Treadmill vs Under Desk Treadmill: Which One is Better?

Treadmill vs Under Desk Treadmill: Which One is Better?

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the difference between a treadmill and an under desk treadmill can help you choose the right equipment for your fitness journey.
  • Treadmills are ideal for dedicated workout sessions, while under desk treadmills are designed for multitasking and staying active throughout the day.
  • Key factors to consider include space, budget, fitness goals, and lifestyle needs.


At SOLE, we offer high-quality treadmills to help you reach your fitness goals.

Featured Products

  • SOLE Treadmills, from the budget-friendly F63 to the high-end ST90, are designed for durability and superior user experience. They provide high-intensity cardiovascular workouts, perfect for improving endurance and strength. With quality construction, adjustable incline, and interactive programs, SOLE treadmills offer an outstanding, natural running experience.
  • At the time of writing, we don’t have any under-desk treadmill.


What Sets Treadmills and Under Desk Treadmills Apart

Purpose of Equipment 

Treadmills are designed for dedicated exercise sessions, accommodating activities like walking, jogging, and running. Under-desk treadmills, however, are specifically made for walking while working, so you can stay active during office tasks without engaging in high-intensity workouts.

Build Size 

Treadmills are robust, often with a wide belt to support running and varied workouts. They are also often foldable like the SOLE F85 model. Gym or hotel-standard premium treadmills like the SOLE TT8 are not foldable. Under desk treadmills, in contrast, are usually smaller, slimmer, and can even be stored under beds or couches. 

If you do decide to store your under-desk treadmill under the bed, look out for dust. Get a good form-fitting cover, vacuum the area regularly, and clean the treadmill frequently.

Speed and Incline Variances

Treadmills offer a wide range of speed and incline settings for both casual and intense workouts. These settings can help you engage and strengthen different muscle groups. For example, our SOLE F85 model has a 6-level decline level to mimic downhill training and build your quadriceps (quads).

Under-desk treadmills, however, are typically flat and focus on promoting consistent walking rather than high-intensity training. Because their primary purpose is to keep you moving while you work, they don't usually include incline features. 

Equipment Interface and User Experience 

Treadmills come with comprehensive controls and programmable settings to support diverse workout routines and goals. You can adjust the user-defined treadmill settings to fit your exercise routine. 

Conversely, under-desk treadmills have simplified interfaces designed for ease of use while multitasking, with fewer customization options to keep you focused on work.

Price and Value Considerations

Treadmills are often more expensive, especially if you opt for a model with advanced features like heart rate monitors and extensive programming. However, the range of workouts and the potential health benefits can make it a worthwhile investment. 

Under-desk treadmills tend to be more affordable due to their simpler design and functionality. If you're looking for a cost-effective way to stay active during your workday, an under-desk treadmill might be the better option for you.

Technology and Connectivity Features

Nowadays, many of us love to track our fitness progress with apps and devices. Treadmills often come with the latest technology, such as Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity to sync your workouts with fitness apps or even entertainment content. For instance, our SOLE treadmills can be used alongside the Kinomap app—a leading geolocated video-sharing platform—for an interactive "Marathon pour Tous" session on August 10 & 11, 2024 to celebrate the Paris Olympics 2024 event. 


Under-desk treadmills might not boast the same level of tech, but some do offer basic connectivity features. It's all about finding the right balance between tech integration and practicality for your lifestyle.

Machine Durability and Stability

Treadmills are built to withstand the impact of running, which means they tend to be quite durable and stable. Since they're designed to endure frequent use over many years, they’re a long-term investment for your health. 

Though under-desk treadmills are also designed for durability, they're optimized for walking rather than running. This means they can be lighter and more compact, which is ideal for an office environment where space might be limited. 

Top Features of Treadmills 

  • Natural Simulation of Outdoor Running or Walking: Treadmills closely mimic the natural movement of running or walking outdoors, beneficial for those training for races or seeking workouts that replicate real-world terrain.
  • Adjustable Speed and Incline Settings: Treadmills have a wide range of speeds and incline options. For example, the F89 model can incline up to 15 levels and decline up to 6 levels, so users can enhance muscle tone and strength.
  • Cushioned Decks: SOLE treadmills feature Cushioned Flex Whisper Deck technology, which reduces joint impact by up to 40% compared to running on asphalt. This is ideal for users concerned about joint health and looking to avoid the harsh impact of outdoor running surfaces.
  • Pre-set and On-demand Workout Programs: Most SOLE treadmills come with pre-programmed and user-defined workout settings. You can also integrate the treadmills with the SOLE+ Fitness app, to access hundreds of on-demand workout videos and routines which enhance the variety and structure of exercise sessions.
  • Progress Tracking Features: SOLE treadmills have advanced metrics such as step counters, heart rate monitors, and calorie trackers to help users monitor their progress and stay motivated throughout their fitness journey. You can even use the SOLE+ Fitness app to track your progress across different SOLE equipment. 
  • Interactive Technology: SOLE treadmills often feature interactive elements like touchscreen displays and connectivity to fitness apps like Kinomap, making exercise sessions more entertaining and engaging. 

Top Features of Under Desk Treadmills

  • Adjustable Speed: Look for a range of 0.5 to 4 mph to personalize your walking pace and gradually increase intensity as you get fitter.
  • Comfort Features: A cushioned walking surface with shock absorption or a softer belt material minimizes impact on your joints and encourages longer walks.
  • Digital Display: Track your time, distance, steps, and calories burned to stay motivated and monitor progress.
  • Easy Control Panel: User-friendly controls for adjusting speed, starting/stopping the treadmill, and viewing workout metrics.
  • Quiet Operation: A quiet motor ensures minimal disruption to yourself or colleagues.
  • Sturdy Build: A compact yet stable base that supports your weight and remains stable during use.

An Overview of SOLE Treadmills

Now, let’s see the top features of SOLE treadmills: 



Incline & Decline Range

Speed Range

Running Deck Size



3.0 HP

15 levels incline

0.5-12 MPH

20” x 60”; Cushioned Flex Whisper Deck design



3.0 HP

15 levels incline

0.5-12 MPH

22” x 60”; Cushioned Flex Whisper Deck design



3.5 HP

15 levels incline

0.5-12 MPH

22” x 60”; Cushioned Flex Whisper Deck design



4.0 HP

15 levels incline; 6 levels decline

0.5-12 MPH

22” x 60”; Cushioned Flex Whisper Deck design



4.0 HP

15 levels incline; 6 levels decline

0.5-12 MPH

22” x 60”; Cushioned Flex Whisper Deck design



2.0HP AC Power Delivery

15 levels incline

0.5-12 MPH

20” x 60”; slat belt design



4.0 HP

15 levels incline; 6 levels decline

0.5-12 MPH

22” x 60”; Cushioned Flex Whisper Deck design


Pros and Cons: A Balanced View

Pros of Using a Treadmill

  • Increased Physical Activity: Treadmills allow users to engage in physical activity while performing tasks, which can help counteract the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Improved Health: Regular use of a treadmill can contribute to increased energy expenditure, improved cardiovascular fitness, and enhanced overall health.
  • Boosted Productivity: Walking on a treadmill can increase alertness and concentration, leading to improved productivity and mental performance

    Cons of Using a Treadmill

    • Distraction to Others: May be loud, which could be disruptive in a shared living space.
    • Space Requirements: Requires more space in your home, and although many models fold, they can still be quite bulky for smaller workspaces or homes.
    • Cost: High-quality treadmills can be expensive, which may be a barrier for some users.

      Pros of Using an Under Desk Treadmill

      • Increased Movement: Under-desk treadmills allow users to incorporate more movement into their daily routine, even if it's just walking at a slow pace.
      • Ergonomic Benefits: These treadmills can help maintain joint mobility and flexibility by allowing users to change positions and move while working.
      • Supplemental Exercise: Under-desk treadmills can be used to supplement an exercise program, providing a consistent and accessible way to stay active

      Cons of Using an Under Desk Treadmill

      • Limited Intensity: Under-desk treadmills are designed for low-intensity walking and may not provide the same level of cardiovascular exercise as a traditional treadmill.
      • Noise Level: Some under-desk treadmills can be noisy, which may be distracting for coworkers or disrupt the work environment.
      • Limited Applicability: Certain tasks, such as intense typing or focused mental work, may be challenging or impractical to perform while walking on an under-desk treadmill.

      Expert Opinion: Our Take on Choosing Between Treadmills or Under Desk Treadmills

      When considering a treadmill, opt for one if you aim for intense workouts, higher speeds, and varied incline options to simulate outdoor running conditions. SOLE treadmills are ideal for dedicated exercise sessions, cardiovascular fitness improvement, and higher-intensity workouts.

      Choose an under-desk treadmill if you prioritize consistent movement throughout the day, gentle walking while working, and space-saving features for office or home use. Under-desk treadmills are suitable for light activity, ergonomic benefits, and supplementing daily activity levels without disrupting work tasks.

      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

      What is the price range for SOLE treadmills?

      SOLE treadmills vary in price depending on the model and features. You can expect to invest anywhere from $1,149.99 to over $3,99.99 for a high-quality machine that offers a range of workouts and longevity.

      Which is better for losing weight?

      Both types of treadmills can aid in weight loss. A traditional treadmill is better suited for high-intensity workouts that burn more calories in a shorter period. An under-desk treadmill is ideal for consistent, low-intensity activity throughout the day, which can also contribute to weight loss over time.

      Can I run on an under-desk treadmill?

      Under-desk treadmills are designed primarily for walking. If you're looking to run as part of your fitness routine, a traditional treadmill would be the better choice due to its higher speed capabilities and sturdier build.

      What are the key features of a SOLE Treadmill?

      SOLE treadmills are known for their durability, advanced cushioning systems, user-friendly interfaces, and a variety of pre-programmed workouts. They also offer incline settings, heart rate monitoring, and connectivity options for tracking and entertainment purposes.

      Reading next

      Best Health Tracking Apps for SOLE Treadmills 2024
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