6 Reasons Why You’ll Need an Under Desk Treadmill at Work (+ The Top 3 Models)

Desk Treadmill

Using an under desk treadmill at work is a blessing for your health and can even make you more productive!

There are some health-related guidelines that we all know about: Smoking and alcohol are bad for your health and too much sugar is not too good either… But there’s one thing that’s often neglected:

Sitting is actually just as harmful to health as all of these things!

However, the average office worker sits up to eight hours a day, and that doesn’t even take into account the additional sitting on the couch at home. Moreover, nowadays in society we are sitting more than ever before as life becomes more and more convenient.

The solution is an under desk treadmill for the office! Many people will think:

“Running while working? I will sweat too much and won’t be able to concentrate on my work…”

Far from it! When used properly, an under desk treadmill for the office is a real blessing, which will not impair your work in any way, but on the contrary, will make you even more productive.

Besides the fact that it keeps us from sitting too long, it also has numerous other advantages that are extremely useful for any office worker. So, in today’s article we will take a look at all the benefits and the best under desk treadmills you can currently buy. Have fun! ?

Why You Need an Under Desk Treadmill at Work

Exercise is the Key to Health

Nowadays, unfortunately, we spend most of our time sitting and neglect physical activity. But that was not always the case! Our prehistoric ancestors rarely sat and were almost exclusively in motion. The consequences of today’s lack of exercise has a dramatic effect on our health.

A large 14-year study (see source 1) with 123,000 Americans has shown, for example, that mortality or death rates are greatly increased (20% for men and 40% for women) in people who sit a lot (more than 6 hours a day). A frightening result!

High blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and cancer are common potential consequences of a lack of physical activity. For example, one study found that people who sit most of the day have a 112% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You can find the link to the full study below this article (source 2).

In an interview with the LA Times, Dr. James Levine, head of the project for solutions against obesity at the Mayo Clinic of the Arizona State University, said the following:

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies physical inactivity as the fourth largest preventable cause of death worldwide, with an estimated 3.2 million deaths annually.

But actually, this could be prevented very easily. Exercise is one of the keys to health and can easily be integrated into our everyday lives. A very good way to do this is to use an under desk treadmill for the office, a solution that unfortunately far too few people take advantage of.

Bye-Bye, Back Pain

Back pain

Many office workers suffer from back pain . As I just mentioned, sitting was not always a natural habit of us humans. It is not exaggerated to say that our prehistoric ancestors really weren’t familiar with the concept of sitting.

You could say that sitting is simply not natural to humans! The entire human body is simply designed for walking or moving in general.

However, the typical desk posture promotes quite the opposite of our natural posture! There is an enormously high load on the spine. Is it any wonder that so many people suffer from back pain?

With a standing desk at your workplace you take the first important step closer to a natural posture. If you combine this with movement by using an under desk treadmill for the office, you are definitely on the right track.

After only four weeks, 50% of the participants of a study (you can also find this link below this article, source 3) were already able to notice a significant decrease in back pain. And in the long run, this value will probably be even higher.

The costs of a treadmill is easily compensated for because you can save the costs for any kind of  physiotherapy or massages in the long run.

Productivity Boost

Time Management

I can absolutely understand that it may sound strange at the beginning. At first, I also thought that walking on an under desk treadmill would distract rather than be useful. You may think that you won’t be able to concentrate any more when you’re running and that you will be sweating the whole time.

First of all, it must be emphasized that the under desk models for the office are much more like “walking belts” than treadmills. Most devices allow a maximum speed of 6 mph, but a speed of 2 to 2.5 mph is sufficient to enjoy all the advantages mentioned above. Usually you will not even break out in a sweat! And concentration does not suffer from the light physical activity either… Quite the opposite!

Various studies have proven that productivity does not suffer when using an under desk treadmill in the office, but even increases in the long run. If you are interested in the exact results and would like to learn more about them, I will link the respective studies below this article (source 4 and 5).

But why does productivity increase? This can be explained by several reasons and would go beyond the scope of this report.

So, to keep it short: If you sit less, you are usually less likely to get tired and you will avoid the well-known food coma, for example. Light physical activity counteracts sleepiness and keeps your energy level high! This of course also makes you more productive.

Walking should also enhance your resilience and help you to cope better with stress.

Burning Calories?

Lose Weight

As I said, the treadmills for the office are more like walking belts. Of course, you don’t burn as many calories as during an intensive running session… And yet you will still burn a considerable number of calories.

Of course, the exact calorie consumption depends on numerous individual factors. However, at a slow walking speed of 2.5 mph, you can roughly assume a value of 200 calories per hour.

Considering that you usually burn almost no calories while working in the office, this is definitely a very nice side effect!

Well-Being in General

Healthy Woman

The light physical activity at work also has a positive effect on numerous factors of your well-being. You feel less stressed and more awake and energized.

I would like to briefly introduce you to the results of a very meaningful study that was conducted in 2012:

Office workers took part in a seven-week experiment in which they used a standing table instead of sitting. The following results were found:

  • 87% felt more energetic
  • 75% felt healthier
  • 71% felt more focused in their work
  • 62% felt happier in general

By the way, a regression of the mentioned emotional states could not be observed in any of the participants. A pretty impressive result, if you ask me. Again, if you are interested, you can read through the whole study. I will link to it at the end of this article (see source 3).

More Time for Family, Friends and Hobbies

Family Time at the Beach

This advantage is actually quite obvious. With an under desk treadmill for the office you combine work and exercise. This is very useful, because you can save the time of going to the gym or going for a run in the evening, or at least reduce it.

After all, you have already done the physical activity during your working hours. You couldn’t manage your time more effectively.

This also means that you can spend more time with your family and friends after work! ?

All in all, an under desk treadmill for the office will make you feel more relaxed, full of energy, increase your productivity, and will even burn calories and free up time for more important things! In other words, there is nothing wrong with using an under desk treadmill and everything to gain! However, there are a few things that you should be aware of that we are going to talk about now.

What You Should Consider When Buying an Under Desk Treadmill

How to Properly Use Under Desk Treadmills

Stupid question, right? Just start running and do your usual business stuff?! What sounds so easy, is not necessarily always the case! Use of the under desk treadmill is not recommended for all the usual office activities. But how and when should it be used?

Experience has shown that even slow walking when writing email or other texts is not recommended. It makes the coordination of the hands more difficult and you will probably mistype more often and will therefore simply need more time.

Walking on the treadmill while making phone calls is also not recommended. Even if you are not really out of breath, the person you are talking to will usually notice that you are not sitting calmly at your workplace. This can have a negative influence on the phone call.

For some professions such as working in a service center or as a secretary, where you will need to write a lot, an under desk treadmill is not recommended.

For all other activities, which include researching on the Internet or reading texts and reports, the use of an under desk treadmill is ideal.

In any case, the fitness equipment does not have to be used during all of your working hours. You can simply switch off the treadmill and use it as a normal standing desk and integrate some running periods every now and then. Your health will surely thank you for that! ?

What Will Your Coworkers Say?


A very common concern before buying an under desk treadmill are co-workers’ opinions. How will they react to sports equipment at work? Isn’t a treadmill much too loud and disturbing to others?

Noise was certainly the case in the past. But luckily, the manufacturers are familiar with our concerns so that most devices are very quiet now due to state-of-the-art technology.

Nevertheless, a treadmill is not completely soundless. If you share an office with your co-workers, I would advise you to discuss your plans with them in advance.

If you have an individual office or work remotely, there is nothing to stop you from buying an under desk treadmill!

Now that we have discussed all the benefits and what to consider before the treadmill purchase, it is time to take a look at the best models! ?

The Best Under Desk Treadmill in 2021

The Best Overall

The best overall high-end under desk treadmill you can currently buy is probably the Unsit Under Desk Treadmill. Like the name suggests, this company has dedicated itself to breaking people’s habit of sitting. The Under Desk Treadmill that they offer has gained great popularity and really is a top-class product.

In comparison to normal treadmills, it has no handles and can therefore be placed perfectly under the desk.

The maximum speed is 2.0 mph, which is completely sufficient for the light physical activity that you should aim for at work.

Compared to other under desk treadmills, this one comes with a very big walking surface. This allows it to be very safe and perfect for work. Additionally, I have to talk about the noise level, in that there really isn’t a noise level with this treadmill, as it is whisper quiet. It’s perfect for using at work without disturbing your co-workers.

Overall, the Unsit treadmill simply is the perfect under desk treadmill and I can recommend it without reservation. But of course, that’s just my personal view on things. Take a look at the treadmill for yourself! Here you will find all the further information you’ll need.

The Best Budget-Friendly Model

The Unsit treadmill is the perfect choice in my opinion. However, it obviously has its price. If you are on a budget but still want to stay fit during work, go with the FUNMILY Under Desk Treadmill. With this treadmill, the walking surface is not as large but still large enough for a safe workout at work.

It comes with a 2.25 HP motor which provides a very quiet workout, just as with my first recommendation. What I like about this treadmill is the fact that it comes as a 2-in-1 solution. You can use it under your desk, but if you want to, you can also use the handles via a simple folding system. Therefore, you can also use it as a normal treadmill. Actually, you can set the speed up to 7.5 mph.

Since this product is very popular, its availability is not always a given, so I would suggest that you simply take a look at this treadmill for yourself. You can find it here, including its availability, current pricing, as well as customer reviews.

A Treadmill with an Integrated Desk

Why choose an under desk treadmill when you can get the desk directly with the treadmill?

The LifeSpan Treadmill Desk combines both workplace and exercise equipment.

Just as with the previously mentioned treadmills, the LifeSpan comes with a strong and quiet motor and provides a sufficiently large walking surface. You can use it as a walking treadmill or as a standing desk and you can vary between different heights from 27.5” to 50.5”.

However, the desk does not provide endless space. A laptop, a bottle of water and your smartphone should fit on it without any problems, but not much more. If you need more space, I would rather recommend the first two models that you can combine with your own desk.

Other than that, this one is another great desk treadmill for your office! So just have a look at it if you want to know more. You can find it here.

Final Thoughts on Under Desk Treadmills

There are still millions of people that haven’t even thought about an under desk treadmill. That’s very sad, as far too many people and especially office workers sit too much and move too little at the same time.

This lack of exercise has a long-term impact on our health and can have serious consequences. A potential and very good solution to this problem is an under desk treadmill for the office, which not only counteracts the lack of movement, but also makes us more productive and increases our general well-being.

I hope that, with this article, I can fight back a little against the sitting trend and convince some of you of the numerous benefits of an under desk treadmill at work.

If you have any further questions or want to share your own experiences on this topic, I would be happy to receive an email. Of course, you can also just leave a comment below.

But for now: Have fun with your new under desk treadmill! ?


[1] Patel, A. V., Bernstein, L., Deka, A., Feigelson, H. S., Campbell, P. T., Gapstur, S. M., … Thun, M. J. (2010). Leisure Time Spent Sitting in Relation to Total Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of US Adults. American Journal of Epidemiology172(4), 419–429. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq155

[2] Wilmot, E. G., Edwardson, C. L., Achana, F. A., Davies, M. J., Gorely, T., Gray, L. J., … Biddle, S. J. H. (2012). Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetologia55(11), 2895–2905. doi: 10.1007/s00125-012-2677-z

[3] Pronk, N. P., Katz, A. S., Lowry, M., & Payfer, J. R. (2012). Reducing Occupational Sitting Time and Improving Worker Health: The Take-a-Stand Project, 2011. Preventing Chronic Disease9. doi: 10.5888/pcd9.110323

[4] Koepp, G. A., Manohar, C. U., Mccrady-Spitzer, S. K., Ben-Ner, A., Hamann, D. J., Runge, C. F., & Levine, J. A. (2013). Treadmill desks: A 1-year prospective trial. Obesity21(4), 705–711. doi: 10.1002/oby.20121

[5] Ohlinger, C. M., Horn, T. S., Berg, W. P., & Cox, R. H. (2011). The Effect of Active Workstation Use on Measures of Cognition, Attention, and Motor Skill. Journal of Physical Activity and Health8(1), 119–125. doi: 10.1123/jpah.8.1.119

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