NordicTrack is a company that specializes in exercise equipment and that specialization plays heavily in their offering of an exercise desk. The treadmill desk NordicTrack made is more of a treadmill fitted with a desk than the other way around. The desk is well made and has an attractive design, but there is a gap between what it can do and what it is meant to do. The walking belt can handle high speeds which are much more than required for a desk fitted treadmill. The iFit software incorporated into the machine emphasizes exercise more than getting work done. This approach by NordicTrack is further buttressed by the inclusion of an incline function which is unnecessary as well. The working platform is much too low for average height adults interested in doing any work as it is only at hip level.
All in all, NordicTrack treadmill desk, unfortunately, does not live up to expectation in the most important aspects. It features a lot of add-ons that, in fact, add little value to the overall usefulness of the product. Not enough attention was paid to the most important details like ergonomics, that practicality would have been a more worthy feature to consider. There are many talking points and they shall all be covered in this NordicTrack desk treadmill review.
- Innovative design and aesthetics.
- Can be folded to take up less space when not in use.
- iFit incorporated software for more enjoyable workouts.
- Shock Absorption with a padded walking surface.
- Unlimited motor replacements in the event of damage during normal operation.
- Scores very low on ergonomics.
- Warranty is not comprehensive.
- Incompatible with improvement accessories.
- Out of place in an office environment.
- No value for money.
How Does the NordicTrack Treadmill Desk Fare as a Desk?
The working surface of this unit is not bad in and of itself and at 38” by 18” is manageable if not the biggest one available for most people’s needs. The trouble arises with the adjustment of the desk surface. Despite the gadgetry on display with the NordicTrack, there is no simple way to adjust the height of the work surface when the treadmill is set up and running. One would expect a button that could be pressed for up or down adjustment while the user is on it but, unfortunately, this is not the case. The easiest way to adjust the height is when the unit is in the folded upright position but at that point, it becomes just a glorified desk and the walking component is completely bypassed. All this makes the fact that the desk is about as high as the thigh of a regular adult a big failure. A proper workstation should be such that the elbows can rest on it or it is at least not too far away but this is not the case with the NordicTrack. It is much too low even for shorter people.
On the desk, the controls are the first things nearest the user and there is always a need to lean over them in order to use the rest of the surface. The controls would have been better placed on either side to avoid accidental pushing of buttons and also just to have more access to the desktop’s area. There is no such thing as a keyboard tray or any sort of depression for the keyboard to be placed in so that it is not at the same level with the monitor. This means that whenever the monitor is at the right height, the keyboard will be too high and vice versa.
Due to the nature of the equipment, it is impossible to add any sort of accessories like monitor arms and the like to improve the user’s experience. The manufacturer also does not offer any such accessories to be purchased alongside the product. The unit is steady enough in a stationary position but there is significant vibration from the motor and from the user’s movements to distract the user from properly conducting activities like typing.
Other Features of the NordicTrack Desk Treadmill
There are a lot of features in the NordicTrack walking desk that might have been better suited for strenuous aerobic exercises and full-fledged cardiovascular workouts. However, the expectations of the product are those of a desk first and foremost and those of a treadmill second. The following features are features that favor a more exercise based approach to the product:
Heart rate monitor: By grabbing onto the handles of the NordicTrack treadmill desk, users can get a reading of their heart rate. This is not very accurate and can be put off by many false readings and also by the unsteadiness of the hands while in motion.
Incline: The walking track can be adjusted to an incline of up to 10 degrees in order to increase the difficulty of walking and thereby burn more calories and exercise the muscles more.
Top speed: The unit can go at speeds up to about 6mph which has exceeded the realms of brisk walking and fallen into the territory of full-on jogging. However, a case may be made that one does not have to use it to its full capability. However, electric motors are more liable to burn out if used at slower speeds than their capacity, as they carry a larger load for a longer period.
iFit Coach: The onboard fitness software can offer services like monitoring calorie burn, devise meal plans and suggest the adequate duration of sleep for the user. All these can be synchronized with the included iFit device that is worn on the hand. The software also has a premium version that offers even more uses.
Integrated Google StreetView: The user can select virtual terrains on Google Maps which creates an illusion as though one was actually walking through those chosen locations. This can be used in conjunction with the user’s laptop to navigate over virtual distances. The incline can even be automatically set to mimic the terrain going up or down as needed.
The Bottom Line
The NordicTrack desk treadmill would make an impressive exercise machine for people interested in more vigorous workouts while having a surface to put something on. The criteria for judgment and evaluation in the reviews are very different from what it would have been if the product was described and marketed differently. If you are looking for an affordable treadmill and don’t mind a desk installed on it, this might be the product for you but it is certainly not one to be set up at an office where serious work is expected. It will prove distracting to you and your coworkers, not to mention the space it will take and the effort involved in folding it up and out of the way when it is not in use.
The warranty initially looks promising but it has loopholes when looked at closer. While the offer of unlimited motor changes is attractive, you will not get the service and diagnostics required to change them for free beyond a year. At the end of the day, you may spend as much as it costs to change the motor yourself just to determine that indeed, you need a new one.
The NordicTrack desk treadmill reviews by actual users of the product have been less than stellar and they are not helped by features which would normally have been pluses in the right situation. People wanted to have the best of both worlds, but it does not look like the NordicTrack excelled at either. To conclude, it is better to explore other options at similar prices and even lower ones before deciding whether to invest in this product. It might be the perfect choice for a fitness coach and other related professions but it certainly is not suitable for the majority of office working conditions.