Updated: June 4, 2015
Treadmill Desk Reviews:Sitting at a desk all day and working is not good for your health. Many studies prove that sedentary lifestyles lead to many health risks over time. So what do many American do all day? They sit for hours on end working on computers and they wonder why they are gaining weight and feeling tired by the end of the day. In recent years treadmill desks have taken off and more companies are looking into buying them to get workers more active and energetic. For those of us that work from home, we know the routine - get on our computers by 8AM and sit for hours - sometimes all day. I decided to look into treadmill desks and decide if for health purposes alone, it would be a good investment. There are many to choose from but we will focus our attention to the LifeSpan TR1200-DT models, the LifeSpan TR800, the Exerpeutic, and the TrekDesk. They are the most popular and give you a wide range of features and prices to consider. We found excellent in depth reviews done by Danny Sullivan (CNET), Scott Neumyer (Popular Mechanics), and Consumer Reports comparison between the Exerpeutic 2000 Workfit and the LifeSpan TR1200 DT-5. All were very informative and answered most of our questions about ergonomics, durability, construction, safety, and ease of use. Treadmill desk reviews can also be found on Amazon.com as posted by actual consumers - you can read up on all the pros and cons to each model and determine which treadmill desks deserve top billing.
Choosing a Treadmill Desk - Walking by itself is not that hard, but walking and talking or typing at the same time does take a little getting used to. Also, if you are not used to walking very far each day, we suggest starting slow. Most owners of treadmill desks will suggest walking at 1 to 2 MPH. The first week or so, build up your endurance and do it for a few hours each day. You will notice that after a week or so of walking and doing your work it gets much easier. You'll be able to type just as fast as before (answering emails is easy) and talking on the phone while walking is not a big deal. One of the biggest issues is ergonomics. No sense in walking all day on a treadmill that makes you hunch down to see your monitor or look up just to view the screen. That is why adjustable treadmill desks are so important and not all have that feature. The LifeSpan treadmill desks are adjustable, but many require two people to make that adjustment. I would assume once adjusted properly for yourself, you probably wouldn't have to do that again unless two people use the treadmill desk to work on. The Exerpeutic desk has an angle adjustment, but not for height and that becomes an ergonomic issue for some. Usage is another thing to consider. Most treadmills have a certain lifespan in their motors or parts and walking on them daily for hours could shorten that lifespan. Look for a treadmill desk with a good warranty on parts (especially moving parts) since they will be put to the test if you plan on using your walking desk at least 5 days a week. Maintenance tends to be lubricating the belt every few months - some high end models don't require that. Noise levels are pretty minimal on most models tested. Space is another concern for some. The LifeSpan series are larger than most which is great if you want room on the desk for multiple monitors or other daily necessities. On the other hand, the larger LifeSpan treadmill desks require you to have dedicated space in your home office or workspace at work. The actual treadmill is slightly larger on the LifeSpan (which we like) than say the Exerpeutic where some people mention they hit the motor cover while walking. That can be a hazard. What about other features? Do you want to know distance, steps, calories burned? Are you planning on importing them to your computer to track the results? Some treadmill desks offer better readouts than others but most owners were happy with the readout features. Some owners were surprised that they weren't actaully losing weight. You would figure that walking (instead of sitting) for hours each day would lead to weight loss. Long term, if your eating habits stay the same, then you are guaranteed to lose some weight with the added steps each day. Give it time and you will see results. The Exerpeutic 2000 WorkFit is priced at $675 and considered a low end option. Pros - price, folds for storage, good computer LCD display. Cons - lack of height adjustment, ergonomics, durability. An even cheaper option is the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk at $480, but it's only the desk. Don't be fooled by this one. You still have to buy a treadmill that will hook up to it. The most popular of the bunch is the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk ($1500) - Features a deep workspace, has a 16" adjustable height range, up to 300lb user weight on the 56" x 20" walking surface, and a speed range of .4 to 4 MPH. The LED digital display will give you details on calories burned, time and step count, and distance traveled. The motor has a 3 year warranty. We like the large armrests and the cable slot for all those cords/cables. The LifeSpan TR1200-DT7 Desktop Treadmill is $2000 and you do get a few extras that the TR1200-DT5 doesn't offer. The TR1200-DT7 has an electric height adjustment feature. Nice to have, but not necessary. It's also Bluetooth-enabled so you can wirelessly sync your data to a computer. The LifeSpan Fitness TR800-DT5 Treadmill Desktop ($1200), the cheaper of the LifeSpan series for treadmill desks, reviews are really positive from owners. One woman says 'it's the best way to spend your time while listening to a conference call'. We must agree that most people could use a little added walking to their daily work schedules and getting outside isn't always the easiest solution. Walking treadmill desks are a great answer to that problem and given the health benefits, the investment is a great one. You can browse the best selling treadmill desks here.