Many people tend to underestimate the benefits of walking, with some dismissing it as a form of exercise altogether. However, that couldn’t be further away from the truth, as it’s, in fact, one of the simplest yet most effective ways to get an easy workout throughout your busy day. The benefits associated with walking are many - it lowers stress levels, improves your sleep, and boosts your mood, all without requiring some crazy all-out effort.
However, even if it’s seemingly a simple and easy thing to go outside for a quick walk, a lot of busy people simply don’t have the time to do so. Between commuting to work, doing the actual job they have, and taking care of the family, it’s hard to find 20-30 minutes of time where you can afford to be missed from the house for a quick walk.
Additionally, not all weather conditions are good for staying outside - for example, in climates where it gets too cold or too warm, the temperatures might turn the idea into a bad one at the speed of light.
That’s where walking indoors enters the picture as an awesome alternative that enables you to control the environment and monitor your progress. With that said, the only way to walk indoors is by having the right kind of equipment for the job, which is essentially either owning a treadmill or a walking path.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at both under-desk treadmills and walking pads as options for indoor walking in an effort to help you find the machine that’s worth investing in. So, if you want to learn more, then stay just a little while longer.
What are Under-Desk Treadmills?
You can think of the under-desk treadmill as a smaller version of the regular treadmills you see at the gym. They’re essentially a smaller, lighter version that can be installed under a standing desk, so you can use it while you’re working.
In most cases, these cardio machines are electrically powered and don’t rely on any action from your end to keep going - you simply control them with the use of the different buttons that allow you to start/stop them or change the speed with which you’re walking.
In the last few years, they’ve become extremely popular among people who work from home, as they are an excellent way to combine walking and doing a desk job at the same time.
What About Walking Pads?
As you get from the name, walking pads are machines designed specifically and only for walking. Unlike treadmills, they can’t really pick up high speed and are not suitable for running. However, they’re much more affordable, as you can get one for less than $200 off of Amazon.
Additionally, they help save a ton of space - they’re easy and convenient to move around, and most of them are foldable, so once you’re finished using them, you can quickly store them somewhere in your home. When it comes to under-desk exercises, they can be good.
However, it’s harder to keep balance on them as they don’t have the rails on your side, so you completely rely on your core to maintain posture and not have you leaning one way or the other. Additionally, unlike treadmills, walking pads don’t have a display that shows advanced metrics like your heart rate or workout presets. Instead, they’re like a basic pedometer that shows only the time spent, calories burned, steps made, and the speed with which you’re moving.
How Do Under-Desk Treadmills and Walking Pads Compare?
Under-desk treadmills are typically fully functioning cardio machines. They can power to a high speed, they have rails, and can be comfortably used for running if you remove the desk and are simply looking to work. Because of that, they’re also more difficult to move, often more expensive, and take up more space in your home.
On the other hand, walking pads are pretty budget-friendly, lightweight, and easy to move and store, as they can be folded once you’re done using them. However, they have a much more limited functionality and can primarily be used for moderate to fast walking.
When it comes to choosing which one to get, the reality is the answer depends completely on your needs. If you’re simply looking for a comfortable cardio machine that will allow you to get your steps in while you’re working, won’t take up a lot of space, and won’t end up costing you a huge amount of money, then a walking pad is more than enough to cover the bases.
But if you’re on the lookout for a machine that can double as a walking pad while you’re on your desk and as an actual treadmill that allows you to get a cardio session in, then it’s better to spend the extra money to get the more advanced model.
That way, you will be able to both work and get some steps in, then remove the desk and get your late night or early morning run without having to leave your home - a convenience you might be on the lookout for, especially if you have a particularly demanding job or you live in an extreme climate.
Hopefully, by now, you know all the key differences and benefits of both of these machines and what kind of purpose they’re suitable for. It’s a fact that both walking pads and under-desk treadmills are great options for getting your daily exercise in, especially if you work a sedentary job and spend most of your days at your desk.
With that said, which one do you choose to get depends on your budget and your exercise needs? If you’re willing to spend a bit more and you want a more well-rounded machine, then the treadmill is the better option. However, if you’re tight on money and you want something light, easy to work with, and compact, the walking pad is the optimal solution.