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Which treadmill desks are good and do they really work?

Having a desk job can make it hard to get exercise or get your daily steps in. But with a treadmill desk, you can get your work done while walking at your own pace. ZDNET chose the Costway Goplus 3-in-1 treadmill desk as our top pick, but there are also other great options to get your exercise in while working from home.
Written by Sherin Shibu, Contributor on

Those of you who work from home know how easy it is to slip into an inactive lifestyle. And the hours you spend in front of a screen, absorbed in work, could lead to health complications down the road. This is where a treadmill desk comes in handy -- it allows you to move and walk while you work. If you don't work from home, you can still find something with more area for productivity.

Here are some of the best treadmill desks on the market, including one that I purchased and currently use to work from home.

Pros & Cons
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Goes from .5 mph to 7.5 mph and comes with a remote for easy control of speed
  • Large LCD display and a safety lock for emergency braking
  • Easy to fold, move, and store
  • The tabletop might feel low for some
  • It takes some elbow grease to assemble
More Details

Specs: Dimensions: 50.5"x26.5''x43'' (LxWxH) | Speed: 0.5 mph to 7.5 mph | Weight capacity: 220 pounds | Price: $400

I'm typing out this description while walking on this treadmill! I bought it a month or two ago because I work from home and I wanted an affordable way to keep my energy up throughout the day. If you don't workout that often or you want to ease into activity without jarring your system, this is the perfect machine.

I personally chose it because of the gleaming clear acrylic desk that comfortably fits my laptop and a notebook. Sometimes when I'm getting tired of walking, I'll move my laptop up so that I can see how far I've walked on the digital screen at the base of the treadmill. It keeps track of all of the standard treadmill things, like pace, miles walked or run, calories burned, and distance traveled. That display is a great motivator to keep going.

The versatility of this treadmill shines the most for me. I use it in the mornings or whenever I'm feeling sluggish, just to walk and get the blood flowing while I get work done. I've also run on it and found the experience seamless -- I just had to remove the desk, which detaches easily, before a more intense cardio session. The machine has a quiet motor.

If you like to take online courses but you struggle to motivate yourself to watch all of the videos or properly absorb the material, this treadmill desk is for you. I completed UPenn's Computational Thinking for Problem Solving course after work while on this machine, and I couldn't have stayed motivated without it. It's hard to build positive habits, but this made it easy. 

Plus, about a week after my purchase, the company sent me a cute keychain as a thank you for my purchase! I've never had that happen with an Amazon purchase before and I was pleasantly surprised. The keychain in no way affected this ranking, but it was a nice gesture. 

The price of this treadmill desk is quite accessible, and the machine folds for easy storage. All in all, a solid purchase.

Pros & Cons
  • No assembly required
  • Easy to move and store
  • Anti-slip belt and LCD display
  • Versatile
  • A low speed range: only .5-4 mph
  • If you use it without a desk, make sure that you can slow down and stop easily without flying off
More Details

Specs: Dimensions: 49.6"x21.8"x4.7'' (L xWxH) | Speed: 0.5 mph to 4 mph | Weight capacity: 300 pounds | Price: $365

If you're taller or need a higher weight capacity, the best route is to break up a treadmill desk into its two basic components -- an under-desk treadmill and a standing desk. 

This is an ideal option for an under-desk treadmill, with a powerful, energy-saving, durable, a quiet motor, a smart LED display, a skidproof rail on the side, a shock-absorbing belt, and a wireless remote control. The treadmill comes with 12 preset programs and two modes (automatic/countdown). It's easier on your joints because the running belt has five layers of anti-slip technology. You can monitor your progress on the LED display, which shows time, speed, distance, and calories burned.

The treadmill supports up to 300 pounds and can be paired with any standing desk. It has a limited speed range of 0.5 to 4 mph, which could be useful for those who intend to use it for walking and jogging and not for running.

Pros & Cons
  • Adjustable desk height and desk width
  • Compact dimensions
  • One-touch height adjustment
  • Pricey
  • Heavy product—weighs 245 pounds
  • Has a limited speed range
More Details

Specs: Dimensions: 58"Dx38"/48"/60" W | Desktop: 29"Dx38"/48"/60" W | Speed: 0.4 mph to 4 mph | Weight capacity: 350 pounds | Price: $1,799

The LifeSpan perfectly integrates a standing desk and a treadmill with a weight capacity of 350 pounds. The desk is fully adjustable to your height. It reminds me of a normal desk the most. It's ergonomic and you don't have to crane your neck down to view your laptop screen.

One YouTuber used a LifeSpan for 2.5 years to amazing effect. She lost a total of 45 pounds and says that her back and core strengthened. She was able to sustain her weight loss and her health. Some days, she spends eight hours walking!

LifeSpan's treadmill desks come with a variety of features at different price points. You can adjust the desktop width from 38 inches to 60 inches and choose the frame and desktop color. The treadmill is compact yet effective, with a 2.25 hp motor. This model in particular is a powered treadmill desk, so you don't have to manually adjust the height of the desktop: You just press a button and it moves into place automatically.

If you can comfortably afford a LifeSpan, I'd say go for it. It offers unbeatable value.

Pros & Cons
  • Wide LCD panel
  • Large speed range
  • Wider walking surface
  • Easily folds up
  • Desk is only 11.5" wide
More Details

Specs: Dimensions: 50.9"x27.2"x37.4" (LxWxH) | Speed: 0.6 mph to 8.6 mph | Weight capacity: 286 pounds | Price: $500

If your treadmill desk should be both treadmill and workstation, this is an ideal option for you. The speed range on this machine is formidable: Thanks to its powerful 3 hp motor, you can run a maximum of 8.6 mph on this machine, or walk as slowly as 0.6 mph.

What you get in speed, you lose in desk space: The desk attachment is less than a foot in width, which could lead to cramped working quarters. It does, however, span the length of the machine. 

The treadmill itself has eight layers of shock absorption to help make walking or running easier on the joints. The desk is detachable and the motor is quiet. The whole package weighs 84.4 pounds and has transport wheels for easy storage.

Pros & Cons
  • Panel to prop up phones or tablets
  • Attached handlebars
  • Manual inclines
  • Powerful motor
  • Desk does not detach from treadmill
  • Smaller treadmill width
More Details

Specs: Dimensions: 50"x22.4"x38.6" (LxWxH) | Speed: 0.5 mph to 7.5 mph | Weight capacity: 265 pounds | Price: $380

This folding treadmill has a desk that doesn't detach, which could be a pro or a con. On the one hand, the desk won't move as you run, but on the other hand, do you want a desk in the way when you work out? When you fold it up to put it away, the desk can make the structure take up more space, which may be in short supply for those in apartments or small spaces.. 

On the bright side, this option has three manual inclines for a more challenging workout. It has Bluetooth attached and a small desk with a pop-up tablet and phone incline that you can tuck back into the desk when you aren't using it. 

It comes with 12 pre-set programs and a remote. Even though the desk is only 11.8 inches wide, every part of it serves a purpose. There's a cupholder, a Bluetooth section/control panel, and enough space for a medium-sized laptop.

What is the best treadmill desk?

The Goplus 3-in-1 treadmill is our top pick because of its design, comfort, and efficiency. The desk detaches easily from the machine, and the treadmill folds in one step for easy storage. 

Treadmill desk


Speed Range

Weight Capacity

Costway Goplus 3-in-1 treadmill


0.5 to 7.5 mph


Ceartry under desk 


0.5 to 4 mph


LifeSpan TR1000


0.4 to 4 mph


Urevo 3-in-1 treadmill


0.6 to 8.6 mph




0.5 to 7.5 mph


Which is the right treadmill desk for you?

Whether your preference is for more speed or less speed or an attached desk, a detached desk, or an under desk, there's an option for you that meets your requirements and your price range. 

Choose this treadmill desk…

If you want…

Costway GoPlus 3-in-1

The best overall option

Ceartry Under Desk

A versatile treadmill desk

LifeSpan TR1000

Something sturdier and more customizable

Urevo 3-in-1

Wider running capabilities


An attached desk

How did we choose these treadmill desks?

I had looked at many options when I was shopping for my treadmill desk, so I knew what to look for -- speed range, ease of storage, and a solid desk were top priorities. I researched many options and found the best ones according to those guidelines. I then narrowed it down to the options that would satisfy the greatest range of needs. 

Do treadmill desks really work?

There are small studies that suggest treadmills do have health benefits. One study, by Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona, found that participants using treadmill desks increased their daily activity and lost weight over a 12-month period. He conducted another small study in 2007 at Salo, a finance and human resources staffing company in Minneapolis. The study included 18 people. For six months, they worked on and off treadmill desks, walking on average about three hours a day. All the participants lost weight and experienced other health benefits, including lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

Are treadmill desks a good idea?

Yes, they are. If you have the space and the budget, you can easily incorporate walking or jogging into your daily life with a treadmill desk.

Can you lose weight with a treadmill desk?

Yes, you can. There are many weight loss stories out there from those who have invested in treadmill desks and lost weight. More important, they've changed their lifestyles and the way they work.

Can you run on a treadmill desk?

It depends on the model you choose. Some of the options on this list have a higher speed range than others.

Are there other treadmill desks worth considering?

Yes, there are -- to optimize versatility, I've highlighted a standing desk, an under desk treadmill, and a combination of the two.

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