Walking Pad or Under Desk Elliptical Machine: A Look at the Similarities and Differences

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Did you know that a recent study found sitting for more than 6 hours a day can increase your risk of heart disease by as much as 40%? And, while standing desks have become a popular solution to this problem, they don't always provide enough movement throughout your workday.

Enter the walking pad or under desk treadmill and the under desk elliptical machine, two innovative equipment that can help you combat the dangers of sitting for extended periods of time. Choosing between them can be tricky, but this guide will unveil the key similarities and differences to help you pick the perfect equipment for your goals.

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Similarities: Boost Movement, Reduce Sedentary Time, and Enhance Overall Well-being

Both walking pads or under desk treadmills and under desk elliptical machines share a common goal: to combat the dangers of prolonged sitting by increasing your daily movement. This goes beyond just improved blood circulation and a reduced risk of heart disease. Here's how getting your body moving throughout the day can benefit you:

Sharper Focus and Improved Cognitive Function

Studies have shown that regular physical activity can enhance cognitive function and memory. Increased blood flow to the brain, stimulated by movement, can lead to better focus and sharper thinking, making you more productive at work and while tackling tasks.

Enhanced Mood and Reduced Stress

Physical activity is a well-known mood booster. It triggers the release of endorphins, hormones that have mood-lifting and stress-reducing effects. By incorporating movement into your day, you can combat feelings of anxiety and fatigue, leaving you feeling more energized and positive.

Increased Energy Levels

Sitting for extended periods can leave you feeling sluggish. Regular movement, even low-impact activities like those offered by walking pads or under desk treadmills and under desk elliptical machines, can boost your energy levels throughout the day. This can improve your overall well-being and make you feel more prepared to tackle your daily activities.

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Improved Sleep Quality

Regular exercise can contribute to better sleep quality. By incorporating movement into your routine, even during the workday, you can help regulate your sleep cycle and experience deeper, more restful sleep at night.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

By burning extra calories throughout the day, these tools can be a valuable asset in your weight management efforts.

Strengthening Leg Muscles

Both options offer some degree of leg movement, which can help maintain and improve muscle tone in your lower body.

Key Differences: Standing vs. Sitting, Intensity vs. Low-Impact

Here's where things diverge. Walking pads or under desk treadmills are designed for you to stand and walk on a motorized belt, mimicking natural walking motion. The speed can typically be adjusted from a leisurely stroll (think 0.5 miles per hour) to a brisk walk (around 4 miles per hour). This allows for a more intense workout, potentially burning more calories compared to an under desk elliptical machine.

Under desk elliptical machines, on the other hand, are built for use while seated. Your legs move in an elliptical motion, offering a low-impact workout that's gentle on your joints. This makes them ideal for people with joint pain or injuries, or those who simply prefer a more relaxed way to stay active.

a woman in a walking pad

Walking Pad Features

Handlebars are available for some walking pad models—they can provide additional support and stability, especially at higher speeds. Remote controls are another feature to explore; they allow users to adjust the speed of the walking pad without needing to bend down.

Elliptical Machine Features

Adjustable resistance levels are a good feature that helps users get more out of their elliptical machine. Higher resistance levels can provide a more challenging workout for those who want to push themselves further.

Choosing Your Champion: Intensity or Low-Impact?

So, which contender takes the crown? It ultimately depends on your fitness goals and preferences.

For a more intense workout and increased calorie burn: If you're looking to break a sweat while you work and prioritize burning calories, a walking pad or under desk treadmill might be your best bet. Just remember, maintaining good posture and balance while walking at a higher speed might require some practice.

For low-impact movement and improved circulation: If joint health is a concern, or if you prefer a more subtle way to stay active throughout the day, then an under desk elliptical machine is a great option. It allows you to keep your legs moving without putting excessive stress on your joints.


The Final Round: Size, Storage, and Cost

Walking pads or under desk treadmills tend to be larger and require more storage space than under desk elliptical machine, which are more compact and easier to tuck away under your desk. However, walking pads or under desk treadmills generally offer more versatility, as you can use them for both standing and walking workouts outside of your workspace.

Price-wise, there's some overlap between the two options. However, an under desk elliptical machine might be slightly more affordable on average.

Take Control of Your Workday Activity

Now that you've explored the benefits and key differences between walking pads or under desk treadmills and under desk elliptical machines, it's time to take action!

Here's how to find your perfect fit

  • Try before you buy: If possible, visit a sporting goods store and test out both machines. See how they feel on your body and which one allows for smoother multitasking while working. You may also take advantage of the return offers of online companies to help you try, test, and select.
  • Research online: Dive deeper into specific models that caught your eye. Read reviews, compare features, and explore price ranges to make an informed decision.


  • Walking pad: Ideal for those seeking a more intense workout and increased calorie burn.
  • Under desk elliptical machine: Perfect for low-impact movement, improved circulation, and joint-friendliness.

No matter which option you choose, both machines offer a win-win for incorporating movement into your workday and combating the dangers of sitting for extended periods. Consider your fitness goals, workspace limitations, and budget to determine which champion will best suit your needs. So, lace up or hop on, and get your body moving for a healthier, more productive you!

About Us

MotionGrey is a Canadian standing desk company that specializes in ergonomic furniture. We supply and install only the best quality standing desks and ergonomic chairs in the country. We offer free shipping within Canada and the US.

What made you switch to standing desks? Our products are designed with wellness as the focal point. From our electric standing desks to our office and gaming chairs, we deliver best value by putting your health, safety, and comfort as top priority. Boost your creativity and level up work performance. We want you to create great outcomes so we’re providing you only the best tools to make them possible.

If you are not satisfied with your purchase, check out our Refund Policy

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