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How Quiet is a Treadmill Desk?

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If you're considering a treadmill desk for your office or place of business, you may have found yourself asking the following questions: How loud is a LifeSpan treadmill desk motor? Will it distract my coworkers? Will they like me even less than they do now? Read on, and find the answers to those two questions. 

Are Desk Treadmills Loud?

When walking through the LifeSpan offices, you will notice treadmill desks in use all day long. While the treadmills do produce some sound, the low, quiet hum easily fades into the background. In fact, when comparing the sound of one of our treadmills with the sound of a tower fan, we've found that the two sound very similar. 

In our experience, quiet under-desk treadmills are the standard because the motors in these treadmills rarely produce faster speeds than 4 mph. Still, using a treadmill does produce sound. What we've found, however, is that the walker, not the motor, produces the most sound when using an under-desk treadmill.

Hard-soled shoes, foot dragging or scraping, and stomping all tend to be distracting to those around them. We recommend wearing a soft-soled shoe (your feet will thank you), walking at a casual pace (1 to 2 mph), and actually picking your feet up when you walk. Follow these simple guidelines, and everyone around you will be happy campers.

Treadmill Desk Decibel Level

treadmill desk decibel level

From a technical standpoint, the decibel level produced by the treadmill is dependent on the speed: 1 mph is 47dB, 2 mph is 50.1 dB, 3 mph is 54 dB, and 4 mph is 59.8 dB. In other words, the quiet treadmills are slow treadmills.

However, you will find that certain tasks are more difficult to perform at speeds above 2 mph, so it will be uncommon to be at a decibel level above 50 dB. Tasks such as writing, typing, reading, and drinking your morning coffee become a little more challenging as you crank up the speed.

The noise levels tend to vary up to a few decibels between the TR1200 and TR5000. The TR1200 is the quietest office treadmill, followed by the TR5000 (cooling fan runs while in use). So if the noise level is a huge concern for you, the TR1200 may be a better option.

Recommended Steps in Quieting Your Treadmill Desk

  1. Center the Treadmill Belt: Occasionally, the treadmill belt may begin to slip to one side of the treadmill, producing a rubbing or grinding sound. When looking at the center of the treadmill, you will be able to clearly tell that the belt is no longer centered within the frame of the side rails. This can easily be adjusted. For help centering the treadmill belt, this video tutorial does a great job of stepping you through the process.
  2. Lubricate the Treadmill Belt: It is recommended that you lubricate your treadmill belt every three months with a silicone-based lubricant. This will help cut down on noise due to friction as well as increase the lifespan (see what I did there?) of your treadmill. Here is a great one-minute video tutorial on the easiest, mess-free way to do this.
  3. Use an Equipment Mat: You can also try placing an equipment mat under the treadmill to help reduce sound from floor vibrations.
  4. Secure the Motor Cover: I’ve also found that if the motor hood isn’t screwed down tightly enough, it will create a rattling noise (sometimes described as grinding) near the front of the treadmill, so make sure it is screwed down tightly.
  5. Turn off the Audible Safety Alert: Each treadmill desk will make a beeping sound to notify the user each time the treadmill starts or when the speed is being adjusted. This feature comes enabled for safety reasons, but it can easily be disabled if co-workers find the noise distracting (which they probably will). Here is video tutorial on how to turn this feature off.


    In conclusion, LifeSpan treadmill desks are very quiet, especially when compared to fitness treadmills. Walk in soft-soled shoes at a comfortable pace and properly maintain your unit to reduce those extra noises.

    In addition to selling the best desk treadmills in the industry, LifeSpan also offers standing desks, under-desk bicycles, and additional active workstation equipment. Contact us at (801) 973-9993 Option 2 or schedule a call to upgrade your office and make it a place for wellness.

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