At some point, most people will have splashed out a piece of fitness equipment in a fit of exercise optimism, which has quickly ended up serving as a clothes horse in the corner of the room.
While treadmills, static bikes and cross-trainers are great for exercising at home, they are also large, bulky pieces of equipment that take up a lot of room no matter where you put them.
Walking pads are the latest fitness trend to explode on TikTok, going viral for how little room they take up, making them perfect for studio apartments, bedrooms and even the office.
Integrating exercise with work or study
The walking pad (which is both the generic name for the equipment and also a brand name), is a smaller, slimmer take on the traditional treadmill and folds down to be tucked away under a sofa or bed when not in use.
The thickness of the folded walking pads varies, averaging about 13cm, and many come with a removable hand rail at the front.
TikTok is awash with millions of videos showing users working out at their desk, while studying, watching TV and more. An extension of last year’s hot girl walk trend, the idea of the pad is to integrate exercise into the day rather than set aside time before or after work, or at lunchtime.
What is the difference between a walking pad and a treadmill?
The walking pad is exactly that, a machine for walking, not jogging or running — most go up to about 6kph. It’s narrower and shorter than a traditional treadmill and for safety reasons, it can only be used on a hardwood or tiled floor, not on a rug or carpet.
Many walking pads work via an app into which you add your details, such as height and weight, and the speed can be controlled via a phone or tablet. There are also pads that don’t require a power outlet, but which are moved by the walker’s feet.
Three walking pads to try
1. KingSmith WalkingPad P1
This folding treadmill has a high-star rating on Amazon and a top speed of 6kph. The 145cm length reduces to 81cm when folded and it is only 5.7cm thick for storage. It comes with a remote control that syncs with an app on your phone.
2. Marshal Fitness Walking Pad Treadmill
This low-noise option comes in blue or red and features an anti-slip belt. It’s full size is 133.5cm x 68.5cm x 106.5cm and it folds upright for storage. The LED display lets you see time, distance, pulse, speed and calories burned.
3. Skyland 2 in 1 Treadmill Walking Pad
This aluminium option weighs 33kg and measures 150cm x 72cm x 90cm. Controlled via remote control or app, it folds in half for easy storage.