Treadtop Seating Options

May 4, 2023
  • Lab tested
imovr treadmill desk with Energy Treadtop Stool

The Best Treadtop Stools (That Also Double as Perching Stools)

1. iMovR Treadtop Energy Stool

Experts’ Rating: 5-Stars

There are cheaper stools to be found for use with height adjustable desks, but for our money, the Energy Stool is a bargain. After testing dozens of different active stools over the years, we can say most are either too uncomfortable, have too small of a dynamic range, or don’t have enough traction grip for safety on slick floors. The Energy Stool is also perfect for use as a treadtop seat as the soft rubber base will not damage the belt, and it’s so light that it’s easy to move on and off your treadmill desk workstation. A gentle swaying motion isn’t just going to be good for your posture, joints, leg, and low back muscles, but it actually feels great on the glutes. Particularly after long periods of standing and/or walking at your desk. The Energy Stool quickly became an office favorite.

Price: $225

Read our full review Buy on iMovR

2. EffyDesk BohdiStool Standing Desk Stool

Experts’ Rating: 4.5-Stars

The EffyDesk BohdiStool is not only an active seating solution for people that want to continue to engage their bodies even when they are sitting down, it is also one of the few treadtop seating options that can be used easily and safely on top of a treadmill desk. With a comfortable cushion in either black or red, you can take a break from standing or walking as long as you need, while keeping your core actively engaged and improving circulation to your legs. The primary problem with the BohdiStool is the height adjustment range, which only gets up to 26” – barely above the seating height of normal office chairs. If you want to use it as a proper leaning stool, especially for taller users, you want it to get over 30” minimum.

Price: $200 CAD

Read our full review Buy on EffyDesk

3. QOR360 Ariel Active Seat

Experts’ Rating: 4.5-Stars

The Ariel active seat from QOR360 is a great ergonomic seating option, as long as you get the right size and use it correctly. While it is marketed as just a replacement for standard office chairs (and strangely with jabs at standing desks), this seat offers a great way to sit while keeping your spine and legs in a more healthy position and your core engaged for improved ergonomic positioning while working. But these benefits are best enjoyed in combination with other positions throughout the workday. While the seat cushion isn’t the most comfortable, even when used properly, customers say it is an encouragement to get up and move more. This stool also makes for a workable treadtop seat for treadmill desk users, as it won’t damage the belt with its gentle foot glides; however it lacks a footring and the cylinder post doesn’t tilt forward so it may be hard to get as close as you’d like to your keyboard without placing your feet on the fragile motor housing. QOR360 also puts their money where their mouth is and basically gives the Ariel a lifetime warranty to fix or replace any broken seat.

Price: $395

Read our full review Buy on QOR360

4. BackApp 2.0 Active Chair

Experts’ Rating: 5-Stars

In a rare case of the sequel being better than the original, Back App 2.0 raises the ergonomic and aesthetic bar set by the original while still retaining the unique, active imbalance feature that made the first chair such a hit. The new Back App now has impressive customization options equal to the original, and it earns our Experts’ Choice award with ease.

Price: $596

Read our full review Buy on Amazon

5. Varier Move Leaning Stool

Experts’ Rating: 4-Stars

The Varier Move stops just short of being a leaning chair. While it does encourage active movement, it’s far easier to sit on top of the Move than it is to use it in a leaning position. As always, you’re looking at a trade off – the Move won’t keep you as active as a Mogo or Muvman, but it’s more comfortable than most of its tilt-happy brethren. It’s also made some recent waves as an attention-boosting accessory for the classroom. Attractive and portable, the Move is a fine choice of seat for anyone after an ergonomic task stool.

Price: $399

Read our full review Buy on Amazon

6. Muvman Leaning Stool

Experts’ Rating: 3.5-Stars

Expect to see more and more Muvman lookalikes, and soon. This German made leaning stool has set the bar in terms of functionality, ergonomics, and appearance. Designed as a companion to adjustable-height desks, the Muvman is a logical addition to any ergonomic office. It’s never easy to adapt to a completely new way to work, but sometimes it’s worth it – Muvman chairs help extend time spent on your feet, while still allowing you to settle back down when you need a rest.

Price: $499

Read our full review Buy on Amazon

7. Humanscale Ballo Stool

Read our full review

The Best Treadtop Chairs

1. iMovR McHale TreadTop StableChair

Experts’ Rating: 5-Stars

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.

Price: $1,030

Read our full review Buy on iMovR

Discontinued Treadtop Seats

At WorkWhileWalking we’ve been lab testing and writing reviews of ergonomic office furniture and accessories for over a decade. In that time, we have seen many of the products we reviewed fall by the wayside. This is inevitable due to the cycle of continuous improvement, with new models supplanting their predecessors. Of course in some cases products weren’t as competitive as they needed to be, or their manufacturers ran into financial challenges (which very much accelerated as a result of the post-pandemic economy).

For whatever reason, these products now fall into the discontinued category, but we will still keep their reviews published and available to read. Whether you want to know more about the desk, monitor arm, etc. that you bought years ago, need more info because someone is selling one second hand, or just want to compare current offerings with what was available in the past, these reviews will remain here for your reference.

1. iMovR Tempo Sit-Stand Stool

Experts’ Rating: 4.5-Stars

iMovR’s two Tempo TreadTop™ seating solutions address a huge problem that many treadmill desk users contend with—how to take a break from walking or standing when your treadmill desk isn’t wide enough to accommodate a good chair alongside the treadmill. Compared to the Tempo TreadTop Office Chair, the Tempo Sit-Stand Stool is the less costly, and more versatile—in fact, we’d unconditionally recommend it as a “perching stool” for standing desk users who don’t have a treadmill. With similar ergonomic adjustability as the TreadTop Chair (only lacking a full-sized back rest), the Stool offers surprisingly good comfort—whether used as a seat, or as a standing “perch”—and is ideal for office workers looking for a portable seat they can move from the cubicle to the conference room. Boasting a lifetime warranty, the construction quality and durability of this American-made chair is exceptional.

Price: $970

Read our full review Buy on iMovR

2. Focal Mobis Upright Seat

Experts’ Rating: 4-Stars

Another winner from Focal. Investing in a Mobis stool is an easy way to get up on your feet without risking the aches and pains of a standing workday. While it takes some time to get used to a new way of working, the leaning position encouraged by the Mobis is ergonomic and relatively intuitive. Accessibility, combined with portability and a slick, modern aesthetic, make the Mobis the ideal entry-level seat for an upright office.

Price: $399

Read our full review Buy on Amazon

3. iMovR Tempo TreadTop Chair

Experts’ Rating: 4.5-Stars

Typical sit-stand-walk desks can often be too wide for many prospecting users who have more restricted floor space. iMovR’s new Tempo TreadTop ergonomic office chair transforms treadmill desks of any size into a fully-fledged sit-stand-walk workstation. More than any chair on the market, the Tempo Chair is perfectly suited for use atop any office treadmill. And its unique seat materials and adjustment range create a sitting experience unlike any other.

Price: $1450

Read our full review

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Leave a response >
  • Kendall January 20, 2023

    I really want a full office chair but don’t want to spend the iMovr money! Do you think something like a bar stool with a back, but a pedastol seat would be safe on the average treadmill? Thinking something like this

    • admin January 22, 2023

      We would be able to say for certain without testing it. The things we would look for specifically, beyond basic construction quality, include:
      – Does the circular base have any sharp edges underneath that might cut into the belt?
      – Is the seat pan large enough (15″ seems quite shallow)?
      – Is the foot rest at the right height and comfortable for both feet to rest on at the same time (just from the photo this seems a bit questionable)?
      – Does the cylinder go high enough to allow a feeling of stability when sitting six inches higher than the floor around you; conversely, does it go low enough for shorter individuals to mount/dismount safely?
      – Is the seat material breathable? This one seems to be made from imitation leather (plastic) which generally is not
      – What’s the warranty, as this is usually an indication of expect durability of the product. With a one-year warranty we’d be concerned that the product won’t last very long. When something is cheaper than it looks like it should be, durability is usually sacrificed first to achieve this.
      – Will it look nice in your office?

      We would definitely check the user reviews on Wayfair, especially the 1-stars like this one: “These bar stools are nothing what I expected! The quality is less than what I thought they would be! I bought bar stools from Wayfair before and I was very pleased with them! These I wanted to send back, however, my husband didn’t want to go through the trouble of repackaging them! The quality is zero rated!! I would not recommend them to my family or friends to buy!”

      With the caveat that we haven’t tested this particular product, from all outward indications it’s not an ideal treadtop seat. Very poor quality construction compared to what you might be thinking of having sat on in a pub. Seat pan is too small and the foot rest is also too small. These are cheapie faux bar stools that are made with poor materials and designed to sit in for only short periods of time, infrequently, when you have guests are your home kitchen counter.