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I Walk It Out—At Work!

treadmill-desk-review-585What’s bigger than a breadbox and takes over your entire living room?

lifespan treadmill

One of a couple of boxes…

Well, it’s the groovy new LifeSpan TR1200-DT Treadmill Desk, that’s what! And while, yes, after assembly it did take over even more of my living room (my office was too small to house my usual desk and a treadmill—since I was only trying the Treadmill Desk for a few weeks), let me just say that it was worth it.

Working from home is awesome…and weird. While you can get a lot done (no co-workers buggin’ you with drama), it can also be too quiet (again, no co-workers buggin’ you with drama) and distractions abound (I’m looking at you, BravoTV). But one of the best parts is the ability to work out when you want. Yes, I know there might be meetings and phone calls and stuff, but most days, if you want to take 15 minutes to do yoga or go for a walk, you can. And you can always claim you had bad Mexican food the night before if someone calls when you’re out.

Despite this freedom, sometimes it’s hard—even for me, who is kind of a masochistic when it comes to working out—to get motivated during the work day. I’ve been known to hit the gym at 5:30 in the morning, start my workday at 7 a.m. (green smoothie and coffee in hand, of course) and then proceed to sit on my duff until lunch unless one of the following things happens: my dog demands a walk, my stomach starts grumbling for a snack or the FedEx man knocks on the door.

My usual desk, with the dog about to ask me for a walk.

Now, I know the dangers of sitting for hours on end. I know I should get up at least once every hour—hell, I tell people to do that—but some days I’m tired. And, let’s be honest, in my head I think I already worked out, so walking the dog is going to be about my only other “activity” unless you count cooking dinner and watching TV or reading. So…

Well, let’s just say that the Treadmill Desk was a welcome addition to my routine. I didn’t use it for more than an hour or two at a time, but it definitely helped me to get off my rear, especially in the afternoons when a little work-walking was the perfect energy booster. The Treadmill Desk I tested only went up to a speed of 4 mph, but I found that walking anything faster than 2.2 mpg impeded my ability to type and really focus (your eyeballs get all bouncy). Although a few nights, I did walk at 4 mph while watching TV. (If I were to buy myself one, I’d spring for one that went up to a faster speed so that I could run on it, too—not while working, obviously.)

The display panel shows distance traveled, calories burned, time walking and the Intelli-Step feature that works like a pedometer and counts the steps you take while you’re working. (And it works—I tried hopping off and back on to trick it, and it got it right every time. Talk about an easy way to up your steps-a-day goal!)

The desk also had more than enough room for my laptop, cell phone, regular phone, water bottle and paperwork on it, and it even had a nice little ergonomic arm rest for typing. The belt was quality and the rest of the treadmill felt really secure. Not to mention that putting it together and getting the desk height right (that took a bit of trial and error) wasn’t impossible—with maybe a little help from my husband. The Treadmill Desk goes for about $1,300, so it’s not cheap—but neither are treadmills or big sturdy office desks.

Plenty of room!

To be honest, I really enjoyed using it.

The desks are designed for use at home or in the workplace, and I really, really think this could be an awesome part of the solution to the obesity epidemic. So many have trouble fitting workouts in because of work. So making work more active? Well, that’s just a no-brainer. Granted, most of us won’t get a great workout walking at 2 mph, but it’s certainly better than nothing. And far healthier than sitting on my fit bottom all day.

Do you make it a point to get up and walk around every hour when you’re at work? Do you have a Treadmill Desk? Would you use it all day? Let’s discuss, shall we? —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Jon says:

    I’d like to get one of these some day. I don’t have much space in my apartment, but when I move to some place bigger I think I’ll go for it. Do you find it difficult to keep good posture while typing and walking?

    1. Jenn says:

      You know, I think it actually improved my posture! The key is making sure that your desk is high enough so that you aren’t leaning too far down or over to see it. Good question!

      –FBG Jenn

  2. Cathy says:

    Hey Jenn-

    As one of my New Years Resolutions I made both my office desk and craft table standing workstations. I didn’t add the treadmill, since I’m in the gym at least 3 times a week. I have seen changes in my posture, breathing and energy level. I don’t miss the tired back or sore shoulders at all.

  3. Cat says:

    I really want one of these at my workplace. I’ve set my cubicle up so I have the option to stand, but walking would be even better 🙂

  4. Leslie says:

    How much noise did it make? If it were quiet enough, it would be a great solution to the hours I sit while home schooling my children. There’s just something about walking away from them while they are reading to me or asking me a question that sends the wrong message… 😉

  5. That’s awesome! It’s got to make a huge difference to just be MOVING instead of sitting on the ol’ booty for hours. Love it.

  6. Hi Jenn,
    I’ve been using the LifeSpan treadmill desk for almost 2 months now and I love it!
    I work as an author, blogger and speaker, so I sit more hours a day than is healthy, so I’ve been using it from about an hour to four hours a day.

    I deal with residual issues from receiving severe injuries in an accident, and mixing in times of walking is much better for my legs than sitting all day. I was a runner before I got hurt and thankfully I’m back to running, but sitting for hours at a time is not good for my legs. Walking increases circulation and flexibility, especially for my ankle, which tends to get stiff and swell from sitting too long.

    If anyone doubts if they could walk while working… visit my website (MyLegStory.com) to see the leg deformity I live with… if I can do it, you can do it.

    Walk on!

  7. Kendra says:

    Now that is cool…and probably helps power the brain too. I’d use it!

  8. Sage says:

    I’ve seen treadmill desks before, and now after reading your review, I really, really want one! My back gets sore slouching in a chair all day, and there have been many times where I’ve tried to stand at my regular desk, but it doesn’t work.

  9. denise says:

    I too am walking on a LifeSpan Treadmill Desk and LOVE IT! Quiet, stable and comfortable…
    I average about 7 + miles per day. I am focused and feel so much more productive in my work day when I am moving instead of sitting. Great product. Can’t say enough positive things about it! Happy Walking 🙂

  10. Karen says:

    I built my own treadmill desk. I have a good treadmill already and it was perfect for building my own desk. It has 2 short arms and I just cut a piece of plywood into a size large enough to sit on those arms and be C-clamped on to keep it in place. I had to cut out a small u shape for the small curved handle with the pulse rate thing on it. It has plenty of room for a water bottle, a mouse pad, mouse and laptop or keyboard. I found using my laptop on it killed the screen very quickly with all the bouncing, Now I have a wireless mouse and keyboard and the computer on a high shelf in front of the treadmill. It works perfectly and I love it!

  11. laura says:

    OMG! I am totally jealous of you!

  12. howard says:

    I sell this treadmill but I am the fist person to build a treadmill with a desk top. We custom made it for a client for his work place. This was more than five years ago. It is a great way to loose weight and not even know that you are loosing it. if you want to buy one wholesale call me 843-636-3833 I ship anywhere.

  13. QuintanaMT says:

    The Treadmill Desk seems very similar to the TrekDesk. I wish I had the space for one, but I don’t. What I use is a recumbent bike which I have reviewed on my website (http://riskforheartdisease.com/product-reviews/schwinn-220-recumbent-bike). I can read and listen to podcasts, but can’t use a labtop yet. I am working on fitting a narrow table between me and the handle bars (which are not really needed), so I can work on my laptop while I pedal. Wish me luck, I need the exercise!

  14. Kimberly C says:

    Home office, love/hate relationship with the quiet that comes from working without coworkers and the Bravo TV distraction temptation – I can definitely relate to you! I recently ordered a treadmill desk from http://www.thehumansolution.com and can’t wait to use it in my home office. My body screams at me that I wasn’t made to sit all day. I tried the treadmill desk in the Human Solution showroom in Austin and was surprised at how easy it was to work while walking. Congrats on getting yours!

  15. Dave Novak says:

    I’m glad you finally got a treadmill desk to try out. The LifeSpan desks are very nice, but when trying to add a treadmill desk to a small office, it does get cramped fast. I would recommend replacing your existing desk and get a sit and stand treadmill desk so that your not doubling up your work areas. The sit to stand models allow you more flexibility as well because sitting all day isn’t good for you, but standing all day isn’t good as well. Standing all day becomes tiring, and causes lower back pains, so the best combination is to be able to sit, stand, and walk at any moment. Check out http://www.treadmilldesk.com, treadmilldeskinc.com, signaturetreadmilldesks.com and flowdesks for several different options.

  16. Jan Marie says:

    This is an excellent idea! My hubby needs to work out more because he sits in his office all day literally just drinking coffee and typing. I think I know what I should get him for Christmas!

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