If you often find yourself too tired to exercise after a long work day and have a standing desk that you haven’t been standing at, using a WalkingPad A1 Pro may be your best option for making sure that you get in some daily exercise. The treadmill is easy to set up, and though it takes a minute to acclimate your workflow to walking while working, you’ll get used to it quickly. Before you know it, you will be working and walking for most of the workday. For someone who used to struggle to find 30 minutes to get away and walk during the week, this under-desk treadmill has been a complete game-changer. My desk may never get lowered to chair height ever again!
- Easy to set up
- Easy to use
- App is easy to navigate and works with Google Fit
- Walking at slower speeds for longer periods is very beneficial for your health
- Using the WalkingPad A1 Pro has got me out of my office chair and using my standing desk as it was intended
- This is a great way to make sure that I am doing more than just sitting on my butt all day long
- Nothing — I love this thing!
Even if you don’t consider sitting to be the new smoking, daily sitting for long periods can cause negative health issues; many of us don’t have a choice. We buy adjustable desks that can go from sitting to standing height with the press of a button. But now what? Standing still for long periods, especially on hard floors, is uncomfortable. And surprise! Standing all day comes with its own host of health problems. The WalkingPad A1 Pro Foldable Under Desk Treadmill might be the perfect solution, as long as you can master the fine art of walking as you work.
The Mayo Clinic says that research has long linked sitting for long periods — whether behind a desk, a screen, or a wheel — with multiple health concerns that go far beyond a case of “blogger’s butt.”
Sitting for long periods can contribute to obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and unhealthy cholesterol levels; too much sitting for prolonged periods also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Getting a standing desk, assuming it would be a fit for your workspace, might seem like the perfect solution. Yet standing has been linked to its own set of health problems, including lower back pain, neck and shoulder stiffness, general muscular fatigue, leg swelling, varicose veins, sore feet, and more.
The Mayo Clinic goes on to say that research has shown that moving more and sitting less can contribute to better health, which makes perfect sense. They advise that you make an effort to stand, rather than sit, as much as possible or find ways to walk while you work.
Hold that thought; I want to back up for a second and give you some background about my experience using a standing desk.
In January 2017, I embraced the obvious and decided it would be healthier to stand while working; I bought a 72″ by 72″ bamboo-topped Jarvis L-Shaped standing desk.
In the past 5+ years, I’ve used the Jarvis as a standing desk off and on, but lately, I’ve found that even with an Ergo Impact LeanRite Elite to perch on or lean against and with a cushioned base under my feet, standing while working was becoming really fatiguing.
I think the issue was mainly that I was standing in place most of the time, only taking occasional breaks to walk around.
So instead of looking like this …
… more often than not, my office looked like this.
So there I was, with this fancy (and expensive) standing desk that I’d bought with the best of intentions, yet it was becoming rarer and rarer for me to use it while standing. If I wasn’t going just to give up using my standing desk in defeat, I needed something that would make working while standing more comfortable and less tiring, if that was even possible; otherwise, I wasn’t going to do it.
Okay, back to Mayo Clinic’s recommendation that you find ways to walk while you work.
As you are likely aware, walking is a low-impact exercise that when done regularly and for sustained periods, can improve your health by easing joint pain, improving cardiac health, preventing weight gain, improving posture, reducing the risk of strokes, improving circulation, and a whole host of other good things. Generally, the recommendation is a brisk, 3-4 mph daily walk lasting 30 minutes.
But the Mayo Clinic also mentions that if you have a standing desk and can put a compatible treadmill under it, being in motion all day, even at a leisurely pace, can have a profoundly positive impact on your health.
Due to their usually cumbersome size, most treadmills won’t fit under a standing desk; that’s where WalkingPad treadmills come in.
Unlike the typical full-size treadmill with fixed side rails and a waist-high display that offers adjustable incline settings and programmed walking or running workouts that simulate traveling through different terrains, WalkingPad treadmills have a slightly different feature set.
WalkingPad treadmills are quite compact, and even if a particular model has a handlebar, the entire device can be folded so that it is small enough to tuck under a bed, a taller couch, or a desk when the treadmill isn’t in use.
WalkingPads don’t offer adjustable inclines or pre-programmed workouts, and because they don’t have fixed waist-high side rails, all of the models they offer could technically be used while working at a standing desk.
Since the main purpose of an under-desk treadmill isn’t running, it’s not surprising that several WalkingPad models only offer top speeds of under 4 mph.
When WalkingPad reached out and offered one of their treadmills for review, I was intrigued but also a bit skeptical. I had no doubt that walking for a good part of the day while working would be much healthier than sitting or even standing, but I was worried that I was setting myself up for failure.
Would I be able to stay productive while walking? Would I even be able to type? Could I drink water from my usual cup without dousing myself? Was I going to wind up falling off of a treadmill that offered nothing but the edge of my desk to hold onto? Eeeesh.
Even so, I figured that I might as well give one of their treadmills a try to see how it all worked out. Worst case scenario, I’d break my nose a 4th time through some sort of user error. The best case scenario, though, would involve me finding a new way to get guaranteed daily exercise — even on days when I might not have otherwise felt I could take a break to exercise.
I have more of those than I care to admit.
After looking at the treadmill models offered, I requested the WalkingPad A1 Pro; it is specifically listed as being an under-desk treadmill, although (as I mentioned) the other WalkingPad models would most likely work just fine.
WalkingPad helps you select which treadmill will be best for your needs by sorting its models by color, top speed, style, max load, and country. As you can see, there are three models with top speeds of 3.7 mph, which is perfect if you’re buying a treadmill for use under your standing desk.
Inside the surprisingly small (albeit almost 70-pound) box, you’ll find the treadmill, a power cord, remote control with lanyard, an Allen wrench, a quick start guide, a user manual, and a 20ML bottle of Dimethicone lubricant.
Folded, the WalkingPad A1 Pro measures approximately 32.5″ long by 21.5″ wide by 5″ thick; the front of the treadmill holds the display area, but instead of being at waist level or higher, it is at your feet. The WalkingPad weighs about 62 pounds and appears to be built to last with a sturdy frame under the molded plastic.
On the thicker front of the treadmill, two wheels make it easier to move the WalkingPad for setup or removal.
Next to the wheel on the upper right (your left), there’s a door that covers the power port and an on/off switch.
Unfolded, the WalkingPad A1 Pro measures 56.4″ long by 21.5″ wide by 5″ thick with a 47″ long by 16.5″ wide walking area. The walking platform is made of high-density fiberboard; above it, there is an EVA cushioning layer, followed by a smooth layer with a low friction coefficient, topped with a wear-resistant and anti-slip walking belt.
Following the Quick Guide, I picked a spot at my desk to place the WalkingPad, unfolded it, connected the power cord, and turned it on. Next, I downloaded the KS Fit App for iOS or Android.
While you can technically use the WalkingPad A1 Pro without installing the app, there are some reasons you might want to.
To unlock all of the WalkingPad A1 Pro’s features, including a faster walking speed, you have the option of walking 0.6 miles and rebooting the treadmill or completing the novice guide in the app; I opted to complete the novice guide.
Opening the app, you’re guided through account setup and pairing the app with the treadmill. Assuming you haven’t yet completed the Novice Guide, your speed will be limited to 1.75 mph with a startup speed of 1 mph. [Clicking on any photo will open the gallery]
This is a good time to hit the WalkingPad Display button and choose the metrics you’d like displayed; not that you’ll really be looking at the physical display again if you’ll only be using this under a desk, though.
Assuming you’re wearing a comfortable pair of shoes, you can go through the Novice Guide, which will teach you how to use the WalkingPad A1 Pro in Manual Mode and Auto Mode while walking you through the remote control’s button functions.
Manual Mode is pretty straightforward; you get on the treadmill, turn it on through the app or remote, and you can raise or lower your walking speed through those methods, too. Auto Mode, on the other hand, entails automatic acceleration the closer to the front of the WalkingPad that you get, with the treadmill automatically slowing down the closer to the rear of the treadmill you get.
When using the WalkingPad A1 Pro at a desk, you’ll likely never see the functions on the treadmill’s display; they include time, speed, distance, calories, and steps.
Instead, you can keep track of your duration, miles, calories, and steps from within the app while walking.
The speed adjustment button at the bottom will allow you to set your walking speed manually with three preset buttons, or you can use the remote control to change the speed.
You can keep track of your walks through the app’s exercise data.
And I appreciate that the KS Fit app syncs with Google Fit, as, for some reason, my treadmill steps don’t always register on my ScanWatch. I don’t have an iPhone to test it, but I assume the app will also play nicely with Apple Health.
You are working while on the WalkingPad A1 Pro does require a period of adjustment. You have to train yourself to walk more slowly than usual; 1 – 1.5 mph may seem excruciatingly slow, but it is a good place to start perfecting your “working while walking” stroll. Again, the goal here is not to get 30 minutes of an intense workout in; it’s to walk at a low speed rate for longer periods.
At these lower speeds, it is absolutely possible to drink water without spilling and to type without fumbling, and at these lower speeds, there is no fear of me flying off the treadmill. Just about the only workflow item that I don’t quite feel confident doing while on the treadmill yet is editing photos; when photo editing is necessary, I stop the treadmill and stand on the platform as I work.
You know that tingly, electric feeling that you get in your legs after a run? Well, I get that same satisfying tingle after a 2-hour walk at 1.7 mph; however, I’m not out of breath, I’m not sweaty, and my knees aren’t screaming. Throughout the day, I can get in a 30-minute or longer walk multiple times, and I’ll take breaks where I simply stand and work on the WalkingPad A1 Pro’s platform as needed. My goal is to eventually be able to walk most, if not all, of the time I spend at my desk; I am well on my way.
If you often find yourself too tired to exercise after a long work day and have a standing desk that you haven’t been standing at, using a WalkingPad A1 Pro may be your best option for making sure that you get in some daily exercise. The treadmill is easy to set up, and though it takes a minute to acclimate your workflow to walking while working, you’ll get used to it quickly. Before you know it, you will be working and walking for most of the workday.
Am I suggesting that walking slowly for hours on end is enough exercise to allow you to stop regular workouts when you are able to do them? Of course not. But if you have had far too many days slip by where you didn’t get any healthy movement in and you basically sat on your butt form hours on end, this could literally be a lifesaver.
This under-desk treadmill has been a complete game-changer for someone who used to struggle to find 30 minutes to get away and walk during the week. My desk may never get lowered to chair height ever again!
The WalkingPad A1 Pro retails for $699.99; it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Easy to set up; Easy to use; App is easy to navigate and works with Google Fit; Walking at slower speeds for longer periods is very beneficial for your health; Using the WalkingPad A1 Pro has got me out of my office chair and using my standing desk as it was intended; This is a great way to make sure that I am doing more than just sitting on my butt all day long
What Needs Improvement: Nothing — I love this thing!