Health

I Finally Caved And Bought A Desk Treadmill—Here’s My Honest Review

By Anna Hartman
·  8 min read
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Overhyped TikTok craze or the best modern invention for busy women? I finally caved and bought an under-the-desk treadmill, and I’m here to share my unfiltered thoughts.

As someone who has worked from home since before the pandemic started, I’ve always loved the idea of owning a desk treadmill. If I’m being totally honest, working out always seemed like a nightmare to me (you certainly won’t catch me in a traditional gym), so a relaxing, long walk and a free workout video here and there has really been the extent of my fitness regime. I lost over 40 lbs and got in the best shape of my life without stepping foot in a gym after giving birth to my first baby a couple of years ago, so I definitely know how powerful consistency and getting 10k steps a day can truly be. 

The one thing that has always fascinated me, though, has been efficiency. I’m always looking for ways that I can do a task better, more quickly, and more effectively. Since I work full-time from home, have a toddler, a dog, am pregnant with my second child, and take care of my household, wasting time on anything really isn’t in the cards. Ultimately, that’s why I decided to take the plunge and (after tons of research) spend $350 on an under-the-desk treadmill 6 weeks ago. 

Okay, now let’s get into the nitty-gritty. I’ve seen countless sponsored articles, TikTok videos, and YouTube ads of women sharing their experiences with desk treadmills, but that’s not what this is. I spent my (husband’s) hard-earned money on this fitness gadget, and I’ve got no PR firm to answer to, so I really have no incentive to sugarcoat my thoughts. With that being said, here’s my honest review of the desk treadmill:  

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Pros

10k Steps a Day Is No Problem

Tight, sculpted booty, here I come. Like I said, consistently getting 10k steps a day is what helped me get in the best shape of my life last time I gave birth, so I decided to get back into that habit while I’m still pregnant to make the postpartum process a tad easier this time around. Before the desk treadmill, if I took two walks a day (using up nearly 2 hours during daylight), I barely hit the 10k milestone on my FitBit. Now, if I walk on the treadmill while I’m working, I can hit 10k easily in 2 hours, and then any additional outdoor walk, exercise, or household chores just adds to that number. Since I started using the treadmill, my FitBit has hit between 11k and 16k steps every day without fail. 

Decent Weather Not Necessary

I thought it would make me skip my daily outdoor walk, but that hasn’t been the case… when it’s not freezing or raining. Before my desk treadmill, I felt extremely guilty if I didn’t force myself to bundle up and get outside for a walk every single day. This was especially hard during the winter months because it got so dark so early in the day. Whenever I tried to take my son and dog out on a walk after work, I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder since it was nearly pitch black outside and I was the only one on the walking path. Now, it’s something that brings me joy rather than something that feels like a chore. If it’s decently warm and light outside, I take them and consider it a “bonus” for getting more than 10k steps that day. 

Increased Efficiency

As I mentioned, getting work done and a workout in at the same time is the best-case scenario for any woman who has a busy schedule. I could either sit or walk while I’m at my desk; I’m going to be working either way, so it makes the decision very easy to kill two birds with one stone.

Interestingly enough, it also somehow makes me more efficient at my job. Since I’ve been using it, I’ve found that I get through editing articles more quickly, and I feel more focused and energized to tackle difficult tasks. Maybe it’s because I’m stuck in one place and am not constantly getting up from my desk, or maybe it’s the increased blood flow and endorphins that working out is giving me that’s making my job easier. 

Not only am I getting a workout in while I’m working, but it makes me more efficient at my job.

Lightweight and Compact

Although I do have to move the desk treadmill every day (multiple times) to position it either to walk or to sit in my chair at my desk, the treadmill is fairly lightweight. All I have to do is slide it across the floor a bit to either put my chair in its place or to walk on it. And for a functional, well-made treadmill, it really is as compact as it can be. 

Makes Healthy Decisions Easier throughout the Day

Am I tempted to snack on chips or a cookie at my desk while I’m working out? Not at all. While that may make for a funny viral video taken of someone at the gym, I realize how counterproductive that would actually be. If I’m on the treadmill working, I’m either sipping on black tea or water. It’s more difficult (and not as satisfying) as you might think to eat while walking and typing, so it’s easy to save my calories for the time when I can sit down at our kitchen table during lunch and enjoy a real meal without distractions. 

I’ve definitely increased my water intake throughout the day, though, and I think it’s because I have my water jug within arm’s reach. It does make hopping off my treadmill to go to the bathroom more often a pain (especially while I’m 35 weeks pregnant), but I’ll take it for the glowing, hydrated skin. 

Babywearing Made Possible During Workouts 

The reason I even thought of getting this initially was because I remember how much my first son loved to be worn and bounced (literally 24 hours a day) and how babywearing was the best way to get things done. During the first 6 months of his life, that’s the only way I worked from home (or cooked, or cleaned). So, I thought I’ll be standing and bouncing anyway with this new baby most likely, so why not walk instead to get that movement in while burning off the extra pregnancy weight?

Not Crazy Expensive for the Value

If you actually use this treadmill, $350 really isn’t that crazy for how much value you get from it. When you compare it to a Peloton, for example, which ranges in price from $1,445 to $2,875, you realize a desk treadmill is actually a bargain. And considering I wouldn’t be able to use a Peloton while I’m working or babywearing, I think I made the right decision. 

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Cons

You’re Gonna Hear It

This is my biggest grievance with the desk treadmill. It has a loud beeping noise when you plug it in to start and increase the speed, and you can definitely hear it while it’s running, so it’s not quiet enough for meetings or nap time (for my toddler, at least). This is a big drawback for me since I have to coordinate my walks for the time when my toddler is with his nanny playing during the day and not sleeping. 

My biggest grievance with the desk treadmill is how noisy it is.

It Could Use a Faster Speed (and Incline Ability)

The fastest speed the desk treadmill will go is 2.5mph which definitely works up a sweat over 2 hours of walking, but I feel like I could go up to 3 or 4mph and still comfortably write and edit, or work from my phone and get more steps in faster. Secondly, I really wish it had the ability to incline so I could do the viral TikTok 12-3-30 treadmill workout. It’s not a deal breaker, but it would be a nice added bonus.  

Whether You Can Work on It or Not Depends on Your Job

Do you work from home? That’s definitely a prerequisite for it being practical for you. I can imagine that it would be too loud for a crowded office environment. It also might not be ideal if you’re a graphic designer or a podcaster, or have a job that wouldn’t work well in a fairly loud environment where you’re consistently moving. If you write, edit, work on social media, or oversee a team, however, you can certainly get your job done while using this. 

It Does Throw Off the Aesthetic

Okay, so I didn’t imagine my dream office having a big treadmill in the middle of it. I know this point is shallow, so that’s why I saved it for last. I’m an aesthetic girly, so yes, looks matter to me. I love an uncluttered, coordinated, bright space, and while this treadmill and my desk converter thankfully both came in white to match my color palette, it still breaks up the chicness of the space. 

Closing Thoughts

With all of this being said, you want to know if I would still recommend the desk treadmill? My answer is absolutely. As long as it’s practical for your job, I truly think this is the best, most budget-friendly invention for busy women who want to stay in shape. I’ve been using it for the past 6 weeks, and I’m kicking myself for not investing in it sooner, so take my advice and take the leap – this is one purchase you definitely won’t regret in 2023. 

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