Treadmills are a nice familiar tool for all those that want to exercise and stay fit, but many office workers don’t find the time to use them. There is an alternative option in the form of office-friendly under desk treadmill. But, how does this form of exercise machine compare to the gym-quality models we are used to?
How do we bring a treadmill into a typical office space?
There isn’t the room for a typical exercise machine in an office building, unless the company has its own dedicated gym somewhere in the complex. Instead, workers need to find a compromise with a reliable treadmill that suits the space. This means something that is much smaller, portable and unobtrusive. New buyers should look out for the following factors.
The first major difference between these exercise machines and gym-ready machines is the frame. There are different approaches here depending on the situation. Some brands offer stripped down versions of the treadmill with desk space included. This allows for a frame and something to hold, but nothing as substantial as in many high-end treadmills. Many are portable belts with no frame or support at all. This means that it is just a running deck, motor and small computer system for the settings. This is the only way to ensure that these under desk treadmills are compatible with the work environment. It makes sense as workers only need to worry about the movement of their feet as they concentrate on their work.
This lack of any other parts does, however, lead to a potential downside. There is no typical console to turn to for information on the workout. Some brands do provide a small connected console for the desk, but it wont be as bold or informative as the ones in the gym.
Then there is the size of the running deck. The bigger the deck – in both width and length – the better the stride length. Here, brands may shrink these dimensions down for a more convenient product. This shouldn’t be too big an issue for stride length, as nobody should be running on this thing. But, a narrower belt can lead to some concerns about foot placement and overall safety.
Finally, there are the limitations in the capabilities of the machine. This is built for gentle movement and motion in an office setting – not long-term jogging or a good run. Therefore, the speed settings and intensity of the motor wont match up to that of the machine in the gym.
Is an under desk treadmill the right option for your at-work exercise needs?
Remember that under desk treadmills are designed for their purpose, not to compete with gym-quality models. Some will appreciate this and enjoy the convenience and simplicity of these exercise machines. As long as you can accept that they won’t be as smart or tough, you can still enjoy a good motion and improve your fitness. It just needs to tick these boxes.
- A smooth, accommodating belt for ease of movement
- A light, compact shape that is still sturdy and reliable
- Enough speed and intensity for positive results
- Some form of data and display
Those that don’t feel that this is enough, or struggle with basic under desk treadmills, will have to look else where for workplace exercise. You may have to up your willpower to hit the gym after work and have a run on the “real” thing. It all comes down to the best experience for you.