Walking pad vs Under-Desk treadmill – what are the differences?

walking pad vs treadmill

You might be asking though, what is better suited for you, an under-the-desk treadmill or a walking pad? It can be quite tricky to differentiate between the two

Walking pads and under-the-desk treadmills are often used interchangeably. Search for the best treadmills for smaller spaces and you’ll see an array of selections consisting of under-the-desk treadmills and walking pads. It can be quite confusing actually.

Walking pads are technically foldable treadmills. We can say that walking pads can be referred to as foldable treadmills but foldable treadmills cannot be considered as walking pads.

So let’s see why.

Walking pads have a slower speed

Let’s start with the basics.

Walking pads are named such because they are intended for what? Yeah, you guessed it right these compact cardiovascular machines are primarily designed for walking, hence the name.

This is the first difference between the two. The fastest running pads can go up to 7.5 miles per hour. Though some may be able to run at a speed of 7.5 mph, say petite users, it is advisable to do so. Walking pads are not meant to be run on, they lack the cushioning needed to catch the impact of your foot every time you run. So while it may be possible for some people to run on it, it can compromise your safety. It can be very bad for the knees. And most of the machines are meant to be used for lower speeds

On the other hand, you may or may not be able to run on an under-the-desk treadmill, that depends on how fast the unit can go. Ideally for running the minimum recommended speed is 8 miles/hour. Not all brands are suitable for running, so you have to double-check before making a purchase.

walking pad 2

Walking pads are controlled by sensors

You can control the speed of an electric treadmill via options that you can access by a button or a knob. And with a walking pad, it is designed in a very different way. These cardiovascular machines are equipped with sensors. And the speed of the machine is controlled by these sensors in your footsteps. So you can walk faster by getting closer to the machine and slow it down by walking backward. Perhaps this can be more evident if we are to compare an electric treadmill to walking pads, rather than a manual one.

Walking pads are still more compact

Under the desk, treadmills are great options if you need to walk or run but can’t afford a standard treadmill yet, space-wise and budget-wise. These are considerably smaller and lighter compared to the commercial versions. These can often be folded too for easy storage. But even if they can be folded, walking pads are still more compact. These treadmills can be folded up, yes, but they cannot be folded in half. But you will be able to do that with a walking pad. Hence, it can take twice as little space.

So if you’re looking for an ultimate space saver and have a really cramped space, then it’s more worthwhile to look into walking pads. But keep in mind the limitations that come with the smaller and more compact size.

The simple Joe will like the walking pads more

Treadmills have knobs or buttons that can be accessed to change the speed of the machine. Some brands may even feature an incline function that elevates the running belt to a specific height. So compared to usage, walking pads are simpler and have a more straightforward approach. Since the sensors dictate the speed depending on your footsteps, you just have to step on it and the rest is up to the machine. But with under-the-desk treadmills, you have to program the unit and select the speed that you would want to use for your daily routine.

Walking pads are better for low-impact walks

You can also walk on a treadmill, but the running surfaces of most brands are firmer and tougher compared to a walking pad. Since these machines are specifically made for walking and not running, you can be assured that they can offer a better low-impact routine. It also offers a more natural walking experience.

Thus, making it better suited for those with knee and joint issues. Walking pads are also often used for rehabilitating patients with such injuries.

Walking pads are often quieter

While we can pinpoint several under-the-desk treadmills that do not make as much noise, you will be able to find a more meek solution with a walking pad. These machines tend to be quieter compared to most treadmill brands, be it commercial or for home use. Be it commercial or for home use. That’s why you can enjoy watching TV while working up a mile or two. Walking pads do not make much noise that can likely ruin your viewing pleasure.

Under the desk treadmill may offer more variety of workouts but a walking pad can be more suitable

While treadmills may have more advantages, especially in terms of stability, durability, and variety of workout options, you may still feel like a winner with walking pads.

The main goal is to determine what you intend to use these machines for, especially if you have a specific budget in mind. Waxing pads are cheaper compared to most home office-worthy treadmills. So if you just need to walk and have a tight budget at the same time, then it can be an overkill to buy a more expensive treadmill. It can be a waste of money too.

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