The Tread Deck Area

On a self propelled treadmill, the 'tread' area is usually smaller than that of an electrically powered model. This is because a manual model, in itself, would normally be smaller, and you would probably just be walking or jogging at a comfortable speed. However, because of the fact that the tread deck area is smaller, you should still make sure that there is still sufficient 'length' in the tread area to accommodate the length of your stride when you are either walking, jogging or running flat out.

Another reason for this is that, when running full speed on the manual treadmill, you should ensure that there is enough space for your stride length on the belt. Because,if the belt is not long enough, or too narrow, then your exercising may be uncomfortable and there may be a danger of you tripping over, or slipping off the tread deck area. We all know that, when we are out running, or even just walking, it's important that we should feel comfortable.

Additionally, another consideration when we buy our treadmill is that the model we choose to buy has a sufficiently well cushioned tread deck, and an efficient shock absorber system. The rollers beneath the tread deck belt should also be large enough, free running and robust enough, to take the punishment of, hopefully, many healthy years of the pounding feet of your whole family.


So, when you go to buy your treadmill, you should ask yourself, 'which type do I prefer, a manual or an electrical model?' You should remember the difference, with the self propelled, or manual model, you do have to provide the energy yourself. With the electrically powered model it's 'done for you.'

The Manual Model

You actually have to start the belt moving by pushing it along with your feet; and, it is the action of your feet walking or jogging on the deck, or tread area, that keeps it moving: it's you that controls the speed of your exercise. The manually driven treadmill is usually the less expensive of the two choices, but it does not give you the superb range of add-ons, such as all those electronic readouts, and the incline feature etc'.

The Electric Model

With the electrically driven model it is all 'done for you', because it's you who operates the electronics; and, it's you who sets the speed of the exercise yourself. The treadmill belt will then move at the speed to which you have set it. An additional bonus is that you can re-adjust the speed during your workout, as you exercise.

With the electric model, you can also usually set the tread deck to a degree of 'incline or decline', if you so desire. This enables you to give your workout a greater, or a lesser, degree of difficulty. Additionally, as you exercise, you can vary the intensity of your workout which can be more interesting, as you can see your progress on the electronic readouts, right in front of you.


A self driven, or manual, treadmill is really only recommended for those people who are already in pretty good shape, have reached their 'target weight', and simply want to keep themselves in shape, and to keep themselves at their target weight. The biggest attraction of a manual treadmill is the lower cost. However, you should be warned, it will make you work harder, hence the above mentioned caveats.

For those who prefer being 'in charge' of their own workouts, the electrically driven treadmill is a more sensible choice for them; because it is, quite literally, you who sets the pace of your exercise. Buying a treadmill should be looked upon as a good investment because, whichever type of treadmill you do decide to invest in, electrically driven or manually driven, it will help you towards weight loss the healthy way.

Additionally, once you have committed yourself to owning a treadmill, you are far more likely to use it, and use it regularly, to keep in good shape. So, as I've said before, you pay your money and you take your choice. (Just think of all the money that you will save on those doctor's bills .)

If you have enjoyed, or benefited from the information I've provided here, please drop me a line in the comments box below. I will get back to you with the answers to any questions about your weight loss program, general nutrition or a healthy diet.