The Exerpeutic “Model 2000 WorkFit High Capacity Desk Station Treadmill” is the low-price and low-quality leader in the treadmill desk field. With an MSRP of $999 you can typically find this unit on sale at Amazon and Walmart for less than $700. This latest model still has many of the hallmarks of its predecessors, which is not a good thing.
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first and if you’re still interested in learning more about the WorkFit 2000’s features you can read on. Surprisingly the Exerpeutic 2000 gets a fairly high user rating on Amazon despite nearly every comment including one or more (sometimes quite a few) very serious complaints about the unit.
Perhaps some people feel that in light of the low entry price they’re willing to accept the long term risk of developing aches and pains, medical bills, and getting friendly with the UPS guy when they have to ship it back for repair or get replacement parts from Exerpeutic’s notorious customer service department. More likely, based on the dozens of comments that we’ve read, they simply don’t know what’s coming. Ironically many of the user reports begin by saying “I bought it despite all the negative reviews I’d read.” Well, there you have it.
The non-adjustable desktop of the WorkFit 2000 is permanently bolted into position, far too high for all but the very tallest of individuals, and places the keyboard too far away from the user. This is an ergonomic travesty. Exerpeutic literally did nothing more than bolt a surface down without having an expert on ergonomics point out the very obvious problems with using a desk in this position. To add insult to injury Exerpeutic relocated the control console to sit right between the user and their keyboard – and supersized it, to boot – widening the gap between the user and their keyboard even further.
This new model now has a piece of foam that runs along the front edge of the desktop. While this may look like a good feature, with the way the whole workstation fits together the foam hits in the middle of your forearms instead of under your wrists, luring you into a very poor posture and placing your hands in a position to encourage the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Other manufacturers of treadmill desks at least make an attempt to mask the exercise equipment origins of their treadmill bases. Exerpeutic didn’t bother to do anything of the kind except govern the top speed of the treadmill down to 4 mph (twice the recommended top speed for NEAT conditioning, but the same as LifeSpan has set their limits to). The handlebars are still attached to the base, and in fact some of the treadmill controls are embedded in the hand rails behind where a walking worker would be standing. There is an incline function, too, which of course is useless to a working walker trying to stay out of cardio exercise range.
The belt on the Workfit 2000 is a wide 20” but an insanely short 40” in length. Anyone over 6’ tall would likely be very uncomfortable on such a short deck. Many users complain about hitting the plastic motor housing cover with their feet unless they step even further back from the keyboard. As we discuss at length in the Ergonomics 101 section the aim is always to keep your hands as close to your body as possible in order to avoid “rounding” your shoulders.
With the Exerpeutic Workfit 2000 you will not be able to adjust the work surface and keyboard to anything remotely ergonomically proper, so be prepared to get frequent neck and shoulder massages. Do this for a long enough time and you’ll also be able to contribute frequently to the college fund for the kids of your favorite physical therapist, chiropractor, orthopedist or Voodoo practitioner.
Assembling the WorkFit 2000 requires two people and lots of patience. It helps if you’re mechanically inclined, or at least adept at reading instructions that aren’t particularly helpful.
Even if you assemble the Workfit 2000 correctly and tighten the bolts all the way down as far as they’ll go you’ll still have a wobbly, unstable platform that will shake your monitor with every foot step. If you’ve lived in California so long that you’re used to earthquakes it may not bother you much but for most people it may become annoying over time. We were going to mention the two cup holders as a positive point until realizing that with such an unstable platform having a cup of hot coffee sloshing around near your keyboard and electrical equipment might not be such a good idea.
The positives, sort of
If you believe what the manufacturer claims – and there’s not much reason to – the 1.5 HP motor in this treadmill will support a 400 lb. user. This seems exceedingly unlikely especially since users of much smaller stature complain of the instability of the entire treadmill, so believe what you will.
The small display console shows the usual time, distance, calories burned (inaccurate at speeds of 1 – 2 mph, in any event), speed and heart rate. If you have to have handlebars on your treadmill desk the one good thing that can be said about the Workfit 2000 is that the pulse reading grip strips on the handlebar will let you monitor your heart rate to make sure you don’t go into too high a zone.
While the desktop height cannot be adjusted the tilt can, and in fact the entire desktop can be tilted down for stowage and the treadmill folded up and rolled away (it weighs 167 lbs. but it has wheels, so technically Exerpeutic can call it “portable”).
The bottom line
As you can tell by now we wouldn’t recommend this treadmill desk to anyone who plans to use it on a daily basis, or who doesn’t have the patience to deal with infuriating product reliability issues. The old adage “you pay for what you get” certainly applies here. While the infomercial style promotional video on the Amazon website makes the Workfit 2000 look like a very compelling product this company epitomizes fad-chasing, having put very little thought into how a good treadmill desk should be designed.
That said, if you’re really short on bucks and you want to take a flyer you can rest assured that between Amazon’s world-class customer service and the exceptional 5-year motor warranty you’ll probably get $700 worth of use out of it before junking it for a real treadmill desk. Another low-budget alternative is to purchase Exerpeutic’s standalone treadmill base, the TF1000, and add your own height-adjustable desk to it. MSRP is only $499 and you can find it for under $375 at Amazon and other retailers.
Before Exerpeutic started bolting desktops to their treadmills and marketing them as treadmill desks, one of our editors purchased the Exerpeutic treadmill model similar to the one this WorkFit 2000 is based on, planning to leave off the handlebars and use it with his own height-adjustable desk. He had a similar litany of complaints about it as we’ve read again and again from other Amazon customers.
Many people noted in their reviews that the boxes arrived damaged in transit and with broken parts inside or dangling out of holes in the box. Indeed, when our colleague’s Exerpeutic arrived the UPS guy clearly didn’t want to deal with taking a damaged 130 lb. box back to his truck so he just dropped it in our lobby and scrambled out the door like the building was on fire. When we all came out to the lobby to see what made the horrendous crashing noise (we thought an air conditioning unit might have fallen from the ceiling) we discovered the mangled Exerpeutic treadmill with bent metal parts poking out of every hole.
After hassling with a UPS damage inspector, the wreckage sitting in the middle of his office for a few days, our colleague finally sent the unit back and got a much better, albeit slightly more expensive treadmill from Amazon that has been his trusty daily workhorse ever since. Thankfully Amazon stood behind the product even when he couldn’t reach Exerpeutic’s customer service department.
When we inquired with the UPS inspector he explained that boxes like these are designed to be shipped on pallets with straps holding multiple treadmills together and thus giving them the rigidity needed to cross the ocean from China. Once the straps are cut and individual units are shipped out from Amazon’s warehouses to customers in the US their insufficient integrity becomes obvious as they get kicked around at the hubs and are loaded on and off delivery trucks.
From reading the most recent reviews it appears that Exerpeutic still hasn’t learned how to build good shipping boxes for their treadmills. Many customers report their units arrived with box damage and damaged components. Some had good experiences with responsive customer service, others waited as long as two weeks for resolution. Either way you have to ask yourself if this hassle alone is worth the savings. But wait, there’s much more to be told…
The most inexpensive treadmill desk you’ll find anywhere. Ironically, gets high ratings from users, despite many noted deficiencies. Five year warranty in the motor is exceptional.
Horrible ergonomics. Terribly unstable platform. May be OK for using in the laundry room for 20 minutes a day but that’s about it.