Best under-desk treadmills to work out while you’re working

An under-desk treadmill is a great way to keep ourselves fit

best under-desk treadmills

by Bryony Firth-Bernard |
Updated on

For anyone who works from home or spends a lot of time in the house, the best under-desk treadmills are a great way to stay active. Under-desk treadmills, also known as 'walkpads' are a great alternative to a full-sized treadmill as they don't take up as much space but will still help you get the steps in, which is important if you have a pretty sedentary lifestyle. By using one as part of your home workout routine, you can lower the risk of health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. It can also help with forward head posture, caused by hunching over your desk.

Best under-desk treadmills at a glance:

• Best overall under-desk treadmill: Goyouth 2 in 1 Under Desk Electric Treadmill – view on Amazon UK
• Best compact under-desk treadmill: JTX Fitness Movelight: Walking Treadmill – view on JTX Fitness
• Best quiet under-desk treadmill: Rattantree Under Desk Treadmill with Remote Control – view on Debenhams

Just like a mini exercise bike, under-desk treadmills are usually small, compact and lightweight, making them easier to move from desk to desk. Some even have wheels on the bottom or fold up, so that you can easily store them away when not in use. However, unlike a normal home treadmill, they’re designed for slow pacing so that they're suitable to use whilst working, with most models having a speed range from 0.5 up to 4mph.

In order to live a healthy lifestyle we should aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, between four to five days. The nest under-desk treadmills offer a great way to keep this up, especially if you struggle to get out and about. To help you achieve these health goals, we've found the best under-desk treadmills, so that you can keep moving whilst at home, burn calories and improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Best under-desk treadmills 2024

Best overall under-desk treadmill

This under-desk treadmill comes with everything you want: a sleek design, activity counter, work programmes, a built-in Bluetooth speaker, and wheels underneath for easy transporting and for just under £400. It may not come with handlebars, like some of the other models listed, but apart from that, you’re really looking at a decent under-desk treadmill that does everything you want and, more importantly, need. Its top speed is 6kph, while its non-slip running belt makes pacing and light jogging safer on this treadmill.

Customer review: "I've been using this treadmill for several months now and I've been happy with it. It's super easy to move and feels like good quality. The remote works well. It is kind of loud so I usually put it away if I have a meeting that I need to talk on. My one issue with it is that the distance tracker isn't accurate. Not a big deal, but can be kind of confusing. Overall, I would definitely recommend it."

Pros

  • Decent speed
  • 12 workout programmes
  • Bluetooth speakers

Cons

  • Reviewers have commented that the distance tracker is a little 'off'
  • Doesn't come with handlebars

Best compact under-desk treadmill

Whether you want to do some walking or light jogging whilst working, this treadmill has a compact design so that it can fit snugly under your desk. We love that you don’t have to fuss around on the floor with different buttons to get this treadmill going, as it’s controlled with a remote control so that you can keep track of your speed, calories and activity data via the LED screen. Speed-wise, this treadmill goes up to 6kph, which is a good pace for some light jogging and it even has wheels underneath for easy manoeuvring. Worried you’ll be disturbed while working? Don’t be. Its eight-piece elastic cushion deck ensures this treadmill is super quiet so that you can remain in full focus while pacing.

Pros

  • Large LED screen for easy viewing
  • Compact
  • Sleek design
  • Low step-on/off safety feature

Cons

  • No safety rails

Best quiet under-desk treadmill

Rattantree Under Desk Treadmill with Remote Control
Price: £152.99 (was £249.99)

www.debenhams.com

If you're planning on using an under-desk treadmill while you're working at your desk, you'll want one that isn't going to disturb you too much with the tasks you've got to hand. The Rattantree Under Desk Treadmill with Remote Control is designed to be quieter than most under-desk treadmills as it's got an ultra-quiet motor and a durable steel frame that help with noise reduction. It's also got shock absorption to bring you a comfortable running experience. It's got a remote control that you can make the speed faster or slower while running or walking without needing to look at the screen.

Customer review: "Happy I chose this treadmill as I had looked at foldable options but this one is slim and not too heavy so therefore easily moved and stored. Good investment if you are looking for something that doesn't get in your way."

Pros

  • Wide running area
  • 10kph top speed
  • Wireless remote control

Cons

  • Not completely foldable

Best inclined under-desk treadmill

This under-desk treadmill has a five-degree incline to make your walk or jog, that little bit harder. Its walking speed goes up to 5kph however, when you pop up the handrails on the side, it goes up to 6kph. Unlike the other under-desk treadmills, this model can be controlled by your phone via an app, as well as by a remote control (which is handy in case you misplace it). Its silver-red combo has a sporty feel to it and its built-in wheels make it easy to move about. 

Customer review: "Like many people, I'm working from home now - and struggle to get enough movement in. I bought a standing desk, which is brilliant, but I can't stand still or I get back ache. There's only so much dancing I can do while attempting to work at the same time! This is the perfect solution to getting movement and working! The fact that there's an incline means that I'm working hard even at a relatively low pace. I was a little concerned about the incline as I've had plantar fasciitis, and have little flexibility in my heels. I get shin splints and calf strain easily. I needn't have worried, as five degrees is enough to make me warm, but not to go for my lower legs."

Pros

  • Inclined for a harder walk
  • Sporty design
  • App-controlled

Cons

  • Can only go up to 6kph when handrails are up

Best foldable under-desk treadmill

As well as getting you moving on your feet more whilst working, under-desk treadmills are a brilliant piece of fitness equipment to have if you live in a small space. This model in particular is ideal for smaller homes as not only is its design slim and sleek, but it also folds up, making it even smaller when it comes to storage. It's the lightest under-desk treadmill we've listed too, weighing just 25kg, and has wheels underneath so that it's even easier to move. It doesn't come with any handlebars, so is primarily suitable for walking only as it goes up to 6kph. This treadmill has the option of being controlled from either a remote or an app, that you can download on your phone, and it will keep track of all your important activity data via the LED screen. We also really like that it has a special lock feature that can be controlled via the app, to stop children from misusing it.

Customer review: "Sleek and compact, folds up and has rollers for easy location change/storage. It’s reasonably quiet and the remote makes it easy to switch up your walk speed. All in all it was what I was looking for, for my needs."

Pros

  • Available in black and white
  • Ligthweight
  • wheels underneath and folds up for easy storage
  • Child-lock feature in the app
  • Step on/off safety feature

Cons

  • No handlebars
  • No workout programmes

Best lightweight under-desk treadmill

With a slim and compact design, wheels for mobility and a weight of 27kg, the Bluefin Fitness Kick Lite Walking Pad will easily store away when you're not training and folds to fit under your desk so you can train while doing your day job. It has a remote to control 15 different training programs during your workout and an LED display that you can monitor the stats of your fitness goals and your speeds of up to 8kph while you're working out. It is fitted with an auto lubrication system which will create smooth, low-noise performance, plus a cushioning running belt to support a softer and quieter workout experience.

Customer review: "This is an excellent walking treadmill that’s ideal for use with a standing desk. It’s surprisingly light weight once out of the box and incredibly easy to set up. It’s more or less ready to go out of the box with only a little bit of effort required for the handlebar. The walking surface is a great size and is great to walk on. It comes with a nice and responsive remote to control the speed. There is a supported app but it’s not essential to use the treadmill. It’s quite costly and probably not really worth your time. It’s also fairly quiet which is ideal if using it when working. Overall I am very happy with this product and will continue to use it."

Pros

  • Speedy
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • 15 workout programmes

Cons

  • Reviewers have commented that the packaging is quite heavy

Recommended under-desk treadmill

The folding treadmill from CITYSPORTS is another one you should consider when looking for an under-desk treadmill. It’s even lighter than the JXT model featured earlier in this list and, again, has wheels underneath so you’ll have no problem moving it around your home. However, the actual size of the treadmill itself is bigger, so just make sure you have enough space to store it. The silent belt ensures family, or colleagues, aren’t disturbed while your treadmill is in use and there’s a LED screen to keep track of your progress, which is controlled via a remote. But what we really like about this treadmill is the frame bars it comes with to provide extra support (just in case you do want to go for a brisk jog).

Customer review: "I am really pleased with this treadmill. I am in my seventies and this has helped me get that bit of extra exercise — whilst watching TV. I had a good read of the instuctions as I was setting it up and got going with no problems. I took a bit of time over the first few days to adjust the belt so that it didn't go off to one side too much, and I have been using it nearly everday to walk a couple of miles at between 3½ and 4½ mph."

Pros

  • Decent speed variety — goes up to 6kph
  • 12 workout programmes to choose from
  • Comes with safety rails

Cons

  • Rails aren't adjustable

FAQs

What do I need to consider when buying an under-desk treadmill?

Space: Although the best under-desk treadmills are significantly smaller than a regular treadmill, you'll still want to pay attention to its dimensions, shape and whether or not it's foldable (as this will make storing easier). If you're planning to use it underneath your work desk, make sure there's enough room there too.

Speed: The average adult walks at about 3mph. If you’re planning to use your treadmill desk to fit in a couple of walks or light jogs, make sure you pick one that has the speed and stability to support this. Most under-desk treadmills don’t come with handles to hold onto which can make pacey walks and running difficult to do, although some do.

Other features: Some under-desk treadmills can be controlled via remote controls, apps or by hand, so think about how you'd like to control yours. Some models can be quite noisy too, so if you’re working in an office setting you’ll most likely want to choose a model that has a quiet belt. Safety features are another common feature on many under-desk treadmills, with many turning off when you step off of it. If this is an important feature to you, then do keep it in mind whilst shopping for one.

Maximum user weight: Understandably, under-desk treadmills can't manage the same weight as a standard treadmill, as they're significantly smaller. Many models have a maximum weight capacity of 100kg (just over 220 lbs).

Budget: As with every piece of at-home gym equipment, you'll need to consider your budget and how much you're going to use your under-desk treadmill. We're all a bit guilty of rushing to buy the latest thing on our wishlists but then it sits gathering dust after the novelty has worn off. If you're not sure whether you're going to get a lot of use out of a walking pad, you may want to consider a budget treadmill to use under your desk and then upgrading to a better model after you've made the most use out of it.

woman on treadmill desk

What are the health benefits of an under-desk treadmill?

As this is a piece of equipment that encourages walking, the benefits will be similar. As a cardiovascular activity, walking is great for increasing blood flow around the body, while lowering our blood pressure. It’s also great for boosting our energy levels too, as it increases the release of endorphins (one of our happy hormones) and is a brilliant physical activity to help us lose weight. Overall, it’s a fantastic activity for our physical health and our mental health, especially when done outdoors in nature.

What are the drawbacks of an under-desk treadmill?

While the best under-desk treadmills can help us stay active whilst we work, it’s important not to forget to still take time away from your screen. As we’ve stated in the above question, walking, outdoors especially, is great for your mental health, so make sure you try to fit some in during those lighter months to get your daily dose of Vitamin D and to contribute towards a healthy mindset.

An under-desk treadmill won't always be for everyone either. If you struggle to multitask, then you may be more prone to tripping whilst on your under-desk treadmill. This could lead to an injury, or you simply may struggle to get work done. Also, if you have any underlying health conditions make sure you check with your GP that it’s safe for you to use one before you start.

Bryony Firth-Bernard is a Digital Writer, contributing to Yours. On the weekend she loves whipping up new recipes in the kitchen and spending time with her friends and family.

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