What Is the Difference Between an Electric Treadmill and a Manual Treadmill?

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What Is the Difference Between an Electric Treadmill and a Manual Treadmill?

The correlation between health and fitness has never been stronger. Medical studies continue to prove that adhering to a regular exercise routine improves both physical and mental health. The question remains as to which type of exercise regimen works best. Walking at a brisk pace for at least 150 minutes per week can reduce the onset of several ailments tied to aging. However, many people cannot commit to a walking regimen because of the stress placed on their bones, muscles, and joints. They opt for a lighter impact workout that provides the same health benefits. Walking on treadmills has become a popular fitness alternative for exercise. People who are interested in buying an electric or manual treadmill should learn about the numerous health benefits provided by the sports equipment, the different advantages and disadvantages of buying each type of treadmill, and the different factors to consider before making a purchasing decision.

Treadmill Health Benefits

Before they decide whether to buy electric or manual treadmills, consumers first have to be sold on the value of owning a treadmill. Because of the limited amount of body stress and immense health benefits, most healthcare professionals believe walking is one of the best physical activities. However, many people have little or no time to join a fitness centre. Instead, they set up a treadmill at home to garner the following health benefits.

Gain Musculoskeletal Strength

Lifting free weights and pulling weight machines is not the only way to enhance body strength. In fact, weightlifting poses several health risks if the routines are not performed properly. Regular lengthy treadmill walks at pulse pushing speeds ensure strong muscles, bones, tendons, and joints. Most people are unaware that walking on a treadmill is also a weight-bearing exercise, with the treadmill acting as a pulling force that generates muscle and prevents age-related bone loss.

Flexible Joints

One of the telltale signs of aging is the degeneration of joints, particularly knees and shoulder joints. Walking maintains flexible joints, which is an especially important benefit for people who suffer from arthritis. Treadmill walking reduces the impact on ankles, knees, and hip joints that is usually due to the pounding of legs onto the pavement; the legs, instead, move in a fluid motion of a surface that cushions the impact.

Cardiovascular Enhancement

Medical practitioners promote walking as the least stressful exercise for enhancing the cardiovascular system. Yet, even walking can cause painful foot and leg injuries. Treadmill walking improves cardiovascular fitness by strengthening heart muscles and lowering blood pressure, without the risk of leg injuries. Studies prove that regular brisk walks also reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attacks. Some treadmill manufacturers install heart rate monitors to allow users to maximise cardiovascular conditioning.

Weight Loss

Instead of turning to trendy diets or abdominal machines, people who want to lose weight should consider buying a manual or electric treadmill. Treadmills accelerate weight loss by burning calories and maintaining metabolic rates. Many treadmills feature calories counters that measure the number of calories burned during a workout. Longer walking sessions at a brisk pace means more calories are burned.

Reduced Disease Risk

Medical studies conclude that walking on treadmills can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, degenerative arthritis, high blood pressure, as well as breast and colon cancer. In addition to the physical benefits, regular treadmill routines also enhance mental health. Patients who suffer from depression and acute anxiety typically realise improved conditions within just a few days of beginning a consistent treadmill-walking regimen.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric and Manual Treadmills

The primary difference between electric and manual transmission lies in how each treadmill operates. Users push manual treadmills with their feet, and the action from the feet propels the treadmill belt. On the other hand, a motor moves the belt on a motorised treadmill. Another way to define the differences between the two types of treadmills is to list the advantages and disadvantages of each treadmill type, as listed in the following chart.

Treadmill Type




Cheaper because no motor is required

Takes up less space

Easier to move

Can cause joint and muscle strains

Difficult to run

Not recommended for jogging or running programmes



Difficult to move

More durable

Easy to adjust speed

Convenient control systems

More options

Some people believe that manual treadmills enhance workout routines, but the opposite is actually true. While users supply the power, they tend to tire faster than if they worked out on an electric treadmill. The result is fewer, not more, calories burned. A continuously moving belt at varied speeds keeps people engaged on electric treadmills. Most personal fitness specialists recommend buying an electric treadmill, unless the person ranks near the top in terms of physical shape.

What to Consider Before Buying an Electric or Manual Treadmill

Regardless if consumers choose to buy an electric or manual treadmill, they need to test every model under consideration. Treadmills that shake or produce sudden, violent motions are not acceptable for purchase. The handrails should be strong enough to support the user's weight and not block free flowing arm motions. Make sure the belt is wide enough and long enough to match the normal stride. Buying factors germane to each type of treadmill are manual and electric.


Manual treadmills can create distracting noises that deter from watching television or reading a book. Consumers may find compact-looking manual treadmills that when unfolded, turn into a cumbersome piece of exercise equipment that takes up way too much space. Recent design improvements have increased manual treadmill portability and storage convenience. Consumers should analyse stability, ease of folding, weight, and durability.

New manual treadmills can bust the family budget. Therefore, consumers can search for cheaper alternatives, such as used manual treadmills or elliptical trainers. Savvy shoppers can find barely used manual treadmills at discount prices. Elliptical trainers provide users with a lower impact workout that exercises both the upper and lower body. People who recover from serious injuries tend to use ellipticals before they walk on treadmills.


The cost of electric treadmills can price consumers out of the market. Brand name treadmills cost more than generic treadmills offered by large health and fitness centres. Patience rewards consumers with significant sales and discounted prices. Shopping for an electric treadmill online can lead to extra savings, especially if consumers shop on eBay.

Consumers also have to consider the type of motor, which is mostly based on horsepower ratings. However, horsepower ratings can confuse consumers. Look for electric treadmills that have a "continuous duty rating" between 1.5 and 2.5 HP. Peak horsepower is less important than a consistent mid-power range. Most electric treadmill users rarely exceed average speeds. Avoid short motor warranties and motors that operate on quieter direct current.

Electric treadmills typically possess more options and features than their manual counterparts possess. Pace and duration represent similar control options, but electric treadmills offer users the chance to measure physical performance, such as calorie burning and heart rate. Users should be able to adjust incline and pace controls easily, as well as monitor pulse rates. Look for electric treadmills that include a water bottle holder and GPS equipment. Some of the larger treadmill manufacturers include audio or video players.

Buying Electric and Manual Treadmills on eBay

eBay provides shoppers with several tools used to screen potential sellers. After the search engine returns seller results for new or used treadmill sellers, you then begin the seller screening process. Examine the enlarger treadmill photograph that sellers present on their product pages. You can immediately tell if the seller offers an electric or manual treadmill, as well as notice any defects with the treadmill. After examining the treadmill photograph, review the seller's accepted payment methods and delivery terms to confirm that they match your shopping criteria. Finally, read the customer feedback that eBay places on each seller's product page. Consider sellers who have earned consistent praise for selling fitness related products. Once you find the right seller, ask if the seller runs an eBay Store where you can purchase products directly.


Walking on a treadmill provides the same health benefits as working out on a multi-station gym machine, but with less risk of injury. Healthcare professionals recommend treadmill walking to help lose weight, strengthen muscles, and improve cardiovascular systems. Fitness equipment manufacturers produce two types of treadmills: electric and manual. Each type of treadmill presents unique advantages and disadvantages. For instance, electric treadmills offer more control options, such as monitors for pulse and heart rates. However, electric treadmills tend to cost more than manual treadmills, which can be a concern for shoppers on tight budgets. Both types of treadmills require shoppers to consider a few factors before making a purchasing decision. Regardless of the type of treadmill, users can expect to reap the health benefits of a regular walking routine.

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