While people have been building and modifying their own treadmill desks for decades, it’s safe to say that Lifespan was the first company to truly mass produce a treadmill desk designed specifically for the office.
Originally a Fitness company, Lifespan began modifying their treadmills for use with a desk in the early 2010s. Today, they are the largest manufacturer of treadmill desks and under desk treadmills in the United States.
While most manufacturers in the treadmill desk industry offer one model of treadmill, Lifespan is unique in that it offers 3 different models of treadmill, which can be combined into 3 different desk configurations.
On this page, we’ll walk you through each of these options, so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.
First, let’s make sure you understand the available desk configurations.
Each Lifespan desk treadmill is available to be purchased as a stand-alone treadmill, with a manual height adjustable desk, or with an electric standing desk. And in this section we'll give a brief use case for each configuration.
The desks themselves don't look like much, but they do offer 2 unique features that you won't find if you purchase a desk separately:
Here are your all 3 of your available options, with a little bit more detail:
No desk included, but comes with a separate wired controller which can be placed on top of the standing desk of your choice. If you have your own desk, or if you're looking for something nicer than the Lifespan options, this is the best way to go.
Comes with a manual height adjustable desk, with built in treadmill controls. We generally don't recommend this option, unless you do not expect to adjust the height of your desk. The adjustment process is very laborious, and really requires 2 people.
This is our #1 recommended option, as it allows you to easily adjust between sitting and standing, with the help of an electric motor. So if the treadmill is being used in a common space - or if you just plan to sit every once in a while – we strongly recommend this option to make adjusting the desk height quick and easy.
Now we get into the real "meat and potatoes" of the Lifespan line. generally speaking, we find that the desk you pair with your treadmill has very little effect on how much you will enjoy using it (as long as the desk adjusts tall enough to support your height). The treadmill itself is what sets the experience and the quality apart from one another - whether we're comparing the Lifespan treadmills to each other, or to other brands.
In other words, this is both the most important - and most confusing - part of the selection process.
Lifespan offers 3 different walking treadmills each designed to fit a slightly different budget and use-case. The outline below will help you choose which one is best for you:
Lifespan’s the top-of-the-line treadmill. It features a 3 HP motor and a heavy-duty deck that help the TR5000 to hold up to heavy use and last a very long time.
Ideal for: commercial use, use in common spaces, or for people that plan to put in a lot of steps every day. This is without a doubt Lifespan's best product.
Drawbacks: It should come as no surprise that the TR5000 is also the most expensive option
The TR1200 is Lifespan’s best-selling model, and offers a nice cross section of price and durability. On the outside, it looks exactly like the TR5000, but it has a slightly lower HP motor, and a deck and shocks that aren’t quite as durable as the TR5000. But it’s still strong enough to hold up to daily use.
Ideal for: Individual daily users who don't spend all day walking.
Drawbacks: We would NOT recommend the TR1200 for use in a common space or for someone that plans to put in 10,000+ miles a day.
The TR800 is Lifespan’s budget option, and while we wouldn’t put it in the same category as some of the treadmill desks you find on Amazon (hint: they’re not good), we also don’t recommend this treadmill for any of our users.
The price may be enticing, but the TR800 doesn’t have the bones and motor to hold up to regular use, and it’s a little too big and cumbersome to use as a part time treadmill. You wouldn’t want to have to move this in and out of the way every time you use it.
For this reason, we no longer offer the TR800 in our store. We strongly recommend going up to the TR1200 treadmill at a bare minimum.
How does Lifespan stack up against the other brands in the industry?
We're currently working on an in depth comparison of these brands, but in summary we would say that Lifespan doesn't quite offer the same quality and features of the other two - but it does offer the best pricing.
There are also many new treadmill desks popping up on Amazon - often at ridiculously low price points (some even below $500). Based on our testing and knowledge of the industry, we'd tell you not to waste your time with these new brands. As the saying goes, garbage in = garbage out. They're buggy, and have no chance of lasting more than a few months.
Lifespan is a quality manufacturer, and you should feel confident that any treadmill you purchase will perform, and will be backed with good service and warranty.
For more context about how we rate Lifespan relative to other treadmills, we recommend you take a look at our Best Treadmill Desks of 2021
2021 has created major complications in the treadmill world. Demand for home fitness and treadmill desks have skyrocketed, creating parts shortages and pushing factories over capacity. Production is slow, and freight is a mess.
For these reasons, we expect backorders and delays to come and go throughout the first half of 2021 - and possibly into 2022.
Lead times may be long, but if you find the treadmill you want, order it now - because there's a reasonable chance that the delays get worse, before they get better.