Do Treadmill Desks Work?

If you’ve considered a treadmill desk in the past, you’ve likely asked whether they actually work or whether they cause more trouble than good.

As numerous studies show, the benefits of treadmill desks are plenty, not only from a mental perspective but also from a physical fitness and productivity perspective. In this blog, the tight-knit team at LifeSpan Fitness explains how treadmill desks work, the benefits they bring, and how you should approach buying one.

Continue reading to learn more about how treadmill desks can improve your work life balance and help you establish a healthy lifestyle.

How Treadmill Desks Work

Treadmill desks aren’t designed for a rigorous workout regimen. You shouldn’t be sweating or struggling to get through your day with a treadmill desk, much less the workout itself.

The recommended speed is 2 mph because at this rate, you can keep a steady heart rate throughout the day. This steadily-increased heart rate will increase your blood flow and the oxygen circulating in your blood. 

As a Computers In Science study suggests, walking on a treadmill desk can improve memory and cognition after using them. You don’t have to use your treadmill desk all day. But when you reach a problem you can’t quite crack, choosing to walk for a few minutes on a walking desk can stimulate your creativity. More complex tasks require you to sit throughout the day, and using a treadmill desk can better prepare you for those tasks. 

The increased activity won’t only help you with your mental activity, it will also stimulate your physical fitness. Consistently walking on your treadmill desk can help facilitate other areas of your fitness program. 

You can lose weight over time from only using your treadmill desk and reducing your caloric intake to appropriate levels. But more importantly, when you use your treadmill desk on a consistent basis, it can lead to increased energy and activity levels in other areas of your fitness regimen. 

How Do Treadmill Desks Benefit You?

Treadmill desks’ main benefit is that they reduce overall health issues. Treadmill desk users often report losing weight and experiencing higher energy levels throughout their day, leading to increased productivity. Users might also experience reduced back pain. 

These claims are backed by numerous studies, including a Mayo clinic’s that examined the effect of a treadmill desk at a small company. The company had 12 treadmill desks and encouraged its employees to increase their activity levels throughout the day. With only 18 

participants, the employees used the desks off and on and walked around three hours per day. 

The patients’ overall cholesterol and plasma triglycerides dropped, and one patient even dropped 25 lbs. Revenues increased to their highest point ever and the leader of the company used the word “dynamic” to describe the work environment. 

Increased Employee Satisfaction 

The physical and mental benefits are particularly attractive to business leaders looking to improve their employees’ overall satisfaction at their place of work. In an American Psychological Association study, employees’ use of walking treadmills corresponded with higher satisfaction, less boredom, and less stress.

More Active Lifestyle 

The US Surgeon General recommends individuals walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day to promote a healthy lifestyle. Treadmill desks simplify this and you can easily get between 15,000-20,000 in a 4-7 hour period. 

This doesn’t mean you should always rely on your treadmill desk to get your steps in. You should still strive to get out into nature, breathe fresh air, and get some sunshine. These are all important components of a healthy lifestyle. However, if you are short on time, having a treadmill desk can greatly simplify your access to an active lifestyle. 

Moreover, research shows that sitting for too long is unhealthy, even if you workout after you sit for a long time. Studies show metabolism slows down 90 percent after 30 minutes of sitting and the enzymes that move fat from your arteries to your muscles slow down. 

Good cholesterol production slows 20 percent after sitting for two hours. Electrical activity shuts down in the legs and the body is less sensitive to insulin. You burn less calories and you shut down the production of lipoprotein lipase, which leads to reduced good cholesterol. 

All of these negative consequences are independent of any other health factor. In other words, no matter who you are and how healthy you think you are, you should try to avoid sitting for longer periods of time. Vigorous exercise isn’t the remedy for this problem; increased, consistent activity is. 

How to Create a Productive Treadmill Desk Workstation

Before you consider a treadmill desk, you should learn whether you have the correct space for it. You’ll need a space for the treadmill as well as a space for you to sit when you’re not walking on it. Then, you’ll have to ensure that once you slide your treadmill under the desk, you’ll have enough space to walk. 

Ensure the desk is the correct height for you to work while walking slowly. Many people like saving money when it comes to deciding on an adjustable height option, but it is perhaps the most important feature of the treadmill desk. Without the correct height, treadmill desks can be more of a hassle than a positive. You might strain your neck or back looking at the screen. It’s better to order a treadmill desk so you can adjust to your comfort level.  

What to Consider When Purchasing a Treadmill Desk

Motor Noise 

With the whisper-quiet 2.5 HP motor LifeSpan treadmills use, you won’t ever have to feel like you’re disturbing those around you. Whether your treadmill desk is at the office or at-home, you won’t have to worry about your treadmill desk disrupting your concentration. Any treadmill desk you decide on should feature a quiet motor. If they don’t feature one, you shouldn’t consider them. 


Your treadmill should remain sturdy regardless of the stress you put on it. It should facilitate your workflow, not impede it.

Table Height

Your walking desk should put you in a comfortable working position. If you must lean forward to type and you look down at your monitor, you will strain your neck and back. An adjustable height also lets you modify your desk position for others. 

Belt Width and Length 

Remember, while on a treadmill desk, you still have to concentrate on work. You don’t want to have to worry about falling off your treadmill while you’re in the middle of a breakthrough. You have to balance the length and width of the beltway with the amount of space your treadmill occupies. Consider your height, weight, and gait when weighing your options in this department. 

Tabletop Weight

You need to account for how much your desk materials weigh. If you weigh the items you plan to put on your desk and they are close to the maximum weight, consider what you can remove. 

Sitting Area

One of the critical factors at play is whether your treadmill desk has a sitting area where you can work while not walking. If you can’t envision a comfortable space to work while not walking, you might not have enough available space for a treadmill desk. 

Warranty and Assembly

Assembly might not be an issue for you if you’re accustomed to installing equipment like a treadmill desk. On the other hand, if you are pressed for time or don’t want to spend hours working on a project, you should opt for a treadmill desk with easier assembly times.

After thinking about the assembly, you should proceed to the durability of your treadmill. Respectable treadmill companies will offer generous warranties because they stick by the quality of their products. 

Special Attributes

Many treadmills have motors that lower and raise the tabletop depending on the user’s height. Others are manual. You might be able to sync your technology with your treadmill desk and desks might even have their own fitness trackers. 

Bottom Line- Do Treadmill Desks Work?

Numerous studies show the efficacy of treadmill desks. Buying one can significantly improve your work/life balance and help you establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

At LifeSpan Fitness, we believe your work environment should cater to your fitness goals, not combat them. We don’t only offer treadmill desks. We also offer bike desks, standing desks, rowers, and gym equipment. 

Contact us today to learn more about our treadmill desk offerings.