There’s plenty to hate about working from home, from the lack of social opportunities to the difficult task of separating your work hours from your regular living hours. However, there are also plenty to love, from all the money you save and the time you don’t have to waste in traffic to all the extra hours you can spend with your family. Truth is, the experience will be different for everyone. That’s why some people thrive in work-from-home situations, while others take the opportunity to return to the office as soon as possible.
If you work from home, chances are, you want to maximize the time you spend on the desk in front of the computer. One of the best ways to do that is to get some passive exercise while you’re engaged in standard work tasks and using a standing desk is one of the most highly recommended solutions to getting that done. If you’ve already invested in a standing desk, there’s actually a way to get even better fitness results out of it – by adding an under-desk treadmill that will let you walk at any pace you want while rifling through your daily work tasks.
These are the best options in under-desk walking treadmills.
Like other WalkingPad treadmills, this one can fold into half the length of the track, making it even easier to hide under furniture or inside closets. And yes, at 66 pounds, you can carry it to the closet, albeit with some serious effort. It’s also very affordable, making it a great option for folks looking to get in at the entry level.
Equipped with a 1-horsepower motor, it’s able to provide walking speeds of up to 3.72 mph, albeit in a way that’s a little noisier than treadmills with more powerful motors (and, it’s fair to note, much more expensive prices). Speed performs consistently for the most part, although you will notice a couple hiccups here and there when you’re paying attention (since you’re working, you probably won’t even notice). There’s no display or controls on the treadmill itself, instead requiring you to use the included remote for both. Alternatively, you can use the companion app for display and controls if you prefer to just use the phone you always keep on your desk anyway.
Sunny Health & Fitness Asuna TreadPad
This affordable treadmill has a reasonably wide belt that measures 17.5 inches, giving you enough room on the sides to stand or walk with a wide stance, making it very comfortable to use under your standing desk. It has a top speed of 4 mph, which makes for a brisk walking pace that should let you cover a mile in around 15 minutes, although you can set it as slow as 0.3 mph if you prefer minimal physical exertion to keep you more focused on the job.
If you need it to stop immediately for any reason, you simply kick the safety cord to bring it to a halt, while a remote allows you to adjust speed on the fly. Make sure you never lose the remote, by the way, as there’s no way to operate the treadmill without it. What we like most about this treadmill, though, is how quiet it is compared to similar treadmills at this price range, allowing you to work without the noisy distraction, making it ideal for work from home setups.
GoPlus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
No, this doesn’t fold in the same way that the WalkingPad folds, so it won’t quite collapse in the same compact size. Instead, the folding function refers to the bar out front, which houses the handrails and the console. Naturally, you’ll want to fold that bar out of the way when using it under a standing desk, at which point it activates the walking mode that electronically limits it to a max speed of 3 mph. With the bar raised up, the maximum speed goes up to 10 mph, allowing you to jog on it much like a regular gym treadmill (well, not quite like a gym treadmill, but it’s serviceable enough). It’s quiet enough at walking speeds, too, with multiple layers of shock-absorption, compression, and noise reduction, although it does start becoming noisy once you get to the faster running paces.
In walking mode, the best way to control it is through the companion app (iOS and Android), which can show speed, time, distance, calories, and even pulse rate (if you hold the included remote in hand), although you can also use the aforementioned remote, albeit give up access to any information display. In running mode, you can use the capacitive console for controls, with your info shown on the built-in display. Oh yeah, it’s got an integrated speaker for whatever reason. If you want a walking treadmill that can go a bit faster for those off-work workouts, this offers that at a pretty reasonable price.
LifeSpan Fitness TR5000
Equipped with a 3.0-horsepower DC motor, it allows you to brisk walk at consistent speeds of up to 4 mph, while a self-lubricating belt allows maintenance-free use for the first few months (the outfit estimates around six months if you use it regularly). You will need to start oiling, though, as soon as you hear any kind of squeaking while using the treadmill. Unlike some treadmills that has the display integrated right into the machine, the console with the controls and display is connected via cable, so you can keep it right on your desk (do note, it’s large, so it will take up decent space). The display, by the way, can show time, steps (yes, it counts steps), calories, distance, and speed, allowing you to keep track of more than how long you’ve been walking.
Designed for hardwearing function, it comes with an all-steel frame, a one-inch-thick heavy-duty deck, a high-mileage belt (it’s rated for 2,000 hours), aluminum side rails, and six impact-absorbing compression shocks. It’s so well-built, in fact, that, the outfit claims, it can handle weights of up to 400 pounds. That combination of durable build, along with those compression shocks, make it very quiet – seriously, you won’t even hear a peep until you start using the faster settings. And even then, it’s still a pretty low noise. Do note, it’s heavier than a lot of under-desk treadmills out there because of the durable build, but still remains mobile enough, especially with the front-mounted wheels. If you want a reliable treadmill that will hold up with very little problems, this definitely fits the bill.
This is wider than most under-desk treadmills you’ll find (the walking surface is 30 inches wide), making it very comfortable to move on with your attention fixated on a screen on the desk. Of course, you’ll have to make sure your standing desk has 39 inches of space between the left and right legs, since it won’t fit otherwise. Oddly enough, they made it really short, with the track spanning just 40 inches long, so walking back and forth along the track is just not a good idea.
There’s good reason for being short, though, as they originally designed it with offices rather than home environments in mind. For the same reason, this treadmill boasts arguably the quietest operation you’ll find in the category, although they also limited the speed to just 2 mph maximum to make sure it never goes fast enough to make distracting sounds, so you can only walk at half the pace of most other under-desk treadmill options. It’s also built-to-last, with commercial-grade heavy-duty construction that supports users up to 400 pounds. A wired console that you can place on the desk allows you to easily control the treadmill, complete with the ability to pair with your phone, making it easy to upload your activity data to your favorite health-tracking apps.
While it does have many downsides, the extra-wide track, seriously quiet operation, and impressively durable build makes it a compelling choice for those who might have been disappointed by the shoddy build and noisy operation of cheaper treadmill options.