Spending some time on the best under-desk treadmills – or walking treadmills, as they are sometimes called – is a fantastic way to get your steps in, do some light cardiovascular exercise and fit more movement into your daily life, even if you don't want to leave your desk while you work or enjoy a night in, watching Netflix.
This type of treadmill goes well with the best standing desks at home or in the office, so you may be able to take full advantage of the unique benefits of these specialist walking treadmills. Even if you don't have a standing desk, these slender treadmills are a great way to fit a cardio machine in a small space. If you don't have time to go out for a walk or the room to fit a full-size treadmill, this walk-whilst-you-work alternative is a fantastic option for home workers who want to stay fit and healthy.
Research published in the American Journal of Public Health (opens in new tab) has found that sitting down an excessive amount – meaning more than eight hours a day – can increase the risk of premature death or the development of some chronic diseases by 10% to 20%. Many of the best fitness trackers will alert users to move around at least once an hour if they detect that insufficient steps have been taken during the day.
This is why many more of us have started investing in standing desks to provide some respite from hours of remaining seated while consumed by work. However, when paired with one of these under-desk treadmills, you'll be able to walk while conducting meetings, typing, sketching, planning and any other work you might do at your desk – even gaming!
We've rounded up some of the top choices for the best under-desk treadmills below, all of which can help you improve your daily step count and cardiovascular activity whilst in a restrictive environment. We are in the process of personally testing them for full comprehensive reviews and will be updating the rankings regularly with our findings.
The best under-desk treadmills
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 quiet environment for taking calls.
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 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.
Read our full Lifespan TR1200-DT3 review
The Bluefin Fitness Task 2.0 under-desk treadmill is a wallet-friendly, slim and small offering, more than worthy of inclusion in our best under-desk treadmill list. It’s able to be assembled in a flash and can fit almost anywhere, even behind a sofa or in a cupboard, when not in use.
You can fold up the collapsible riser to get a more standard treadmill shape, for many people, this won’t be necessary: you can use it flat, essentially right out of the box.
In our full review, we mentioned how much we liked the belt: it’s long and wide enough to walk and perform gentle jogging, but with a top speed of eight kilometres an hour, it’s not the most practical for people who are into hardcore running training.
If you’re looking to get additional movement into your day, whether you want to walk while taking meetings or watching TV in the evenings, and think the way to do it is a space-saving, budget-friendly walking treadmill, this is the model for you.
Read our full Bluefin Fitness Task 2.0 review
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.
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 an excellent 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 check your progress. There also isn't any mention of whether the smaller size and low price would mean the Walkstation Slim shouldn't be used excessively, so we 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 claims this is the first treadmill desk base designed from the ground up to live in an office environment rather than a gym.
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 support joints during walking sessions. You can also store data for up to five different users on the control console, making this an excellent 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 light exercise into their daily routine. The TR800 DT3 Treadmill can support up to 300 lbs in weight and features a quiet motor to prevent frustrating noises. The treadmill weighs in at 96 lbs but features two front-mounted wheels for easier movement around the home or office.
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 on your desk, displaying distance travelled, 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 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 400 lbs 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 70 lbs to prevent injury to pets or children.
How to choose the best under-desk treadmill for you
One of the first considerations you need to consider when buying an under-desk treadmill is the space you have. If you have the capacity for a standing desk, especially in a large office space, you might consider a heavy-duty under-desk treadmill such as the iMovR Thermotread or one of the LifeSpan models.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a slim treadmill to store behind the sofa when not in use, you might be better off looking at the Sunny Walkstation Slim or another model like the Xiaomi WalkingPad (not listed in this guide).
Your second consideration should be price, which is closely tied to space, how much you intend to use the machine, and even your weight. Generally speaking, the more expensive the machine, the more punishment it will take.
Looking to jump on it for an hour or so a day to increase your steps in the evening? Get a cheaper model. Will you be using it consistently, every day? It could be worth spending more and opting for a heavier duty model such as the Lifespan entries, which are more durable and have higher weight capacities.
How we test
We’re currently testing lots of the best under-desk treadmills around. We’re walking (and running) on each treadmill for an extended period of time, testing it up to its top speed. We’re checking the response of the safety key, ensuring the treadmill halts in a timely manner, and any other features it might purport to have, such as Bluetooth capabilities and functions of the console.
- 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.