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Forensic Review

Go Treadmill Desk Review

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Go Treadmill Desk Review

This Treadmill Desk is a No Go
Overview
Reviewed By

The Editors

Review Summary

The Go Treadmill Desk, designed to fit over a running treadmill, doesn't inspire much confidence. Its spindly legs and lightweight frame won't be as stable as the heavier, solid desks that we recommend. Its design does not lend itself to proper ergonomic posture, so wrist and neck pain and reduced productivity are likely to be a concern.

Warranty

1 year limited warranty

Lift Type

None

Sizes Available

23" x 48"

Maximum Height

57"

Weight Capacity

60 lbs.

Where to Buy
Positives

Low cost, light and portable. Two-day shipping times.

Negatives

At just 41 pounds, we have our doubts that the Go can stand up to serious treadmill desking. Based on its design, we wouldn't trust it with our laptops and computers. There's not enough space for ergonomic adjustments, so wrist- and neck pain are almost guaranteed.

Experts' Rating
Expert Rating
Bottom Line

The promise of turning that old running treadmill gathering dust in your basement into a walking treadmill desk might seem alluring to unsuspecting DIYers, but its ergonomic disadvantages and user safety risks could make it much more costly than a true treadmill desk.

Experts' Rating
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Review Details

Editor’s Note: The following is a “forensic” review. We have not yet had the opportunity to test the Go Treadmill Desk in our labs. In situations like this – when we have been unable to obtain a review unit from the manufacturer and when there is demand from our readers for information on the product – we evaluate publicly available information that the manufacturer and users of the product have provided online. We then apply our extensive experience evaluating treadmill desks and make an informed projection of how well this product will stack up against other products in its category. As soon as we are able to conduct a hands-on evaluation of the product or learn new information about it, we will update this review.

The Go Treadmill Desk is a small, lightweight standing desk designed to be used with a treadmill to create a walking workstation. Based on the information we have been able to find online about this product, we can't recommend it.

Stability? Portability? You Can't Have Both

The most important feature in any treadmill-ready, standing-height desk is stability. You need a steady surface to type on, and you can't have your monitor swaying back and forth as you work and walk. The typical treadmill desker has to adjust their standing desk to a position near the top of its range, which puts even the best-designed sit/stand desk in its most unstable position. This desk adjusts higher than any desk we've seen - as high as 57" - yet appears to be less sturdy than any other treadmill desk. Based on what we have seen in our research, we doubt that the Go Treadmill Desk can hold your computer steadily enough to work while walking.

The manufacturer emphasizes the light weight (41 pounds) of the Go as a benefit to the user. In our experience evaluating treadmill-ready standing desks, we have found that the weight of the desk base correlates strongly with stability: the heavier the base, the sturdier the desk. The Go Treadmill Desk attempts to address this stability issue with a single horizontal cross bar that connects the feet at the base of each leg. It's not clear from the pictures and descriptions we have seen exactly how this bar attaches to the feet (or how much space you need under the treadmill to use it in the first place), but it would appear to be bolted in place, which would prevent you from taking advantage of the very feature - portability - that the light weight of the desk is supposed to permit.

We also have our doubts about the configuration of the support legs under the desktop, which are in a "C" configuration with the open end toward the back of the desk. This is the opposite of how most furniture manufacturers use "C" legs. Typically, the longer, less-supported part of the desktop faces the front and the shorter, better-supported back of the "C" is in the back. With the Go's unconventional arrangement, anything near the back of the desk - typically a monitor - will be subjected to the exaggerated shaking that are the natural consequence of being at the wrong end of a lever.

You'll Have to Compromise on Ergonomics

Go Treadmill Desk Over Running TreadmillThe manufacturer also touts the small size of the desktop as an advantage. If you are stuck in a very small space, this may indeed be helpful, but a small work surface means that you'll have to make several ergonomic compromises.

To prevent the neck strain that comes craning your neck to look down at your laptop screen, we usually recommend a separate monitor mounted on an adjustable arm like the Ergotron LX. In the Go's case, however, we don't think it's a particularly good idea: because the desktop is only 23" deep, you may need to move the monitor farther back to get a more comfortable viewing distance – a difficult thing to do with that treadmill console in the way. You can move the desk up away from the treadmill console to give you the space your monitor arm needs, but that would mean less walking space and more trouble reaching that treadmill controls.

Another major ergonomic problem with the Go is its height-adjustment mechanism. Unlike sit/stand/walk desks like the Omega Everest that let you easily adjust the height of the desktop in one motion, the Go requires you to manually change the height of each leg one at a time, an awkward design that requires you to remove everything from your desktop any time you want to adjust its height. As much as we like walking at work, we also know that you don't want to work in the same position all day. As one of our recent blog headline put it: "Your Best Position Is the Next One." So we think the ability to easily change your desk height from walking to standing and sitting is crucial in any treadmill desk design. The Go Treadmill Desk is sorely lacking in this regard.

Treadmill Desking Is Not Exercise

Another of the "benefits" of the narrow desktop touted by the manufacturer is the ability to easily reach the controls of the exercise treadmill you're walking on. There are at least two problems with this presumed benefit.

First, treadmill desking is not an exercise activity. Yes, we should all exercise regularly, but not at work. Our main problem at work is inactivity, and treadmill desks are meant simply to get you more active, not to elevate your heart rate or make you stronger. Save exercise for the gym.

Second - and most important to your pocketbook - is that walking at the pace of 1- to 2-miles-per-hour that office-fitness experts recommend is sure to burn out your exercise treadmill motor in short order. Exercise treadmills are geared to accommodate running users, who actually kick the belt back as they run; walking slowly on a treadmill induces a much higher load on the motor as it overcomes friction to move what is effectively a dead weight. We have personally seen exercise treadmills burn out after as little as 50 hours of treadmill desking, and we have received similar reports from many readers and customers. A treadmill designed for office use, like the iMovR ThermoTread GT or the LifeSpan 1200-DT3, will both endure much longer - and give you a control panel that rests in easy reach on your desktop.

The Go Treadmill Desk is covered under a one-year limited warranty for manufacturer defects. Warranties are an important indicator of a product's reliability, and while cost-wary customers might see the Go Treadmill Desk as an inexpensive option, it's a worth thinking through all of  the costs – both in time and money – of buying a new desk if the Go breaks down. A more reliable adjustable-height desk like the manual ThermoDesk Ellure or electric ThermoDesk UpTown will have a longer warranty to guarantee years of productive walking.

Curious deskers shopping for a cheap workstation to pair with that old treadmill they found on Craigslist might be drawn to the low-cost Go Treadmill Desk. But that small sticker price may belie some big problems. With no capability of mounting an adjustable monitor arm or keyboard tray, your wrists and neck are in for an ergonomic beating. And the Go's lightweight base will likely not be as stable as a heavier, dedicated adjustable-height desk. With these issues souring the walk-while-working experience, we worry that Go users might find themselves turned off from treadmill desks entirely.

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