The Lifespan Workplace Under Desk Treadmill TR1200-DT3-BT is a simple and effective way to get on your feet during office hours. The device allows you to stay active at your desk, increase your daily step count while answering emails, attending meetings, and more, and earns a spot in our round-up of the best under-desk treadmills.
A relatively new invention now creeping into more and more offices and home work environments, under-desk treadmills do exactly what the name suggests. Designed for use with a standing desk, you can slide the machine under your workspace and set it to a low speed. This way you can walk slowly while you work instead of sitting for hours.
Dimensions: L 160 x W 72 x H 18 cm
treadmill size: L 127 x W 51 cm
Maximum user weight: 159kg
Advertisement: W 31 x D 8 x H 5 cm key controlled with LED screen
Maximum incline: 0
Max drop: 0
Top speed: 6.4 km/h
Warranty: Lifetime for the frame, three years for the motor and two years for the parts.
Workouts and other features: none
A 2014 study published in PLoS One (opens in new tab), found that the introduction of these devices into offices “has a significant beneficial impact on both physical activity and work performance”. On average, people who used under-desk treadmills burned an additional 74 calories each day, and most reported increased self-reported performance.
Lifespan was one of the first mass-market brands of desktop treadmills, with the TR1200 being the most affordable of their latest releases. It features a quiet 2chp (continuous horsepower) motor that won’t distract you from your workday and six shock absorbers that we think provide a stable yet comfortable tread. At over £1,000/$1,000 it’s not cheap, but if you’re often tied to your desk and looking for an easy way to increase your daily calorie burn, it represents an oven-ready solution.
It’s not quite as sturdy as the model in our best treadmill overview (opens in new tab)but it’s still a useful tool (if you have the money). Here’s what we think of the machine after putting it through its paces at our test center.
Structure and usability: 4/5 stars
Setting up the Lifespan Workplace Under Desk Treadmill TR1200-DT3-BT is a simple process. The treadmill arrives intact, so all you have to do is plug the IEC power cord into the wall outlet, connect the console to the treadmill with a DVI cable, and then place the console on your desk for easy access while you work. Then all you have to do is switch the machine on and you’re good to go.
However, as a warning, this machine is quite heavy, so you’ll need to work with someone else to move it. We found it difficult to move from the delivery location to the testing room – even between two people – and the company specifically states that moving the machine once it’s been delivered doesn’t help.
Design and display: 2.5/5 stars
The treadmill itself has a slim profile. Measuring 63 inches long, 28 inches wide, and 7 inches high (160 cm long, 72 cm wide, and 18 cm high), it fits around most workstations in the home or office, particularly as it is designed to that a large part of the machine is placed under a desk.
In terms of aesthetics, the Lifespan TR1200 isn’t particularly elegant. The cheaper plastic finish of the side rails and motor housing doesn’t do justice to the machine’s premium price point. But the overall look is understated, fitting in with an average office environment and blending into most workspaces.
The console is bulky and (intentionally or not) has a retro feel to it. Although it only has six buttons (On/Start, Enter/Mode, Stop/Pause, Accelerate, Accelerate and Bluetooth) and a small LED display, at 31cm wide it takes up a considerable amount of space on your desk, so make sure that your workspace it is big enough to accommodate it.
Features: 2/5 stars
If you’re a tech lover looking for bells and whistles galore, the Lifespan TR1200 isn’t for you. As mentioned, the minimalistic console (shown above) has just six buttons, allowing you to start and stop the band and adjust the speed up to 4 miles per hour on the fly.
This is all the functionality you need from an undertable treadmill and allows the machine to fulfill its modus operandi: you can walk and work at the same time and enjoy all the benefits of a treadmill workstation. The small LED display on the console shows your total activity time, number of steps, estimated calories burned, distance traveled, speed, and weight (if you enter it), although you can only view one number at a time by scrolling through they cycle with the mode button. There’s also a safety key that you can clip to your clothing, and if you fall or step off the treadmill, an emergency stop will activate.
However, other cheaper models like the Bluefin Fitness Task 2.0 offer preset programs, remote controls and app connectivity, adding an extra element to your daily walk.
Performance: 4/5 stars
When it comes to performance, the Lifespan Workplace Under Desk treadmill TR1200-DT3-BT excels. The 2-channel motor operates quietly and efficiently, meaning you can easily take a work call without worrying about being drowned out by the mechanical whirr associated with some treadmills.
The strap moves smoothly and without judder at any speed, so you don’t have to question your stride, and we found the 51cm width (over 10cm wider than many of its competitors) was roomy enough for us to walk, without worrying about clipping the side rails with our feet. The six under-harness shock absorbers also help ensure a comfortable ride, and after several hours of use throughout the workday, our knees continued to feel fresh.
With its easy setup and slim profile, the Lifespan TR1200 does all the basics well. However, given its higher price point, it’s surprisingly doing little to help develop the under-desk treadmill scene. The control console is clunky and the cables connecting it to the console hang somewhat untidy from the back of our desk. There’s no app connectivity or preset programs, with the built-in pedometer for tracking your steps being the only notable extra feature.
Value for money: 3/5 stars
If you are considering purchasing the Lifespan Workplace Under Desk Treadmill TR1200-DT3-BT, we recommend that you first think about how often you will be using the machine.
The four-digit price is too high to be treated as a workplace experiment. However, once you’ve tried an under-table treadmill and are determined to use the machine as part of your daily work routine, the benefits begin to pile up and the cost to validate. It’s a sturdy piece of equipment that’s built to last, but it doesn’t have any more bells and whistles than much cheaper options like the Mobvoi home treadmill (opens in new tab).
The Lifespan TR1200 treadmill offers everything you could want in an undercounter treadmill and it does it very well. The belt moves smoothly and combines with six shock absorbers to provide a comfortable, smooth running surface at speeds from 0.8 to 8.4 km/h. The 51cm wide treadmill is also roomy enough to accommodate most users, meaning we didn’t have to worry about stepping off the treadmill while we focused on our work. So if you just want to start moving more during your office day, it will definitely do the trick.
But considering it costs £1,299 / $999 USD, we’d expect more from this treadmill. The understated design is functional without being flashy, and the console looks like it was built in the ’90s. There are no preset programs, options for remote controls, or app connectivity like those seen on other under-desk treadmills, and only basic metrics are offered for feedback, with no summary of your session available at the end of the day.
If that’s not for you
If you’re interested in an undercounter treadmill but want something a little more affordable, we’ve been very impressed with the Bluefin Fitness Task 2.0 (opens in new tab), which retails for just $379 / £274. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a premium model, the Lifespan TR5000 offers a more powerful motor, an aluminum motor and a slimmer, updated console that might suit you quicker.
As we tested
We have tested all treadmills in our test center and rated them with 1-5 points according to the following criteria:
- setup and usability
- design and presentation
- Price-performance ratio
For all models we have tested the minimum and maximum speed controls and the ability to climb and descend every slope. Where appropriate, we also tested two different training classes along with all the metric tracking available and the apps and memberships that support them.
https://www.livescience.com/lifespan-workplace-under-desk-treadmill-tr1200-dt3-bt-review Lifespan Workplace Under Desk Treadmill TR1200-DT3-BT review