Yes! You want a treadmill desk? That’s my favorite kind! No sitting option! EXTREME!! Ahem… there are actually many reasons why I prefer a walking desk over a simple standing desk. After having used both, believe it or not, walking is actually easier than standing. (After you stop walking is another story.) When I’m just standing, my legs want to move. I put all my weight on on leg, then the other, then I end up doing some weird yoga poses; it’s sort of unnatural feeling. Ah… but walking… walking is something we’re pretty darn good at. We can multitask pretty well while walking. We can eat, talk, chew gum, play sports, all while moving our legs. I think it’s the way to go! But you can still stand on the treadmill if you like.
Pros of a Treadmill Desk
* Movement feels more natural than stationary standing.
* Increases blood circulation and oxygen flow to your brain.
* Combat a sedentary lifestyle.
* Many health benefits that are better than even standing at your desk.
* Can be pretty cheap if you can find the right desk.
Cons of a Treadmill Desk
* Kind of noisy, especially if you’ve worked your way to higher speeds.
* If you’re not in shape yet, it can make you very tired at the end of the day, causing concentration sensitive work to suffer.
* Can be expensive if you can’t find the right desk.
There are really only 3 options for a treadmill desk currently.
Option 1) The LifeSpan Series Treadmill Desk series.
This is a “works out of the box” combination treadmill and desk. It’s expensive, heavy, specialized, and only has a single level workspace. It’s a nifty plug and chug option, but the fact that it’s so expensive, yet has so many flaws makes me hesitant to recommend it, even at a lower price point. The desk is single level, meaning that in order to get proper ergonomics, you would need to buy an additional monitor arm or keyboard tray. Also, it’s big and hard to move around or ship (in case it goes bad.) For something so expensive, you’d expect there to be a pretty good warranty to come with it, however, according to reviews, people have been having problems with the company being unresponsive or not having repair people in their areas. Sure, expensive is often indicative of quality, but it also poses more risk in case something goes wrong. If you get a cheaper treadmill, you may not even care if it goes bad after a year or two since, for the price of this LifeSpan treadmill, you could buy a cheaper one several times over.
Option 2) Buy a treadmill and desk separately. (RECOMMENDED)
If you are more cost conscious or don’t mind putting in a bit of work and modification to put together and optimize your desk ergonomics, then buying the treadmill separately from the desk is not only cheaper, but can also give you better ergonomics, value, and quality. Firstly, you can visit my adjustable standing desk or standing desk only pages to get an idea of which desks are compatible with a treadmill. Also, you may want to visit the ergonomics page to figure out what desk and monitor height will allow you to work with minimal risk of injury. As for the treadmill itself, there are basically only a few options available.
The first thing that should jump out is that the Confidence Power Plus Treadmill is a lot cheaper than the other two. There is a reason for this! It isn’t designed to be used as a treadmill-desk treadmill and requires a bit of modification in order to turn it into something usable. In short, you have to remove the “arms” so it will fit under your desk, you have to disable the speaker because it’s loud and annoying, you have to prop up the back of the treadmill because it’s naturally at an unwanted incline, and you may want to disable the timer “feature” so that the treadmill doesn’t stop every half hour. Instructions for all of this and more can be found on my Confidence Power Plus Treadmill Review page. The benefits of the LifeSpan or Rebel treadmills is that they don’t have post purchase modifications to perform (which can potentially void the warranty on the confidence power plus model) and they don’t have the 30 minute shut off timer. They are much more heavy. The Rebel is 88lbs shipped and the LifeSpan is 145lbs shipped! The Confidence Power Plus is only 57lbs shipped, and it’s light enough for me to move around pretty easily alone. If you have the money (if I had the money too) I’d probably give the Rebel treadmill a go since it has pretty good reviews and looks solid. For now though, I’m on my second Confidence Power Plus treadmill in about 3 years time. (The second time I got the SquareTrade 3-Year Fitness Equipment Warranty though, a good deal considering I doubt they calculate treadmill desk users into their calculations for failure probabilities.)
Option 3) Buy a desk to use over an existing treadmill.
There are really only 2 options available for this kind of desk. The ever so highly rated TrekDesk Treadmill Desk (I’m a bit skeptical about those ratings though) and the Go Treadmill Desk. Both of these options are single level, which means they will require a monitor stand or keyboard tray to obtain proper ergonomics, and they are kind of ridiculously expensive for a desk. I guess if your treadmill wouldn’t be used otherwise, then the ~$500 bucks for a TrekDesk might actually be a good investment.