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I relish working from home. I love writing while cozied up under my comforter, wandering into the kitchen for a snack between calls, doing laundry without forking over my precious after-work hours. Still, especially on days with higher-than-normal workloads, I find myself restless and frustrated by being *trapped* in the same room or house for hours on end. Guess tomorrow will see me going outside, y’all.
Enter: the walking pad. While I’m an evening exerciser, and love a good sweat session after a long day, I still miss the days when getting my steps in was an unspoken assumption. I’d hit 10,000 steps naturally just by heading to classes or my daily errands. In 2020, however, multiple fitness brands capitalized on the at-home market, rolling out appliances and machines that were more convenient (and yes, portable) than the previous generation’s.
The walking pad is a simple, usually foldable treadmill runner that you can roll under your desk—ideally a standing desk—or onto the living room carpet while you watch your television, allowing you to get out your restless energy without having to move locations. We’ve gathered three favorite under-desk treadmills that editors swear by.
Walk the Walk with These 3 Under-Desk Treadmills
Best Style & Aesthetic:
Natural Wood Under Desk Treadmill
The Quality Edit’s Editor-in-Chief, Scott Silver, has a polished sense of style. I mean, obviously. His entire work mode is based on having good taste. So were we really to expect him to shell out for the first half-hearted walking pad he found on Amazon? No. Instead, he opted for the Maksone Natural Wood Under Desk Treadmill ($320 with coupon), which has an elegant framework of—you guessed it—wood around its edge that allows it to blend in more effortlessly with office décor without feeling junky or out of place.
This under-desk treadmill supports up to 265 lbs and has an LED display reporting mileage, speed, time, and calories. It has a durable steel frame and multi-layer shield design, which keeps your walk (or even run) shock-reducing and quiet so as not to disturb others who may be working or relaxing while you’re on mile 4 during a work call. Bonus points for being sneaky to use while on a Zoom call.
Within an hour or two of receiving it, Scott noted that he’d already knocked out 2,000 steps in his morning.
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Best for Runners:
WalkingPad R2 Walk&Run 2-in-1 Treadmill
While I’m itchy to test another walking pad for comparison, I wholeheartedly adored the WalkingPad R2 Walk&Run 2-in-1 Treadmill ($899) the second I wheeled it into my makeshift office space. It’s heavier than most other walking pads because it also supports running up to 8 miles per hour, but as I’m a soon-to-be marathon runner myself, I craved that capability. Inspired by TikTok’s “hot girl walks” trend, I dialed up my fitness tracker, grabbed my water bottle, and got my steps in while watching Netflix or typing up my latest article.
Since I’m not a morning exerciser, I appreciate the ability to kickstart my endorphins first thing in the day without working up a sweat. Moving helps me to think and feel clearer as I work, lending me a much-needed mood boost on the slog of my Mondays. If I choose to exceed three miles per hour, I have to put up the adjustable handrail to kick the machine into “running mode.”
As someone who thrives on fitness challenges and tracking, I appreciate that the device’s accompanying app keeps track of my mileage, steps, and duration over time, allowing me to hit milestones that make me feel accomplished every day. For those who want an under-desk treadmill with enough heft and power to assist you with getting your runs in too, I can’t recommend the WalkingPad model enough.
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Best for Incline:
Under Desk Treadmill with 15% Incline
While I adore that the under desk treadmill allows me to be less stagnant, always capable of motion no matter how busy my day gets, not every walking pad lives up to the gorgeous, sleek unit you’ll find in a high-end gym…but of course, that’ll put your bank account out a few thousand dollars (and require significantly more storage space).
Many seeking an under-desk treadmill mourn the lack of incline, a popularity sparked by the viral 12-3-30 workout in which you set your incline to 12, your speed to 3 miles per hour, and walk for thirty minutes. Participants have claimed this workout is the easiest way to shape up or to slim down, appreciating that its ease allows even the most reluctant gym-goers among us to be consistent with their exercise regimen. Needless to say, in order to make the 12-3-30 a routine, you have to, uh, have a treadmill that inclines.
In that case, the Marsvogel 2-in-1 Under Desk Treadmill ($300) is the model for you. Its speed ranges from 0.6 to 5 miles per hour, with five layers of anti-skid shock absorption. It also comes with a remote control, LED display, and safety key. If the thought of assembling a treadmill by your lonesome fills you with dread, fear not! This model arrives fully assembled and ready to get ya movin’. Shoppers also compliment its quiet motor, compact doorway-friendly size, and attached wheels, writing, “If you’re looking for a simple, sturdy, yet powerful treadmill that is also budget friendly…buy it.”