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Discover the Impact of a Desk Treadmill on Enhancing Your Fitness

The hazards of a sedentary lifestyle are frequently discussed. Prolonged hours of sitting can elevate the likelihood of heart disease, hypertension, and muscle weakness, leading to various health repercussions. Regrettably, more than 80 percent of roles in the United States entail primarily sitting, as reported by the American Health Association.

Desk treadmills have risen in popularity as a means to counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting by encouraging movement and walking (albeit at a leisurely pace) while you’re working.

But, do these desk treadmills genuinely contribute to improving your fitness levels? And can you actually maintain your focus enough to stay productive while using one?

What benefits can a desk treadmill provide for your fitness?

“Desk treadmills are a step up from being entirely sedentary, yet they are unlikely to significantly enhance your fitness level,” according to Dave Candy, DPT, a certified specialist in orthopedic physical therapy and the proprietor of More 4 Life PT. “Walking on a treadmill [while working at your desk] could be deemed as ‘restorative’ or ‘therapeutic’ exercise rather than a form of fitness exercise.”

Put simply, while incorporating a desk treadmill into your routine is advantageous, the pace at which you’ll need to move while working will be at a very low intensity. This type of slow walking may not necessarily lead to substantial improvements in your aerobic fitness, although it can greatly benefit your overall health.

“Engaging in slow walking enhances your blood circulation and prevents muscle stiffness. Moreover, utilizing a desk treadmill facilitates a change in posture from sitting to standing throughout the day,” remarks Dr. Candy. “It encourages joint movement in a weight-bearing stance, promoting increased blood flow to your spinal discs, knees, and hips, aiding in the secretion of synovial fluid.”

This lubricant fluid aids in maintaining healthy joints, preventing stiffness, and through enhanced circulation, ensures that your muscles, connective tissues, and intervertebral discs receive adequate nourishment, promoting their health.

Furthermore, using a treadmill desk can assist in achieving a daily step count of 7,000, which has been linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Research has also indicated that integrating exercise into your workday could enhance productivity, largely due to the boost in mood that physical activity offers. Additionally, physical movement increases blood flow to the brain, potentially enhancing focus and energy levels.

However, it’s still advisable to engage in other forms of exercise. “Desk treadmill walking should not substitute other workout benefits but instead complement them,” Dr. Candy advises. “Nonetheless, if you’re unable to spare time for exercise outside of work, it’s preferable to the sedentary alternative.”

Recommendations for utilizing a desk treadmill

Optimal incorporation of desk treadmill walking into your daily routine will depend on your current fitness level, the nature of your work, and other types of physical activities you perform during the week.

Getting started

Beginners can initiate with brief walks once or twice during work hours. Dr. Candy recommends, “Utilizing a desk treadmill for 10 to 30 minutes can serve as a beneficial means to alter positions and rejuvenate your body and mind throughout the workday—ideally once or twice daily. You must find a balance between health benefits and work productivity, as your maximum productivity might not be sustained while walking.”

Speed considerations

“Most desk treadmills have a maximum speed lower than 5 mph,” Dr. Candy highlights. “Realistically, if you’re working while walking, your pace will likely be closer to 2 mph.”

Important safety features

Given that you’re multitasking during your walking sessions, your attention may not be solely on each step. As such, prioritizing safety features is crucial. “Desk treadmills come in various widths with different safety mechanisms,” Dr. Candy notes. “It’s advisable to opt for one with a wider belt and an automatic stop feature that halts the belt if you step away.”

Timing your walks

Walking on a desk treadmill while working should not impede your tasks or pose any safety hazards due to excessive work focus. Consider which work-related activities are conducive to utilizing your desk treadmill (such as taking a phone call) and which call for more concentrated effort (like writing).

“Employ the treadmill during tasks that don’t demand intense concentration, for instance, reading reports or during silent periods in a conference call,” advises Dr. Candy. “Engaging in treadmill walking might not be the best choice when composing reports or client emails.”

Desk treadmills worth considering

Sunny Health & Fitness Slim Walking Pad Treadmill — $300.00

This walking pad comes with a remote control to adjust the pace anywhere from 0. 5 to 3.75 miles per hour. The shock absorption will keep your joints happy, while the active-use detection with automatically pause the belt after five seconds of you stopping.

Egofit Walker M1/M1T — $399.00

This compact options clocks in at just under 40 inches long and 22 inches wide, yet still offers up to 5 percent incline.

GOYOUTH 2 in 1 Under Desk Electric Treadmill — $390.00

If you want to incorporate higher speeds post-work, this treadmill allows speeds up to six miles per hour. Its wheels facilitate easy movement around your home office or gym.

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