Best Treadmill Desks of 2018
Research by Ryan Fiorenzi
Updated July 24, 2018
What are treadmill desks?
Treadmill desks were developed for people that don’t want to sit in a chair for 8 hours per day and want to add even more movement to their day than they get by standing at their desk. Treadmill desks aren’t designed to run at high speeds; they are built for people to walk at slow speeds for long periods of time.
Treadmill desks are an excellent way to get in shape while you work. I believe it’s actually one of the easiest habits you can develop to lose weight as you’re reducing your sitting time (which is a cause of weight gain for many people), and you’re burning more calories than standing.
Many standing desk users have added walking as an addition to standing and sitting (or using a leaning chair). Usually you won’t be walking more than 2 mph, so you won’t be sweating, and you avoid all of the dangers of extended periods of sitting (we’ve written a lot about the increased risk of certain cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, increased mortality).
If you’re wondering if a treadmill desk is good investment for you, read some of the reviews from verified purchase users on Amazon. It’s extremely common to read about users reporting weight loss, more energy, higher productivity, and better mood.
Jarvis Treadmill Desk
Best Overall Value
Why Jarvis is our top treadmill desk
We’ve spent thousands of hours personally testing treadmill and standing desks, speaking with manufacturers, as well as directly with users, and we’ve read thousands of reviews. The Jarvis treadmill desk has 2 parts, the desk and the treadmill. The standing desk is made by Fully, who is one of the top standing desk companies. The treadmill is made by LifeSpan, who is one of the top treadmill producers (and is our runner-up).
The Jarvis treadmill desk stood out when we compared it to many other treadmill desks that we compared it to, and took into consideration the price. There are many treadmill desks that are higher quality but are way more expensive.
For more information, check out our full Jarvis treadmill desk review.
Our criteria for evaluating the top treadmill desks
Our criteria included:
Our runner-up: LifeSpan Fitness TR800-DT5 Treadmill desk
If the Jarvis is out of your budget, LifeSpan has several treadmill desks, and the TR800-DT5 is their entry level model.
When we first started researching treadmill desks, we found many of their competitors comparing themselves to LifeSpan. Once we tried out the TR800-DT5, we could see why.
The desk adjusts manually (unlike the Jarvis which is electric), but many people that use a treadmill desk don’t adjust the height, so this is a smart way to save money when buying a treadmill desk.
It’s also the shortest length of any treadmill desk on the market. We’ve talked to many users and found that standard treadmill desks take up too much room in their offices. The TR800-DT5 is only 65″ long.
Read our full review.
LifeSpan Fitness TR800-DT5
Runner-Up for Best Overall Value
iMovR Cascade Treadmill Desk
This model is an electric desk with a cutting edge digital programmer, and has tons of customizations available. It includes the patented SteadyType keyboard, which is a great feature especially considering that when walking on a treadmill your monitor and desk can shake.
The desk can hold and impressive 265 lbs, and the motor is very quiet at only 41 db. It has a great warranty, has a higher top speed than most treadmill desks, and an anti-collision sensor to prevent abrupt starts and stops.
Read the full review.
iMovR Cascade TreadMill Desk
Highest Quality Treadmill
The problem with do-it-yourself treadmill desks
And if you’re thinking about going the DIY route, understand that if you use a standard fitness treadmill, you may burn out the motor. Walking treadmills are used at low speeds for many hours and require a high torque motor. Fitness treadmills have low torque motors as when people run on them the momentum of them running fast pushes the belt along. Walkers don’t push the belt forward much so the motor has to do it.
Advice for treadmill desk users
- Walk between 1-2 mph: You want to move just enough to increase circulation to your brain and other organs, and prevent the problems that come with long periods of being sedentary, but don’t feel the need to go so fast that you’re sweating while you work.
- Take breaks: Ideally you’ll be switching modes every 20 or so minutes, so alternate walking with standing, sitting, and leaning if you like. Many treadmill desk users find that certain activities can be done walking, such as phone conversations, while activities that require deep concentration are better done sitting.
- Wear the right shoes: Don’t wear heels or any shoes that are going to damage the treadmill belt. And pay attention to your shoes that they support proper posture while standing or walking. Some users will wear their nice looking shoes to work and to meetings, and another more comfortable pair for walking and standing.
- Practice proper ergonomics: Make sure that your monitor is eye level and that your keyboard is near your hips when you’re standing, walking, and leaning. If your reaching, leaning, or slouching, you can create problems for your neck, lower back, and upper back. Check out our best monitor arms list.
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