Ten-point Checklist - SCOLL DOWN FOR ALL IMAGES & DESCRIPTIONS - EASY TO MEASURE
1. The distance between the handrails: Measure the distance between the outside of the two handrails on your treadmill. The WalkTop™ supports up to 37 inches (940mm). The arm brackets can be rotated to provide maximum stability depending on the distance between the handrails.
2. The circumference of the handrails: Measure the distance around the handrails of your treadmill. The WalkTop™ supports up to 12 inches (305mm) in circumference and a minimum of 4.75 inches (120mm) but may depend on the shape of the arms. If your treadmill arms are over this size, let us know and we can provide extension straps. If the circumference is smaller than the minimum, you may need to place something around the arms first.
3. The length of the handrails and distance to console: The absolute technical minimum is 8 inches (203mm). However, depending on the height of the user and shape of the console this can sometimes lead to the WalkTop™ interfering with the console. Instead, we recommend at least 12 inches (304mm) from the front of the handrails to the console to ensure the best fit.
4. The vertical angle of the handrails: Most treadmills have handrails that are parallel to, or near-parallel to the floor. Some treadmills arms are set at an angle. The WalkTop™ may work with angled arms, however will not work well with treadmills where the arms are set at more than 20%. At 40%, there will be absolutely no height and angle adjustment available for the desktop.
5. Handrails that are not parallel: The handrails do not need to be completely parallel to each other and can angle inwards or outwards slightly. The maximum total angle is 15º (7.5º each arm either inwards or outwards from parallel.)
6. The shape of the handrails: Some treadmill arms are not completely flat. Some curve upwards or downwards in the middle. This can most often be accommodated. Some handrails have unique or irregular shapes on the bottom or top. The WalkTop™ was designed to fit irregular handrail shapes.
7. Heart monitors, cross bars, and other handles between the handrails: Some treadmills have heart monitors that sit between, and perpendicular to, the handrails. In many cases this can be accommodated, particularly if the cross bar doesn’t rise higher than 3.5 inches (90mm) above the handrails. However, in some cases, the crossbar rises significantly above the handrails towards the user. These extreme cases may be accommodated but may be best for taller users because the desk height needs to clear the crossbar. The minimum height of the desktop can be no lower than the highest part of the crossbar and desktop incline settings may be limited.
8. Controls on the handrails: Some treadmills have speed and incline controls on the arms of the treadmill. The WalkTop™ arm brackets are designed to straddle the button controls on most treadmills. While this may block unobstructed access to those controls, the console usually has secondary speed and incline controls. To ensure that the controls on the arms are not in contact with the WalkTop™, the length of the controls cannot exceed 5 inches (127mm), and the height of the controls must be under 0.4 inches (10mm). A minimum of 2 inches (51mm) is required in front of and behind the controls on the handrails.
9. The placement of controls on the console: Each treadmill places controls in a different location. Often there are multiple methods to control speed and incline. Fully unobstructed access to the controls depends on both the treadmill and the height of the user. Always use the safety tether so that you can stop the treadmill immediately if required.
10. Your own height and the height of the handrails:
The height of treadmill handrails varies. Based on perfectly flat arms at 0º angularity, the height of the desktop cannot be set lower than the top of the handrails plus 2.95 inches (75mm) or higher than 11.7 inches (297mm) above the handrails.
Measure the height of your treadmill handrails. Add 2.95 inches (75mm) for the lowest installed desktop height. Add 11.7 inches (297mm) for the highest installed desktop height.
Fully unobstructed access to the controls may be easier or more difficult depending on your height. Some may find it easier to reach above the desk to turn the treadmill on and off. Others may find it easier to reach under the desk. The desktop is clear to assist you in this task. Never over-extend, or attempt to reach further than you can while the treadmill is moving. If ever in doubt, use the emergency tether to stop your treadmill, adjust the speed and incline, and then resume walking.
Other Treadmill Selection Considerations
The WalkTop™ is designed to fit most existing treadmills, however there are other factors that may affect the selection of a good walking treadmill. In addition to the above fitting guidelines, look for treadmills with low RPM, high torque motors that support low starting speeds and high maximum user weights. Horse power, or Continuous Horse Power (CHP), is not always an accurate indicator of suitability. Manufacturers' methods of measuring and reporting CHP may vary.
Look for treadmills with longer tread belt. The width is less important, but treadmills with extremely short tread belts may not be suitable, especially for taller users. The length required is a function of the design and placement of the console as well as the natural stride length of the user.
Some treadmills support both incline and decline. While this is a fantastic new innovation, never set the treadmill to decline when using the WalkTop™. Lower walking speeds can increase load on the motor, especially at a decline. Setting the treadmill to a slight incline helps reduce load on the motor and also increases how much energy you use while walking!
IMPORTANT: Always maintain your treadmill to the manufacturers’ specifications and have it serviced regularly.