkingPad P1 Ultraslim Foldable Treadmill

One of social media’s favorite treadmills features a remote control plus app control. Its super-slim design is less than 3 inches thick. It can be stored upright or folded up to measure 32 inches by 21.5 inches. It can go up to 4 miles per hour and includes technology to slow down and stop the treadmill to prevent falling.

Sold by Amazon

Best GoPlus Under Desk Treadmill

GoPlus Under Desk Treadmill

Compact yet heavy-duty, this under-desk treadmill has wheels to roll it in and out of storage. It features a shockproof rubber footpad to reduce vibration, a remote control, and a bright LED screen. It offers 12 programs and speeds up to 4 miles per hour. It’s 6.5 inches tall at its highest point and supports up to 220 pounds.

Sold by Amazon

Best Urevo 3-in-1 Folding Treadmill with Removable Desk

Urevo 3-in-1 Folding Treadmill with Removable Desk

This treadmill offers a weight capacity of up to 286 pounds. With fold-up handles and speeds topping out at over 8 miles per hour, it even lets you run. Silicone shock absorbers help reduce the impact on your joints. The bar display on the handles can be converted into a workspace thanks to the included small desk.

Sold by Amazon

Best Lifespan TR1200-GlowUp Under-Desk Treadmill

LifeSpan TR1200-GlowUp Under-Desk Treadmill

Most under-desk treadmills tend to be light and compact, but this durable option measures 63 inches long and supports up to 350 pounds. This makes it a good pick for those with a longer stride. It goes up to 4 miles per hour and many users note that it’s quiet enough to talk on the phone while using it.

Sold by Kohl’s

Best Sunny Health and Fitness Walkstation

Sunny Health and Fitness Walkstation

A treadmill is a considerable investment, but this compact, budget-friendly model still delivers everything you need to exercise at your desk. It’s lightweight and reaches 3.75 miles per hour, while a large display shows the time, calories burned, distance and more. It comes with a remote control and safety features such as pausing when no weight is detected on the treadmill.

Sold by Amazon

Best WalkingPad A1 Pro Smart Walk Folding Treadmill

WalkingPad A1 Pro Smart Walk Folding Treadmill

Sleek and easy to set up, this folding option has an elegantly minimalist display screen and quiet operation. Control your speed through the app or where you stand on the treadmill: walking near the front makes it speed up while walking near the back slows it down. It supports up to 220 pounds and tops out around 3.7 miles per hour.

Sold by Amazon

Best Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

Use this treadmill on the walking mode under your desk for speeds up to 2.5 miles per hour, then fold the collapsible handlebars out to run at speeds up to 7.5 miles per hour. It offers a remote control, LED display, and a quiet motor plus a Bluetooth speaker to play your favorite workout playlist.

Sold by Amazon


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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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