iMovR McHale TreadTop StableChair Review
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Unless you have a particularly wide standing desk that can accommodate both your treadmill base and a regular sized office chair side-by-side, the best solution for sitting at your treadmill desk is not to bend over and roll the heavy treadmill out of the way each time, but rather to use a treadtop seat of some sort, all of which we’ve reviewed. There are basically two prime directives when it comes to designing a seat that you can place on top of an office treadmill: 1) it has to be super stable and safe, 2) its base can’t damage the tread belt. The McHale StableChair is the latest treadtop chair to hit the market, and iMovR’s fourth option in this category. The McHale has a 26”-wide base, which means the only office treadmill with a deck wide enough to accommodate it is the iMovR Unsit Treadmill—for which it was specifically designed. With the adjustable height, lumbar support, and “4D arm adjustment,” you will be able to achieve your ideal position for working at your treadmill desk when you want to take a break from walking or standing. Compared to its cousin, the McHale Ergonomic Office Chair, it has had the seat pan tilt and backrest tilt removed in the name of safety and stability when resting on a treadmill deck, but has had a footring added to give the user a place to rest their feet other than the fragile plastic motor housing of their treadmill.
Designed specifically for the iMovR Unsit Treadmill base, so it will only work on treadmills with a base greater than 26″ wide.
|MSRP / List Price||
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Storm Gray, Night Black, Bay Navy, Lagoon Blue, Kelp Green, Drift Gray
American steel. All other components made in Canada.
Back height: 39.5″ – 43″
Overall: 42.75″ – 50″ H x 28″ W x 28″ D
|Typical Assembly Time||
Compare to Other Top-Rated TreadTop Seats
|Where to buy||
Buy on iMovR
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Suitability for Treadmill Desking|
|Positives||As the name implies, this is a sturdy and safe chair, specifically designed to be placed on top of a wide-deck iMovR Unsit office treadmill. There is a lot of adjustability in this TreadTop seat, including lumbar support and 4D articulating armrests. The mesh back stays cool even if you sit for hours, which of course you’ll never do because your regimen as a treadmill desker will undoubtedly be to switch up from standing to walking to sitting throughout the day. The waterfall front edge of the seating ensures good circulation to the lower extremities. The footring is an excellent feature as it will let you get as close to your desk as you need to while keeping your feet off the fragile plastic motor housing. Overall, a very sturdy, good looking, and comfortable ergonomic chair, made in North America with high-quality componentry and workmanship.|
|Negatives||The biggest downside to this very robust chair is that all that steel makes it quite heavy relative to iMovR’s other treadtop seats. At 29 lbs some people will not be keen on lifting it each time they take it on or off the treadmill, and might be better off with something like iMovR’s lighter weight options such as the TreadTop Energy Stool. While the Tempo TreadTop Chair is technically 8 lbs heavier than the McHale, the weight is better balanced and therefore the chair feels easier to move around. Unlike the regular McHale Office Chair, this TreadTop version lacks seat pan and backrest tilt adjustments, though this is to ensure maximum stability and safety when you’re working 5” higher than the floor on top of your treadmill. (We did not find this to be a problem at all in our testing; if anything it forced us into a really good posture for working at the computer.) Because of the wider and highly stable 5-foot “star” base, this TreadTop seat only works with treadmills that have a belt at least 26” wide, which sadly doesn’t include any other current walking treadmill model other than iMovR’s Unsit Treadmill base.|
Even professional athletes can’t walk all day without taking a break, and even though we constantly extol the virtues of walking while working on a treadmill desk, we don’t expect anyone to do it throughout the entire workday. In fact, doing anything for too long at a stretch—sitting, standing or walking—would be unhealthy and negatively impact your productivity. Since there aren’t that many standing desks out there that are wide enough to fit an underdesk treadmill and an office chair side-by-side, seating that fits on top of the treadmill is a great solution, and this iMovR McHale TreadTop StableChair will give you the best mix of a comfortable and attractive, modern office chair and ergonomic workstation benefits.
Why a New TreadTop Seat?
If you look at iMovR’s selection of ergonomic seating options, you might wonder why they added the TreadTop StableChair when they already had the Tempo TreadTop Office Chair. We did, and we asked them about it. As it turns out, it has to do with the supply chain and cost of materials. The specialized powder-coated enamel steel used to make the Tempo’s circular base comes from Germany, and costs have skyrocketed while availability has become challenging in the past couple of years due to both the pandemic and war economies. iMovR knew they needed to provide a more cost effective and quick-shipping option for their customers.
The StableChair was their solution. The steel for this chair is just as high in quality, but it is sourced from America. Interestingly, the chair is actually fabricated in Canada, which has just as high manufacturing standards as those in the USA or Europe. So while it loses the “Made in USA” label that the Tempo has, it is still as durable and safe for the application, while coming in at a much more affordable price point.
You can see that the strength of the chair wasn’t compromised at all, since the weight rating went from 300 lbs on the Tempo to 350 on the StableChair. All the components are a bit supersized for this higher weight rating, yet the overall chair weighs only 29 lbs compared to the 37 lb Tempo Chair. Still, we found that the McHale is no easier to lift up onto the treadmill, as you have to do so by grabbing the two armrests. It would be nice if it had a handle in the seatback like the Tempo Chair has to balance the weight a bit more easily.
The bottom line is you need good upper body strength to lift one of these robust, ultrastable ergonomic chairs onto the treadmill. Many users will for this reason prefer one of the very lightweight TreadTop stool options like the Energy Stool or Tempo Stool for this very reason.
In further comparison, while the design of the 5-arm star base of the StableChair is different from the round base of Tempo Chair, they are both equally kind to treadmill belt surfaces. The McHale TreadTop just spreads the weight of the chair and user over five separate high-traction glides instead of one large circular contact point, but they are both equally good at not damaging the integrity of the treadbelt.
Adjustable Ergonomic Seating
One of the main design upgrades of the StableChair over the Tempo is the inclusion of 4D adjustable armrests. “4D” meaning the arms can be adjusted in 4 different ways. The forearm rests can be adjusted up and down, forward and back, inward and outward, and can also pivot to support your entire forearm when typing.
The other adjustable parts are the overall chair height, standard for any office seat, whether chair or stool, and the lumbar support. Twisting a knob will increase or decrease the curve in the lumbar section of the mesh back, further enabling an ergonomic seating arrangement.
Though it doesn’t have an adjustable angle for the seat pan, like the Tempo, it doesn’t need one as much because of the waterfall edge seat. This helps the comfort of the legs and reduces the possibility of circulator impingement. It also doesn’t have tilt adjustment on the backrest, but this is more to ensure the stability of the chair and keep it safe for users.
Like the Tempo Chair, the McHale has a footring to keep your feet off the fragile plastic motor housing. On the McHale the footring is standard, whereas it’s an add-on option on the Tempo Chair.
Comfortable Mesh Back
Aside from the adjustability of the seat to help ergonomic positioning of the body while sitting, the StableChair also tries to keep the sitter more comfortable. The mesh back of the seat is breathable and cool, like those fancy Aeron chairs and other high-end office chairs.
Treadmill Compatibility of the McHale StableChair
The iMovR McHale TreadTop StableChair was designed specifically with the iMovR Unsit Treadmill in mind. This treadmill base has a uniquely wide belt of 30”, while most are only 20” wide or narrower.
In order to use the StableChair, you’ll need to make sure that your treadmill belt is at least 26” wide. This might be the biggest “critique” we have of this chair, but then again, the Unsit is our favorite under-desk treadmill, so we would recommend using it anyway. If you have a Lifespan, iMovR ThermoTread GT or any other under desk office treadmill with a belt width of 17” or greater, then the Tempo TreadTop Chair or iMovR Energy Stool would be the better-suited product.
The other issue that some users may find is the weight. As an effect of creating such a stable seating option with high-quality steel, the TreadTop StableChair may be heavier than people expect at 29 lbs (though to be fair, this is what the typical ergonomic office chair weighs). So if you aren’t prepared to lift that much weight each time you want to change between sitting and walking on your treadmill, you might need to look at the stool options.
The StableChair assembles just as easily as the McHale Ergonomic Office Chair, if not easier because there are no caster wheels to install, just the glides. See iMovR’s Assembly Video to get a complete idea of what’s involved. No extra tools are needed, and we were able to put together in under 5 minutes.
The iMovR McHale StableChair ranks up there among our favorite ergonomic treadtop seating options out there. Granted, there are some compatibility issues if people have narrow treadmill belts or can’t comfortably lift 29 lbs. But if those aren’t issues for you, the StableChair is the perfect marriage between a comfortable office chair and ergonomic seating on top of a treadmill. And at a price much lower than a comparably-configured Tempo Chair from iMovR, it has become the new favorite among the long-time treadmill desk users in our office. The 12-year warranty is a comfort as well, as it reflects the quality and confidence iMovR has in the product to last as long as possible.
However, if you want to engage your core even more while you are sitting on a treadmill, you would want to look at a stool, like iMovR’s Energy Stool. But if you want to look at other treadtop seating options from iMovR, they are one of our favorite manufacturers for anything meant for standing or treadmill desk workstations.
If you want to see what we thought of even more seating options for on top of treadmills, read through our roundup of treadtop seats we have reviewed.
There are still more seats that we have in our queue to review, so you should sign up for the Office Fitness Club to be notified of all the new reviews we publish.
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