Standing Desk vs Walking Desk

Updated: Aug 30, 2022 3:43 PM
Standing Desk vs Walking Desk

When improving your home or office workspace, you likely want to consider whether a standing desk vs a walking desk is ideal for you. The best standing desk can be adjusted between your ideal sitting and standing heights so that you don’t have to stand too much.


  • Both standing desks and treadmill desks reduce the health issues caused by sitting all day while working.
  • Standing desks should be adjustable to your height and switch between sitting and standing for maximum productivity and health benefits.
  • If you use a walking desk, you should see an improvement in motivation to complete tasks, but you will have to walk at a slow rate to avoid affecting your productivity.

You can also use some of these flexible options with under-desk treadmills to create a walking desk. If you aren’t sure whether you want a standing or walking desk, check out the differences between a standing vs kneeling desk.

Which is Better: Standing Desk vs Treadmill Desk

The primary difference between a standing and treadmill desk is what you do while working. At a treadmill desk, you stand and walk throughout the day. Both products provide a means to use more muscles throughout the day.

Insider Tip

An ergonomic standing desk improves comfort throughout the day by reducing back pain associated with slouching.

However, too much of either type of desk can be harmful to your body. So, it is best to limit how long you stand or walk based on your productivity, motivation, and comfort. Another option for office workers who can’t stand all day is a standing desk vs a stability ball for burning calories and increasing comfort.


Some standing desk companies claim users see an improvement in productivity while using their desks. This claim relates to increased focus while standing compared to sitting. In comparison with walking desks, standing models offer increased productivity related to the effect that walking has on your body since it is easier to type or read while stationary.

At higher speeds, walking desks will affect your productivity. The natural bouncing that occurs with each still generally leads to trouble reading or typing as you walk. However, you most likely will adapt to this over time and be able to increase your speed.


Some treadmill desk users feel more motivated because of their activity. Many report that they also want to get more done because they are moving around. As a result, you may notice that you feel less tired throughout the day.

Adjustable height desks also referred to as sit-stand desks, improve your motivation by activating your muscles. This side effect causes your body to respond differently than sitting at a desk. However, you may notice that walking increases your motivation more because you want to keep busy while staying active.

Comfort in Standing Desks

When set up correctly, standing desks can decrease the amount of back pain you experience every day by improving your posture. Additionally, sit-stand desks burn slightly more calories per 60 minutes than sitting, leading to potential weight loss and a less sedentary lifestyle.

However, overuse leads to lower leg pain and foot pain related to blood pooling in the legs. To combat this, be sure to move occasionally while you stand or take breaks. If you can afford it, you may even add an under-desk treadmill for use throughout the day to increase comfort and exercise while reducing weight. Alternatively, you might like some of the leading standing desk bikes for your daily workout.

Comfort in Walking Desks

Walking or treadmill desks ease some of this lower extremity pain by promoting movement and better circulation. However, they can still lead to leg and foot pain if used too long.

You may also notice that you have less energy overall and are more tired by the end of the day because you have been exercising. On the other hand, walking desks inherently burn even more calories than their standing counterparts and may reduce heart disease and high blood pressure.


Walking all day can cause fatigue, so you should take breaks when needed and walk at a low speed.


Should treadmill desks be used to prevent sitting disease?

Treadmill desks may be used to combat sitting disease, but they should be used in moderation, at least initially.

Are treadmill desks ergonomically correct?

Treadmill desks may not be ergonomically correct because you are standing and walking all day. When set up correctly, a standing desk with the option to sit part of the time is a better option ergonomically.

Can a standing desk help my back pain?

Standing desks may reduce back and neck pain associated with slouching or bending over to be close to your monitor if they are ergonomically adjusted to the right height.

STAT: According to a November 2017 study in Circulation, standing burned an extra 15 calories per minute compared to sitting. (source)

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