5 Best Under Desk Treadmills (Without Handles)

A woman using an under desk treadmill

Guide & Reviews to choose the Best Compact Treadmill without Handles

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Over the last couple of decades, life, as we know it today, has changed rapidly. We are now a society that doesn’t just benefit from technology, we now rely on it for virtually all of our everyday tasks and activities. The invention of the internet was, of course, ground-breaking and revolutionized modern life as we know it today. Countless tasks, which once upon a time requires a lot more physical work and manual labor could now be performed on a computer, without workers leaving their desks. It should come as no shock, however, that since more and more people started working office-based jobs, obesity levels have shot up, and there are now more chronic health conditions plaguing the general public than ever before. Leading a sedentary lifestyle and working a sedentary job might be easier on paper, but this lack of exercise is literally killing us.

So, what can be done? It’s easy to tell people to exercise more at work, but if you’re in the middle of a critical article or report, you can’t just leave your desk and go do some exercise in the break room. The solution, however, comes in the form of under desk treadmills without handles, and it is these very creations which we’re going to be looking at today. 

What is an under-desk treadmill?

An under-desk treadmill, also known as a mini treadmill or treadmill without handles, is a revolutionary new invention for office workers, and people that spend a lot of time sat down. Now, we’re sure that you all know what a treadmill is and what it looks like, so there’s no need to go over that. However, under desk treadmills are slightly different. These treadmills are designed differently and uniquely. They’re basically flat treadmills that are designed to be placed underneath a desk.

The idea then is to use them gently merely while you are working. Numerous pieces of relevant research have found that under-desk treadmills can provide countless benefits to their users. The idea behind these treadmills is that you place them under your desk, and walk or gently jog on them as you do your work, usually stood up. Typically, users utilize these under-desk treadmills for anything from 1 – 3 hours per day. They allow users to perform gentle cardiovascular exercise while working, without having to leave their desk and interrupt their workflow. Needless to say, you will need to use them with a standing desk, as you wouldn’t be able to utilize them while sat down at a regular-sized desk for obvious reasons. These treadmills provide countless benefits for their users, which is why it’s so important to purchase the right ones. 

Best Under-Desk Treadmills 2020

Top 5 Compact Treadmills on US & Canada

Well, 2019 is nearly over, and it’s safe to say that we have seen significant developments and advances in under desk treadmills this year. But which were the best? Well, while that is, of course, subjective, we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the top under-desk treadmills of 2019. 

1. iMovR ThermoTread GT

iMovR ThermoTread GT Desk Treadmill
iMovR ThermoTread GT Under Desk Treadmill

This is an under-desk treadmill like no other as it is the only one which tracks standing, walking, and even sitting. It is the exercise equivalent of a smartphone as it features a touchscreen LCD display, plus it also provides a very quiet operation so it won’t disrupt you or your colleagues as you use it.

Built to last, this treadmill is ideal for those looking for a treadmill to use at work to help them get their steps up and to monitor their progress. 

  • Hard-wearing
  • LCD touchscreen design
  • Tracks walking, running, sitting, and standing
  • Tracks speed, distance, calories burned, steps, time, and more…
  • Different pre-sets to monitor multiple users so ideal for use in the workplace where more than one user will likely use it
  • Powerful 3HP 4000 RPM DC motor
  • Can be a little confusing to figure out all of the settings at first

2. Lifespan TR1200-DT3

LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill
LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill

The Lifespan TR1200-DT3 under-desk treadmill features a non-slip running surface, console readouts, which will tell you calories burned, distance, speed, steps, etc.

Besides, the small and compact size is making it ideal for home offices or offices and workspaces that may be lacking in capacity. 

  • Lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Non-slip running surface
  • Max user weight of 350-pounds
  • Accurate console readouts
  • Track and monitor your workouts and progress
  • Slightly less powerful motor than most, at just 2.25HP
  • Heavier than some users expected

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3. Rebel treadmill 1000

Rebel Treadmill 1000 Under Desk Treadmill
Rebel Treadmill 1000 Under Desk Treadmill

At just 10-inches in height at the device’s tallest point, the Rebel treadmill 1000 really is the perfect space-saving solution for office environments where exercise is lacking. Fitting snugly under a standing desk, this treadmill allows the user to walk at a leisurely pace as they work at the same time. At just 88 pounds in weight, it comes ready assembled, so you simply plug it in and away you go.

The frame features a 20-year warranty, whereas the parts have a 2-year warranty for peace of mind. The detachable console features a start and stop function, as well as an emergency stop for times when you need to stop the treadmill suddenly. This treadmill is ideal for those on a budget who simply want an under-desk treadmill that does exactly what it says on the box. 

  • Small and compact design
  • Just 10 inches in height
  • 20-year warranty on the frame
  • User-friendly
  • Ready assembled
  • Easy to utilize
  • 2-year warranty on parts
  • Stylish design
  • Treadmill is a little louder than other similar models

4. Titan Fitness Under Desk Treadmill

Titan under desk treadmill
Titan under desk treadmill

Coming in at number 4 on our list, we have the Titan Fitness Under Desk Treadmill. With a top speed of 4mph, it allows users to operate the device and walk on the treadmill to their heart’s content, all while getting in a great workout in the process. The treadmill comes with a handy portable console that conveniently sits on your desk so you can operate the treadmill as you work and adjust accordingly. There is also a safety key that clips onto the user’s clothing, which initiates an emergency stop if the user slips or loses his footing. Users can track their workouts and monitor how many calories they’ve burnt off, steps taken, distance covered, speed, and so on. 

There is also a safety key that clips onto the user’s clothing, which initiates an emergency stop if the user slips or loses his footing. Users can track their workouts and monitor how many calories they’ve burnt off, steps taken, distance covered, speed, and so on. 

  • Portable and convenient console
  • Emergency shut off feature
  • Track distance, calories, steps, speed, time, etc
  • Small and compact design
  • User-friendly
  • Compatible with the FITSHOW app
  • Variable speed adjustments in half mph increments
  • Wide track walking surface
  • Max user weight is just 250-pounds
  • The device weighs in at 114 lbs, so it is not the lightest

5. Goplus Under Desk Electric Treadmill

Goplus under desk treadmill
Goplus under desk treadmill

Finally, if you’re into your gadgets, and we’ve a sneaking suspicion that you will be, the Goplus under desk electric treadmill is for you. This device is one of the more technologically advanced under desk treadmills currently on the market today. It has a widened walking platform offering users plenty of walking space.

The treadmill also has a shockproof design and safety features, in-built programs, a top speed of 4mph, a touchscreen multifunction LCD display, rubber feet for noise-reduction, and to protect the floor, the ability to track calories, distance, steps, and time. Finally, it has a wireless remote control effective for distances up to 15 meters away. 

  • 55.5lbs in weight
  • Wireless remote control
  • Noise-reduction features
  • 2 in-built programs
  • Top speed of 4mph
  • Wide walking platform
  • Touchscreen LCD display
  • Small and compact size
  • Max user weight of this treadmill is just 220-pounds

Compact Under-Desk Treadmills Buying Guide

Everything you need to know

Why not use a regular treadmill?

Now that we’ve looked at some of the most popular under-desk treadmills currently on the market today, we now need to take a look at why people should opt for walking under desk treadmills as opposed to those designed for running. Now, running treadmills, like those you see at the gym, are designed differently to under-desk walking treadmills. These running treadmills provide insufficient levels of torque when operated at low speeds. This means that using them at slow speeds for walking on for a prolonged amount of time is a recipe for a damaged treadmill. As they are not designed to be operated at such low speeds, frequent use in this manner can result in them becoming damaged or broken, in which case you would need to get them repaired or buy a replacement.

Either way, your bank account is taking a hit, which could quite easily have been avoided. Now, the main difference between the two is that office walking treadmills do not have safety handles like regular treadmills do. Rather than a large display screen, there is instead a small portable console that you place onto your desk and operate it that way. Using a regular treadmill would not only damage the machine, but because of the pedestal console and safety handles, actually reaching your laptop and desk to work would be near impossible, and you’d get nothing done. Not only that, but walking treadmills also have shorter bases, because users can’t run on them. The faster the treadmill, the longer the base and walking/running platform would need to be. 

Features to Consider before buying an under-desk treadmill

So, now that you know what an under-desk treadmill is, why they’re beneficial, the differences between commercial treadmills, and some of the best devices on the market so far, we’re now going to help you choose the right one. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to purchase one to use at home while you work, or if you’re an employer looking to help your employees get fit and healthy, choosing the right walking under desk treadmill is vital. To help you make the right choice, here’s our ultimate under-desk treadmill buying guide. 

Consider your environment – First and foremost, one of the first things you need to consider when deciding on an under-desk treadmill is the environment it will be located in. Remember, even though these treadmills are smaller than average, they still take up a lot of room, and they need plenty of clearance. If the office or desk area that you plan on using the treadmill/treadmills in is cluttered with not a great deal of open space, you will either need to reconsider or make some adjustments to the room in question. Ideally, you want plenty of clearance behind, in front, and to the sides. If the room in question is lacking space and is quite cluttered, throwing an under-desk treadmill in there will pose a severe safety risk. If you are an employer, if an employee was to become injured using one of these treadmills, you could potentially face legal action and may be sued or prosecuted. Yes, health and safety in the workplace really is taken that seriously. 

Will noise be an issue? – Okay, we’ve mentioned a few times how under-desk treadmills are designed to be much quieter than standard treadmills, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they’re silent. If you plan on installing under-desk treadmills at work, you need to ask yourself whether the noise will be an issue. Not every employee will want to use the treadmill, and if you install them in the same office where other employees are trying to concentrate, the noise could be an issue. If so, it is best to have a designated area in another room/office away from other employees that would prefer to work in silence. 

Will the treadmills be a distraction – First and foremost, if you’re an employer and are trying to run a business, making money and ensuring that your business succeeds will be your main priority. A company is only as strong as its employees. If you find that your employee productivity is dipping because of the installation of under-desk treadmills, this will need rectifying. Under-desk treadmills are quite the novelty, and naturally, when you install them, employees will all come over to be inquisitive and take a look at what they are and how they work. This may result in them falling behind on their work.

Furthermore, the noise of the machines could be distracting, as we mentioned earlier. As well as that, if you’re sat at your desk and you can see somebody in your peripheral vision walking and jerking around while using the treadmill and working, this could be off-putting. Again, it is best to have designed rooms and workspaces purely for employees who are looking to use these treadmills while they work, leaving the rest of the employees to get on with what they’re supposed to be doing. 

Floor space – We’ve mentioned how the environment that the treadmills will be placed in is so important, but how about floor space? Exactly how much floor space do you have to spare, and how much is needed? To support the length of the treadmill, you will require at least 6-feet in length of free floor space. Behind the treadmill, you will expect at least 3-feet of clearance. The desk, however, will also take up space, and it will naturally be wider than the treadmill itself by quite a fair amount. These widths can vary from around 40 inches, up to an average of 75 inches. Now, if you are just using the treadmill for your home office, if you can find the space, you can go with a wider desk. In offices and shared environments where space is lacking, typically, you’ll find that 38 – 40-inch desks are the most common. Before installing the treadmills, take measurements and ensure that they will fit with the amount of free floor space you have. 

Safety – Walking under-desk treadmills are considered to be much, much safer than regular treadmills, but when it comes to any form of physical activity, accidents do happen. As an employer, you simply must ensure that you cover all bases when installing these treadmills in the workplace, especially those relating to safety. The last thing you want is for an employee to injure themselves on one of these treadmills at work. First off, it’s not nice to see a valued employee injured, and secondly, there is the risk of being sued and legal action. Consider the max walking speed of the treadmills, and if safety is an issue, we recommend treadmills with a max walking speed of just 2mph. This is low enough to be safe, yet still high enough to be beneficial. If the treadmill is for home use and you are feeling a little bolder and want to step up the intensity slightly, you can opt for a walking treadmill with a top speed of around 4mph. All under-desk treadmills should come complete with an emergency shut off and safety button. If not, don’t even consider investing in one as it isn’t safe. 

Price – Now, in an ideal world, cost would be no object when buying under-desk treadmills. Life is not perfect, though; in fact, it is quite the opposite, and most of us have limited budgets when it comes to these types of expenses. Even though there are various tax incentives which can be enjoyed by installing under-desk treadmills at work, they still aren’t the cheapest in the world. Do your research and see how much the average price of a decent treadmill seems to be. Don’t just look for the most affordable treadmill that you can find as the cheaper budget ones will likely be inferior, flimsy, and potentially unsafe. Figure out the average price, decide how many you can afford and fit in your office, and then give yourself a budget and try to stick to it whenever possible. 

Read reviews – Under-desk treadmills are just like any other fitness products out there. Some are efficient and are great value for money, and others, well, they’re not so great. We want you to purchase the best possible quality under desk treadmill that you can find, which is why it’s so important to take the time to read reviews. Reviews left by previous customers who have purchased specific models of under desk treadmills give you an idea of the overall quality and function of the devices. Some are, of course, great and others, not so much. Reviews help you determine which ones are worth purchasing and which ones are worth avoiding. When you come across a model of under desk treadmill that you like the look of, be sure to take the time to search online for reviews left by other people. Ideally, you want to find a model with heaps of positive reviews, though if reviews are 100% positive, sometimes this can be suspicious as manufacturers have been known to remove negative reviews and only post positive ones. You should also be wary of models with no reviews of feedback at all, as this means that you’ll have no idea of whether or not it is any good. 

Usage – Another critical factor to take into consideration is how much usage you anticipate the treadmill to receive. If the treadmill is intended for use at home, it obviously won’t receive a tremendous amount of use, maybe 3 – 6 hours per week? If the treadmill is intended for use at work, by multiple employees, though, the usage will be considerably higher. This means that you need to take into consideration the overall quality of the treadmill before buying. If you intend to buy a treadmill for use by multiple workers, it will get a lot of use and will need to be hard-wearing and of a high spec. This means you may wish to look into commercial quality models. If you just want a good quality under-desk treadmill that you can use at home a few hours per week, you can look at models designed for home use. 

Don’t forget the desk – So far we’ve only focussed on the treadmills, but now it’s time for us to look at desks. Without the right standing treadmill desk, your device is useless. There are two types of standing treadmill desk. You can either go with an integrated desk or a free-standing desk. The built-in desk is attached to the treadmill. The free-standing one stands alone. When it comes to choosing a desk, you need to deice on which one is right for you and your requirements. Ideally, you want a desk that is adjustable because different workers are different heights. A 6ft 3 worker, for example, is not going to have the desk set at the same height as a 5ft 2 worker. Again, you will also need to make sure that the desk itself fits where you need it to install and doesn’t take up much space. 

Under-Desk Treadmills FAQ

What questions do users have?

Before we leave you to jump online and start searching for your ideal under-desk treadmill, we’re going to leave you with a few frequently asked questions and answers, of course, relating to under-desk treadmills. Some of the most common questions people ask about under-desk treadmills are the following: 

Can you run on an under-desk treadmill?

No. These treadmills are sometimes known as walking treadmills, and they are not designed for running. Because of this, they only have top speeds of between 2 and 4mph, which is certainly not running speed. Running while trying to work would be dangerous as there are no safety bars or rails. Besides which, you wouldn’t be able to type up an accounting report if you’re sprinting at 14mph. 

Can you lose weight with an under-desk treadmill?

Yes. The idea behind these devices is that they counter the ill-effects of sedentary office jobs by providing gentle cardiovascular exercise as you work. Walking is an excellent form of cardio, and if you watch your diet and use these treadmills enough, you will create a caloric deficit, which will result in you dropping weight. 

Do under-desk treadmills require maintenance?

Generally, not really. These machines will look after themselves if you do your part and use them as instructed. Many of them also offer warranties for additional peace of mind. For hygiene reasons, we do recommend keeping them clean. 

Is there a max amount of time the treadmills can be used?

Generally, no. The exercise is gentle walking, and there is usually no time limit on how long you can walk. Most businesses find that the treadmills get between 6 and 8 hours of use per day, by multiple users. 

How easy is it to move the treadmill, as I have limited storage? 

Very easy. These treadmills generally are just flat platforms roughly 8 – 10 inches in height. They weigh between 45 – 120 pounds on average, so they are portable and can snugly slide under beds if storage is an issue. 

Is it really possible to work efficiently when using under-desk treadmills? 

As you might expect, people often worry that they won’t be able to focus and work when walking on a treadmill. Studies have found that once using the treadmill becomes routine, it becomes second nature, and you will work just as efficiently as you would if you were sat at your desk. Exercise boosts blood flow and oxygen transportation, which actually helps to improve brain power so you may even work more efficiently. 

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