Why Are Walking Pads Getting More and More Popular?

One part TikTok, one part convenience

Standing desk
Walking pads are growing in popularity.
Getty Images

What makes a piece of home exercise equipment enter the zeitgeist? During the early days of the pandemic, Peloton saw an uptick in sales, as people experiencing lockdowns sought more exercise equipment to stay in shape. While not a piece of exercise equipment per se, standing desks have also become less and less of a niche category as more people have come around to the idea that sitting all day isn’t great for their health.

When it comes to the growing popularity of walking pads, it turns out that TikTok has also had an impact. In a new article at Slate, Sejla Rizvic writes that walking pads have “exploded in popularity since the beginning of the year” — and that part of that uptick has involved people raving about their experience with walking pads on TikTok and YouTube.

In 2020, Brittany Brown provided a good overview of smaller treadmills at The Strategist — pointing to one walking pad, a foldable treadmill designed for walking only, hailing it as “super space-efficient” and pointing out the substantial number of storage options that one has with it, from storing it on its side to putting it below a couch or bed when not in use.

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The Slate article also features a good breakdown of where a walking pad might come in handy — and when just leaving your desk to go for a walk might make more sense. Getting some walking in every day is a good idea, after all — but weather conditions don’t always allow for that, and walking in general might be challenging depending on where you live.

Still, it’s not hard to see why walking pads would appeal to both people concerned with getting exercise in and who might have avoided buying a full-size treadmill for reasons of space. It’s a potent combination, especially when you factor in the appeal of fitness-focused social media platforms.

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