Desk treadmills are an ingenious solution to our modern, sedentary lifestyle. Simply put, the name of the game with treadmill desks is to encourage movement during our most inactive part of the day – sitting at a computer. Not only are they smaller and more compact than traditional treadmills, but they are also cheaper. In this guide, we explain the basics of desk treadmills, the different varieties and best models to look into.
Desktop Treadmills Explained
The overall scientific consensus is that sitting is bad for our health. Too much time spent sitting at a desk (that’s periods of 30 – 45 minutes or more), can seriously damage your health. As we embrace increasingly sedentary lifestyles, companies have looked for better ways to tap into the health-conscious market of desk workers. Although they’re not designed to replace any vigorous form of exercise, the desk treadmill is intended to help promote a more active lifestyle and mitigate the problems associated with sitting by reducing the time spent stationary at desks. As such, there are a wide variety of desk treadmills out there. From standing desk treadmills to under-the-desk ellipticals and cycles, the desktop treadmill has been tweaked to fit a whole host of working types.
But there’s more to treadmill desks than increased health and wellbeing: they may also increase work productivity. As the old saying goes, “a healthy worker is a productive worker”. By keeping yourself moving during work, you are realistically reducing the chances of sedentary-related mortality. After all, scientific research suggests that stationary occupations are a major contributor to obesity, diabetes and other such health concerns. So, given the positive effects of desk treadmills, what are the types to look out for?
Types of Desk Treamill
Under-the-desk treadmills are small, compact ellipticals or cycles which can be placed under your existing desk. They help encourage physical activity without being too burdensome in size and space. Something like the FitDesk Under Desk Ellipticalslots easily under compact desks and can be adjusted to fit your feet resting position. It provides a greater physical exertion than simply sitting and can be used at all times when on the computer.
Other models like the Cubii provide a more extensive range of features, including digital syncing with mobile apps to keep track of your distance and calories burned. Alternatively, cheap and cheerful “mini-bike” products like the Himaly and Reviber can be pedalled under the desk with a host of changeable settings.
Full Treadmill Desks
Full treadmill desks integrate a desk on top of a traditional treadmill layout. These are more conspicuous and imposing than under-the-desk solutions. However, they can be far more rewarding in the long run. For one, you spend the majority of your time walking instead of sitting at a desk and moving your feet, utilising your whole body. Something like the Office Fitness Desk Walker GX or LifeSpan Treadmill Desk come with a sturdy desk attached over a base treadmill. Of course, this can also be disassembled to create a base treadmill on its own. Your work desk may itself work handily over one of these base model treadmills.
Work treadmills like these come in all shapes and sizes, so it depends on how big your office space is as to which to buy. Many, like the Office Fitness Desk Walker GX, are able to fold neatly away, allowing you to alternate between your treadmill desk and normal desk setup. Although these can be an ideal way to stay fit whilst working away on the computer, they take some getting used to and cannot be used for significantly long stretches of time (especially for beginners). You need to effectively find the right balance between treadmill and sitting.
All-in-one Cycle Desks
Desktop health isn’t just about treadmills and ellipticals; there are a wide variety of cycle desks like the UpLift Recumberent and Flexisport Desk Bike. These allow you to cycle whilst typing away at your desk. These can be beneficial when working because you work against gain and resistance. Like treadmill desks, they can be synced with your mobile and provide up-to-date statistics on calories burned and distances travelled.
Choosing a Desk Treadmill
If you’re working for hours behind a desk with few breaks for stretches or physical activity, you will benefit greatly from implementing a treadmill into your desktop setup. They will help against diabetes and cardiovascular disease, whilst helping you feel better about your work. That means no more droopy afternoons, tired eyes or sitting cramps. Choosing which treadmill to go for will depend entirely on your budget and size constraints. Cheap and simple solutions include under-the-desk treadmills, base treadmills and cycles. More comprehensive and expensive models will include all-in-one integrate desks with dedicated (and sturdy) worktops designed for intensive use. Whichever you choose, you’ll reap the benefits of including physical activity into your normally stationary office routine.