Are walking pads any good? We think they are. If your day is jam-packed with work and family commitments, it can be challenging enough to fit it all in — let alone squeeze in your daily step goal. A walking pad under your desk is one way to increase your activity levels without too much disruption to your schedule.
In this article, we’ll briefly cover what walking pads are, the benefits of using one plus the most frequently asked questions around using a walking pad.
What is a walking pad?
A walking pad is a type of treadmill that is designed specifically for walking. Generally, they are flat, compact and lightweight plus many are foldable. This makes them easy to store away and move about which makes them ideal for small spaces.
With more people working from home, walking pads have become a popular addition to standing desks in home offices as a way to increase their daily activity levels.
Are walking pads any good? 6 reasons why it's a yes
Yes, walking pads are a great option for those who want to add more exercise or activity to their work set-up. Using a walking pad regularly will allow you to burn more calories, improve your fitness and reduce your stress. Plus, if you’re typing while walking, you’ll learn a new skill!
Here are 6 reasons why we feel that walking pads are good
1. A walking pad will increase your physical activity
Once you’ve become used to using a walking pad, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get in your daily step count. Using a walking pad instead of just standing or sitting, will definitely increase your physical activity levels.
Top Tip — start gradually. While you might be tempted to smash out hours on the walking pad due to the novelty, be warned… your legs will feel it! Start with a short 10 – 20 min walk and gradually build it up from there.
2. A walking pad will help with back pain
Sitting and standing for long periods can aggravate or even cause back pain. Using a walking pad is an effective way to relieve the pressure on your back and reduce discomfort.
3. Using a walking pad will improve your circulation
Regular walking can improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots caused by long hours of standing or sitting. Increased blood flow will also allow more oxygen to circulate which can help with concentration and fatigue.
4. Boost your productivity by using a walking pad
Regular exercise can increase your energy levels and improve your mental function. Using a walking pad will help you stay focused and productive throughout the day. Plus, if you need to do some brainstorming, walking is a great way to boost creativity and problem-solving skills.
5. Improve your mood
Walking releases endorphins which will help improve your mood and lower stress levels. It’s also a great way to get rid of nervous energy, so if you struggle with feeling anxious, a walking pad might be a good option.
6. It's convenient
Using a walking pad at your standing desk will allow you to increase your level of physical activity without disrupting your schedule. It’s also ideal during long cold winter months where getting out for a run can be a challenge.
What's the difference between a walking pad and a treadmill?
A walking pad is part of the “treadmill family” as it is an indoor machine that’s used for walking. However, there are a few key differences that you should know if you’re trying to decide between a walking pad and a treadmill.
Walking pads are like small, flat treadmills. This makes them an ideal option if you have limited space. They generally have a smaller walking area and are slightly more narrow.
A walking pad
The NoblePro Elite E8i treadmill
Walking pads are designed specifically for walking therefore they’ll have slower speeds than treadmills.
Most walking pads have a maximum speed of 4 mph (about 6 kmph). We have found two models that have slightly faster speeds than the rest, you’ll find them in our best walking pad post. You’ll also find a solution to using your treadmill as a standing desk.
Whereas a treadmill can reach up to 13.6 mph (22kmph) depending on the brand.
If you’re wanting to walk briskly or might want to use your treadmill for a jog or a run, then it’s best to consider getting a treadmill as most walking pads might not be fast enough for you.
Walking pads generally have fewer features than treadmills. This makes them a more affordable option. Some treadmills come with a built-in touchscreen, custom programs, Bluetooth, speakers and more which walking pads don’t have.
Most walking pads also don’t have a console plus have no incline settings. They have a simple screen to show your data or you can also view it on the app. Plus most have a remote control.
Walking pads are usually quieter than treadmills because they have a smaller motor. Unlike a treadmill, a walking pad does not require a lot of horsepower to operate.
Weight of the treadmill
Due to the fact that walking pads are smaller, they are also therefore much lighter than at treadmill. The average weight of a walking pad is about 61.7lb (28 kg) whereas a treadmill is about 253 lb (115 kg).
Is a walking pad or treadmill better?
It depends on what you’re looking for. If you are just looking for a lightweight treadmill to fit under your standing desk so that you can walk while working, then a walking pad is a good option.
However, if you are wanting more out of your machine, then a treadmill might be a better option for you.
Are walking pads safe?
As with all exercise equipment, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. When used correctly, a walking pad is safe. It’s always best to start slowly and gradually increase your pace to avoid injury.
If you suffer from a medical condition or health complication, then it’s best to check with your health practitioner before purchasing one.
Are walking pads effective?
Walking pads are an effective way to add more physical activity to your daily routine. Using a walking pad will help you burn more calories (which will help you lose weight), reduce stress, improve your fitness and increase your productivity.
Does walking on a walking pad help lose weight?
Walking burns more calories so if you have a healthy diet, it can help you lose weight. Keep in mind though that it’s easier to lose weight by controlling your diet rather than trying to “burn” it off. See walking on a walking pad as an extra bonus when it comes to calories burned.
How do I choose a walking pad?
Before choosing a walking pad, take a few moments to consider the following factors to make sure you get the walking pad that’s best for you.
Where will you use the walking pad?
Where are you planning to use your walking pad? If it’s for your home office and there’s no one else sharing your space, then you don’t need to worry about noise levels.
However, if it’s in a shared workspace, you might want to consider a quieter model. Also, make sure you have sufficient electrical outlets as you’ll need to plug it in.
How much space do you have?
Before buying a walking pad, measure the space where you plan to use it and check the dimensions of the walking pad that you’re interested in. Make sure it will fit into the space. If you have limited space, you might want to opt for a more compact walking pad.
Do you need to fold it up and store it away?
A few walking pads are foldable. If you have a small space and don’t want to leave the walking pad set up the whole time, then opt for a foldable model.
How fast do you want to walk?
Walking pads come with various speed ranges. If you plan to use your walking pad for light exercise or while working, a lower maximum speed may be sufficient. But, if you plan to use it for more intense workouts, you may want to choose a model with a higher maximum speed. Some walking pads offer adjustable speed settings, so you can change the pace to suit your needs by using the remote or the app.
Are walking pads any good? Top tips to use one
Tip #1: Start slowly
To use your walking pad for the first time, we recommend starting out very slowly. It might take a few moments for your body to adapt to the motion. Once you feel comfortable with the pace, you can slowly increase it.
Tip #2: If you feel slightly off balance, put it under your standing desk
If you’re used to using a treadmill with a console or guard rails, it might feel a bit strange not having them there. If you do feel a little off-balance, put your walking pad under your standing desk so that you can rest your hands on something if you need to get your balance.
Tip #3: Wear running shoes
Even though you might be walking slowly, wear running shoes to make sure your feet are supported and your ankles feel safe.
Tip #4: Watch out for static
Walking on a walking pad tends to build up static. While it’s not dangerous, it can give you a bit of a shock if you touch your laptop or keyboard. We found that touching a wooden surface (like the standing desk) helped with this.
Tip #5: It takes practice to type and walk
It might feel strange at first to type and walk. Like all skills, it takes a little time to learn how to type and walk. We found that once we hit a comfortable cadence, it was much easier to type. It also helps to get you into the zone!
All-in-all, a walking pad is a wonderful way to increase your levels of physical activity while still keeping up with all your commitments.
Is a walking pad treadmill loud?
Generally speaking, walking pads will be quieter than traditional treadmills. However, some models may produce a slight buzzing noise when in use. If you are in a shared workspace, consider a model that’s designed to be quiet.
Is it difficult to work and type while walking?
It may take some time to get used to walking and typing at the same time. The key is to start at a slower speed and gradually increase your pace as you become more comfortable.
How fast can you walk on a walking pad?
It depends on the model. Most walking pads reach a maximum speed of about 4 mph (6.4 kmph).
How often do you lubricate a walking pad?
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. In general, you should lubricate your walking pad at least every 3 months, depending on the number of hours you’ve walked.
How much weight can a walking pad hold?
It depends on the walking pad model. Most can accommodate users up to 220-265 lbs (100-120 kg). Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines before purchasing.
- Are walking pads any good? Yes, they are a great way to increase your physical activity on a daily basis
- Start slowly and gradually build up your walking and typing speed
- Walking pads are ideal for small spaces or for use at a standing desk. Opt for a foldable one if you need to pack it away