Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Unsit Treadmill.

Unsit Treadmill.

There are precious few reviews of the Unsit Treadmill on the web that are truly independent. Most are on consumer review sites (and you have no idea whether they’re genuine). The reviews that turn up highest in searches are by a firm that you can’t really call independent — they’re owned by a parent of a company that distributes the Unsit Treadmill. So I figured I should provide one, seeing as how I bought it recently. I wanted to fit exercise into my daily routine. My way of doing this for now is to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. An under-desk treadmill is perfect for this goal.

I did a decent amount of research. I’m a heavy guy — not scary, drop-dead heavy, but overweight for my height. The last thing I wanted was to buy a piece of junk and have to replace it in a year or two because it wasn’t made for a heavy person to walk on. I looked at units like the LifeSpan TR5000 as well. However a number of factors led me back to the Unsit — mainly its dimensions and its construction.

Order and delivery

The Unsit Treadmill site on InMovement made ordering very easy. The price can be a bit eye-watering if you’ve only been looking at light duty treadmills through Amazon or other general retail sites. However, those treadmills are not in the same class as the Unsit and other units in the $1500-3500 range. They aren’t made to be used as often, and the construction and quality are accordingly lower.

I chose the standard (free) delivery option, figuring at worst I could call on a friend to help me move it inside. This was a good plan, because the unit is extremely heavy — over 175 pounds. It arrived via FedEx Freight, on a palette. The delivery person was happy to deposit it where I wanted via my driveway, such as into my garage. (They won’t move it any further than they can get with their forklift dolly.) I had him put it on my driveway at the end of my walk to the front porch.

My wife and I were able to move it into the house, with a bit of struggle and the use of our hand cart (which is rated to 300 pounds). One person should not try this on their own, not just for safety but to avoid damage. Fortunately my office is just off our main foyer so that was as far as we needed to go. Important note: One side of the treadmill is heavier than the other, and it’s good to know who’s got which end when moving with a friend!

Setup and quality

Taking the treadmill out of the box was very easy. Once I cut the shipping straps and unsealed the box, the top half just lifts off. Then I easily separated the packing material from the unit. The front housing sits on very heavy wheels and the unit is made to be rolled like a wheelbarrow into place. I was able to do this myself. If you have back problems or issues lifting, though, again you should seek help. You don’t want to drop even half this unit while you move it.

The construction quality is extremely heavy duty. The deck of the treadmill seems to be solid steel. The tread mat itself is heavy duty rubber several millimeters thick. The frame similarly is a combination of steel on the runners and heavy plastic on the front cover and the rear corner bumpers. When I stood on it, there was no give at all — nice to see since I knew I’d be walking on it for many hours each week.

The InMovement folks say the Unsit Treadmill is designed for industrial use — meaning it could be run all day every day, as if it were in a gym. That’s a great way to say, several hours of walking a day shouldn’t be a problem. Of course it’s impossible to say how that works out in practice. I’ve only had it a month. But so far, it feels like it was the right purchase.

Design and functionality

My new office setup — (cable management unfinished at time of photo).

One of the most important qualities of the Unsit Treadmill is that it’s much wider than an average treadmill, and much shorter. The shorter length makes it perfect for walking, but impractical for running. You couldn’t run on it anyway — its top speed is only 2.0 miles (3.2 km) per hour. That’s about as fast as you can walk and be effective at work while reading, typing, or conversing. The shorter length also means the treadmill doesn’t stick out as far into my room. It looks more like office equipment than gear that was transplanted from a gym.

The wider span means I can reach any area of my 5-foot wide desk, without leaning or being in danger of falling off. I’m a natural klutz so this is critical for me! The heavy deck seems to be exactly the same rock-solid stability at all points, no weakness or creaks toward the edge or the rear. However, you must have a desk wide enough to accommodate the treadmill, since part of it will sit underneath the desk.


There is only one control — a console with a single large knob that sits comfortably anywhere on the desk. There’s an electronic push control for on/off, and the dial adjusts from 0.1 to 2.0 miles per hour with approximately 0.1mph steps. The lighted segments make it easy to dial in the same speed at any session.

The treadmill never starts or stops instantly. It ramps up or down to the desired speed. The process takes a few seconds, so it’s easy to compensate without getting off balance. This also applies to changes in speed. There are definitely treadmills with more geegaws, but I don’t see how they could be useful. I just want to walk, not manage another electronic gizmo.

The Unsit Treadmill has a standard 3-prong grounded outlet built into the front of the unit. This makes it handy to plug in a power strip for other office gear, while plugging the treadmill itself into a wall outlet.

Finally the unit, is very quiet. I have no problem holding conversations in the room, nor on calls with coworkers. It’s no louder than a running refrigerator, even operating at top speed. My shoes make far more noise on the tread than the unit itself!

On seating

I had one test on which I wasn’t sure how the treadmill would measure. When you have a treadmill desk, you will likely not walk all day. (That’s not any healthier than sitting all day.) So sitting is important. Some people use a yoga ball for this. I called InMovement to find out whether I could safely put a normal office chair on the treadmill deck. They told me while they couldn’t officially recommend it, many of their staff do just that (sometimes alternating with a yoga ball. The representative said, just don’t bounce vigorously on the chair, and make sure the total weight doesn’t exceed the recommended limit. She repeated an opinion I’d already formed: “It’s truly built like a tank, you should be fine.” That was great to hear.

Since that, I’ve been alternating walking, standing, and using my office chair with no problems. I also felt the deck after using the chair for a few hours, to see if there were any dents or other ill effects under the walking tread. No issues at all to date.

If you’re really worried about doing this, and a yoga ball isn’t for you, InMovement sells a sit/stand/lean stool designed specifically for use on the treadmill. It’s quite pricey in my opinion — over $200 — but if it gives you peace of mind, go for it.

Unsit Treadmill: summary

I’m very happy with my purchase. While it cost a hefty premium over some other units, the Unsit Treadmill quality is undeniable. If I can manage a decade or more of use — which should be easily possible by lubricating the belt regularly — That’s only about $20 a month for better health and longevity. Pretty good value, if you ask me.