Treadmill vs. Stairmaster: Which Is Better for Office Workers?
Work Wellness

Treadmill vs. Stairmaster: Which Is Better for Office Workers?

|Mar 14, 2023

The trend of fitness equipment for office workers has been increasing since there is an increased awareness about the importance of working out in the workplace. You can add multiple office workout options to your daily 9-5 routine, from a walking desk to the treadmill for desk. This doesn't mean you will be exercising during the entire shift, but some portion of your work day is spent on a foldable treadmill or any other desk workout equipment while the rest is spent sitting or with a standing desk. This switch between active and stationary workstations is proven to be highly beneficial for mental and physical employee health.

That being said, there is an ever-increasing number of workout options for office workers, and when it comes to an aerobic point of view, a common debate goes on between a treadmill vs. stairmaster. The benefits of stairmaster vs. treadmills for office workers are long studied to find out the most effective form of workout for you. So, whether you prefer walking on the treadmill to lose weight or using a stairmaster to work on those glute muscles, both pieces of equipment have their own set of pros and cons.

What is a Stairmaster?

Those of you who are fascinated by new machines might be eyeing them in the gym for a while now, these machines act like they are taking you somewhere, but they only take you steps ahead in your fitness goal. A stairmaster is an aerobic machine with a moving set of stairs that work like an escalator. 

You have to step up constantly to keep up with the machine, and this step up helps in working out the muscles. Just as you would find an incline in a treadmill, a stairmaster offers stairs to elevate the height. Due to their ability to train the lower body muscles while also boosting the user's metabolic expenditure, Stairmasters are most frequently utilized for weight loss or low-impact leg muscle workouts.

What is a Stairmaster?

What is a Treadmill?

On the other hand, the treadmill is a decades-old aerobic machine mainly aimed at strengthening heart health. A treadmill imitated a long road so people who don't have walking platforms can walk and work out on a treadmill. But a treadmill doesn't only give a flat walking surface. You can control the treadmill's incline to have an uphill walking sensation and manage speed to increase or decrease your walking pace hence modifying the calorie burn rate. Secondly, with modernism in treadmills, you can get options like a curved treadmill designed for high-impact workouts.

While many people confuse an incline treadmill vs stairmaster for the same features, the truth is both the stairmaster vs. treadmill for fat loss have different capabilities. Below you can find all you need to know about similarities, ease of use, space occupied, and stairmaster vs. treadmill calories burned for the same workout time.

What is a Treadmill?

Stairmaster vs. Treadmill: Similarities and Differences

Both the stairmaster and treadmill are cardio fitness equipment; hence you can find several similar features in both these types. It is their differences that can impact the final choice. So read below to see all the similarities and differences between a treadmill and a stairmaster.

Cardiovascular Health

A stairmaster imitates the stair climb, whereas the treadmill provides a flat or uphill walking experience. Both these activities elevate the heart rate and build cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular Health

Leg Muscles

Another similarity between the two machines is that both target the leg muscles as they focus on working out the lower body. A stairmaster and treadmill engage your calves and thigh muscles, building lean muscles and toning the lower body.

Resistance Training

Since you can control the speed, height, stair distance, and incline in these two types of machines, you can also benefit from resistance training. Most people mistakenly consider a treadmill a low-impact workout machine, but the truth is that you can adjust it to a high-intensity workout easily. 

Workout Difficulty

When a treadmill is utilized without an incline, one of the critical differences between treadmill and stairmaster exercises is that a treadmill essentially only gives a cardio workout. In contrast, a sairmaster offers cardio and resistance training all in one.

Muscle Building

A stairmaster involves more muscles in the lower body, such as the quads, calves, glutes, and hamstrings, whereas a treadmill workout on the entire leg muscles without explicitly targeting a single group of muscles in depth.

Muscle Building - treadmill vs. stairmaster

Impact on Joints

Injury is a constant possibility when engaging in strenuous physical activity. The hips, knees, and ankles might become stressed during a routine treadmill workout because, with each step, your body experiences shock waves that travel throughout.

On the other hand, a stairmaster workout requires much less shock absorption and offers a more pleasant activity. While the motion of climbing is less harsh on your joints, it is more demanding on your knees and ankles, which is why good form and posture are crucial for both types of workout machines.

Calories Burned

There is no specific measure to define which equipment burns a more significant number of calories than the other. Since it all depends on multiple factors such as speed, settings, workout time, initial weight, and workout intensity, however, some studies pertain to the fact that a stairmaster burns around 40% fewer calories compared to a treadmill workout for the same speed and duration.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Treadmill or Stairmaster Better for Weight Loss?

From a weight loss point of view, a treadmill is much more efficient in calorie burning than a stairmaster. This is because a treadmill involves a high-impact workout and can burn almost twice the number of calories in the same workout time.

Is the Treadmill or Stairmaster Better?

Both treadmills and stairmaster are ideal for increasing bone strength and density while enhancing muscle strength. On the other hand, a treadmill is considered more high-impact than a stairmaster, whereas the latter option is better for low-impact gentle workouts.

Treadmill vs. Stairmaster for Belly Fat: Which is Better?

None of these two pieces of equipment directly targets belly fat. But with continuous workouts and a consistent calorie burn rate, you can achieve a slimmer belly.

April 2024 Offer

Spread the word