The LifeSpan Fitness TR1200-DT5 is their most affordable multi-width treadmill desk, available with surface sizes of 68.5″L x 38″W or 68.5″L x 48″W.
But considering the price difference between this model and the TR1200-DT7, would your best option be to opt for the more advanced DT7, with its electronic desk height adjustment?
In this review we’ll take a look at several different options, to help you decide which combination best suits your budget and fitness goals. This includes comparisons between LifeSpan treadmill desks as well as workstations from TreadDesk and VariDesk.
Design and safety features
The TR1200 base is designed as a walking treadmill, accompanied by the free-standing DT5 desk that together allow you to walk while you work.
The 2.25 HP DC drive motor is more powerful than in the earlier TR800 treadmill base (2 HP), and allows up to 6 hours of continuous use. That’s compared to 3 hours for the TR800-DT5, and 10 hours for the top-of-the-line TR5000-DT5.
Although this is less than the 3.0+ HP motors you might be used to seeing on light commercial treadmills, this is more than enough to maintain the maximum 4 mph belt speed with the full 350 lb capacity.
The 20″W x 50″L walking surface is slightly wider and shorter than the TR800, providing you with an extra 2-inches of width with practically the same footprint. The 2-ply tread belt is made using the same high quality materials as on the TR5000, and shares the 4.6″ step-up height. That’s 0.4″ lower than on the TR800 treadmill.
Unfortunately the electronic height adjustment and storing height settings in memory is a feature exclusive to the DT7 desk. But the TR1200-DT5 can still be manually adjusted through a height range of 41″-55″, making it suitable for users between 4’10” and 6’8″ in height.
LifeSpan have also put a lot of focus into reducing any distractions caused by the motor or treadmill motion while working. This includes keeping the desktop frame detached from the treadmill base, ensuring that any vibration isn’t transferred to your work area.
You’ve also got high quality components inside the motor and running deck that help suppress noise, making it a viable addition to your workplace, even in a shared office space.
In fact, as with their TR800 model, LifeSpan have marked the belt of the TR1200 to make it more obvious when the belt is in motion, helping to reduce the risk of injury.
There are several more obvious safety features that LifeSpan have built into this treadmill desk, including a safety key that connects you to the console, and their unique Intelli-Step™ feature.
Taking a look inside the treadmill deck, you also have 6 compression shocks designed to reduce the impact of your foot fall and maintain healthy joints.
Intelli-Step™ and Intelli-Guard™
Measuring the number of steps you take per day is a useful indication of how active you are, and is a key feature of most personal fitness trackers and pedometers. Increasing step count is one of the foundations of the American Heart Association’s recommendations for improving heart and overall health.
Intelli-Step™ works in much the same way, sensing your foot fall on the belt and keeping a record of how many steps you’ve taken during your current session. The result is then displayed on the console screen, which can be synced to the Active Trac app via Bluetooth when your work is complete.
Intelli-Guard™ acts as more of a safety feature, and will pause the movement of the tread belt if you step away for 20 seconds or more. Both features are built into the treadmill rather than the desk.
LifeSpan Fitness TR1200-DT5 – Features Summary
- 16″ of adjustable desk height
- 20″W x 50″L surface
- 2.25 HP motor
- Speed range 0.4 – 4 MPH
- Intelli-guard safety pause stops the treadmill when not in use.
- Intelli-step counts your steps and displays Step Count on the console
- Low step-up height at 4.6 inches
Display console features
To keep the TR1200-DT5 as affordable as possible and minimize on distractions, LifeSpan Fitness have only included the most essential features in their treadmill desk consoles.
This means you won’t find any entertainment features, such as MP3 connectivity, a web-enabled screen, or separate personal viewing system to watch your favourite sports and movies (available with some top-of-the-line NordicTrack treadmills).
Instead you have a very clean and simple interface, with a screen that scrolls through workout feedback and a simple LED indicator to let you know which metric is being displayed. This includes a step count, distance, duration, and number of calories burned during your current session.
All of this information can then be synced to the Active Trac app via a Bluetooth connection, where you can track a history of your performance. The data can also be viewed with Apple Health or Google Fit.
Whereas the TR1200-DT3 provided you with a mobile console that you could pick up and place anywhere on your workstation, the TR1200-DT5 offers an integrated console. This is mounted to the front of the desk to provide easy access to the control buttons and workout readouts without getting in the way of your work.
The position of the console leaves you with enough space to rest your forearms on the padded armrests, which help to provide stability when you write and type. They’re also designed to reduce the risk of injuries associated with long-term typing and keyboard use, such as carpal tunnel and repetitive strain injury (R.S.I.).
There’s even a cable tray beneath the surface that provides a secure place to stow extra cords and cables from your electronic office equipment such as the monitor, keyboard and phone.
Workout programs and user profiles
This is a section that we include in all of our treadmill reviews, but we rarely see any form of workout programs with treadmill desks. User profiles are also unlikely, but you can store 2 different desk height settings in memory with the upgraded TR1200-DT7 model.
The LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 has no workout programs to choose from. Because there are no incline settings and the belt speed is capped at 4 mph (or 2 mph, depending on your setting), you wouldn’t have a great deal of choice when it came to preset workouts.
That being said, TreadClimbers use treadles and belts with a similar top speed to the TR1200, and do offer goal based workouts on a selection of their latest machines.
Although we would like to see some form of goal setting workout, it’s easy to see how this could detract from the focus on your work. That’s why we treat the lack of workout programs the same way as the lack of entertainment features, by saying it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Ease of assembly and maintenance required
LifeSpan have done an excellent job with the user manual, and although there’s no assembly required for the treadmill, the desk setup is clearly explained in just a few steps.
The desk is made up of 4 main parts, which includes the desktop, lift frame, and pair of base feet. But because of the weight and fact that it’s free-standing, you may need some assistance in getting the treadmill and desk combination into position.
For this you have a couple of options. Either you can carry the boxes to where you’ll be using the treadmill desk, unpack and assemble, then dispose of the packaging yourself, or you can use a professional assembly service.
LifeSpan Fitness themselves offer a ‘white glove service’, which is essentially the whole package; carried to your room of choice, assembled, and packaging removed. But it does come with an additional expense of just under $200.
If you’re buying through Amazon, you’ll probably notice they’ve started listing local companies who can complete the assembly for you, offering a similar service to LifeSpan for a lower cost. This gives you the added benefit of being able to search through multiple companies and read reviews from other people who have also used them for a similar service.
Once the assembly is complete, front-mounted transport wheels make it easier to move the treadmill, with adjustable base levellers to ensure there’s no unwanted movement in the desk.
The TR1200-DT5 user manual has a useful section for troubleshooting a small number of potential console error codes, but nothing dedicated to maintenance.
However, to get the best performance out of your treadmill and limit your reliance on the warranty, it’s useful to know about any special products or checks that LifeSpan recommend.
There’s a section on the LifeSpan website called FAQ, where you can search through frequently asked questions relating to all of their fitness equipment, including treadmill desks.
This is where they outline the routine, which for the TR1200 is to lubricate the treadmill belt every 3 months using their 100% silicone treadmill lubricant. They also recommend periodically inspecting the belt to ensure it’s centered, and steps for adjusting the belt position if needed.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Motor: 3 years
- Parts: 2 years
- Labor: 1 year
An extended parts warranty is also available for 3 or 5 years.