Walking Pads: Trend Or Solution? A Doctor’s Perspective

Authored by: Dr. Ehsan Jazini

They say sitting is the new smoking, which might explain the enormous growth and popularity of walking pads or walking desks. Are they the key to solving the problem of our sedentary lives or are there risks to consider?

I’m in Northern Virginia so this time of year — I often get a lot of questions about whether or not it’s worth it to invest in a walking pad or treadmill. Temperatures are cold here and in much of the U.S. Snow, rain and ice can make running or walking outside treacherous. So is it worth the investment? Let’s talk about it.


Walking is one of the best types of exercise you can do — to build and tone muscle, work your whole body, build endurance and boost both your mental and physical health. Many find that regular walking reduces their back pain too.

A treadmill certainly makes it convenient and easy to do that walking — especially during the winter. If it’s in your house, you’re probably far more likely to get your steps in for the day, no matter the weather.

Down sides

Cost tops this list for many. A treadmill is not a cheap investment. On the other hand, investing in your health is priceless and will pay long term dividends.

Walking pads can be a cheaper option — many are using them at their desks these days and that’s a great way to walk more throughout your day.

Plenty of treadmills become very expensive places to pile clothes so be honest with yourself if you’re really likely to use it too. If you’re someone who needs the accountability of leaving the house to exercise, this might not be the investment for you.

What to shop for

There are several things to take into consideration before making this purchase. Start with the size of your space. If you’re going to have to fold it up and move it a lot — you’ll need one with wheels because these are way too heavy to move regular. Nobody’s back could take that.

Also, determine what your goal is. Are you simply wanting to get more steps in or will you want to jog as well. If you want to run on the treadmill, you will need something really sturdy with the ability to increase your speed.

The bottom line is — walking is great for your back and your body so finding ways to do more of that is always a healthy and positive decision.

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