Sitting around all day is bad for your health but you may not have the time to get a full workout in everyday.
The solution? One of the best under desk ellipticals and exercise bikes.
These products can help you stay in shape while you get work done and there’s plenty to choose from – you can easily find one that suits your needs and budget.
Let’s get into my top choices now!
The Cubii Pro is probably the most well known under desk elliptical and is a product that I really like. This product is well built and will help you reach your daily exercise goals.
One aspect that separates this elliptical from others is it is Bluetooth enabled and can connect with a free App for your smart phone. This App tracks all your workouts and helps you reach various milestones – you get all data you need to stay in shape.
Also, you can create groups with this App and compete against friends and people world wide. You won’t be short on motivation if you decide on the Cubi Pro, that’s for sure.
- Sync with other fitness trackers: Once the Cubii Pro collects all of your data you can sync it with your Fitbit or HealthKit.
- Very quiet: The last thing you want is to make a bunch of noise when you’re trying to get work done and this is especially true if you’re in a crowded office. You can rest assured this product is whisper quiet and won’t distract you or your coworkers.
- Designed for all sitting positions: It doesn’t matter how you like to sit or how much you lean back. You can adjust this elliptical to any position that suits you best.
- Well made and easy to put together: This isn’t the type of product that breaks after a few uses. The Cubii Pro will last thousands of workouts with ease. Also, you’ll be able to put it together, regardless of your experience with assembly.
I do consider this the best under desk elliptical and anyone who purchases the Cubii Pro will be happy with what they get. It’s pretty expensive, though, and will cost over $300.
There are a lot of positive reviews from happy customers. And if you want to read what hundreds of people are saying about this product, click below:
You just saw the Cubii Pro and now it’s time to look at its littler brother, the Cubii Jr. The main difference between the two products is the Pro is Bluetooth enabled and the Jr. isn’t.
Just because the Jr. doesn’t have an accompanying App or Bluetooth doesn’t mean you can’t track your progress. This elliptical has a built in display that shows you how many calories you’ve burned, miles ridden and other important pieces of information.
- Quiet: Just like the previous product, this one won’t get in the way of your work by being too loud.
- 8 different resistance: You have control over the resistance and the intensity of your workout because of this.
- Easy to put together: Another feature the Jr. shares with the Pro is it’s very easy to put together and should take no more than 10 minutes to do so.
One thing you’re really going to like is this product costs about $100 less than the Pro. So if you want Cubii quality and are fine without the Bluetooth capabilities, you’ll really like what you’re getting here.
Stamina In Motion Elliptical
If you’re looking for a budget elliptical to help you stay in shape, the In Motion from Stamina is definitely worth considering. It might not reach the Cubii in terms of quality or performance but still works well enough where most people will still enjoy it.
Like the Cubii Jr., this product has a built in display that shows all your stats (calories, time exercising, distance traveled, etc.). This is good if you plan on tracking your daily exercises and have certain goals you’re trying to reach.
- Use while sitting or standing: While you can use this elliptical while sitting and at your desk, you can use it standing too – it’s really your choice!
- Textured pedals: This product is designed so you can pedal as hard as you want and part of the reason for this is the textured pedals.
- Adjustable tension: You can choose different resistance levels and tensions so you can get a rigorous workout when you’re feeling motivated. You can get a less vigorous workout when you want too.
- Reverse pedaling: If you want to workout different muscles in your legs, you have the option of reverse pedaling as well.
Like I said up top, the Stamina is definitely a budget product and will cost a fraction of the previous two ellipticals. It does have over 3000 reviews too and if you want see what the general consensus about this product is, click below:
IDEER Life Under Desk Elliptical
If you’re looking for a product in the price range of the In Motion Stamina, the IDEER Life elliptical is one that you should consider. It’s not as well known as the Stamina but it is pretty comparable in basically all aspects.
One aspect they share is you get to use these ellipticals sitting down or standing. This gives you good versatility and allows you to workout exactly the way you want to.
- Built in display: Just like the previous two ellipticals this product comes with a built in display system. The display shows time, count, distance, calories, and total count.
- Very quiet: You can use the IDEER whenever you want because of this. You won’t be distracted from work, watching TV, reading or anything else.
- Ergonomic pedals: The pedals that come with this elliptical are very large and slip proof. You’ll really be able to push yourself because of this.
- Multiple resistance levels: You get the option of having low resistance or high resistance (and everything in between) with this product too.
This is also another elliptical that you’ll be able to put together in no time at all. Anyone who wants to save on their under desk elliptical will like what they get here. Just don’t expect all the features and functions of the Cubii, though.
Fitdesk Under Desk Exercise Bike
This Fitdesk product is a little different than the first four you’ve seen so far. Mainly, they were ellipticals and this is an exercise bike. There isn’t that big of a difference but there’s a little bit of a difference between the type of exercise you’re going to get.
One thing that’s similar, however, is you get a digital display to check out vital stats. Some of the information you’ll get is speed, distance and calories burnt.
- Hands free resistance shifting: You won’t have to bend over or stop your workout to change resistance. This product has a built in foot shifter to help out here.
- Very quiet: The last thing you want is for this exercise bike to be loud and to bother people around you. You and your coworkers won’t have to worry about that, though.
- Compact: Although this product is a little larger than the ellipticals it still fits under almost any desk.
The price is very good here too and this product will cost around $125 to purchase. If you’d prefer to get your desk workouts done with an exercise bike than an elliptical, this can work for you.
JFit Under Desk Elliptical
The JFit is a return to ellipticals and this product is similar to the budget ones you’ve seen so far. This product is a little bigger, however, than some of the ellipticals I mentioned earlier. I would only purchase the JFit if you have some extra room in your office or office space.
One aspect that you’ve seen before, and this elliptical has, is the ability to track important fitness information. This product comes with a screen that shows calories burned, distance traveled, time and more.
- Ability to stand: You get the option to sit or stand when you use this product. That gives you more options in terms of workouts.
- Very quiet: Just like most of the under desk ellipticals, this one is designed to be quiet. That’s because you don’t want to distract your office.
- Durable: This is one of the more durable and tough pieces of equipment on this list. You can really push this elliptical hard.
In terms of overall quality I think this product is somewhere in the middle. It’s not on the same level as the best ellipticals on the market but it’s better than the ones on the lower end. The price definitely reflects this.
TODO Under Desk Elliptical
Here we have another product that can be used while standing or sitting. If you’re at your desk you can get your workout finished when getting work done. When you have a little more space and freedom you can get a standing workout done.
Another aspect you’re going to like here is how sturdy this product is. You’ll feel very confident when exercising and you’ll be able to push yourself.
- Digital display: This isn’t a unique feature but it is one you’ll want. You’ll be able to see calories burned and exactly how far you’ve pedaled.
- Portable: The Todo elliptical is easy to move around and you’ll be able to transport this product from home to office with zero problems.
- Easy to assemble: Another thing I like about this elliptical is it’s very simple to put together. Most people will be able to assemble this piece of equipment in around 5 minutes.
In terms of price it’s right where you’d expect it to be – not too expensive but not necessarily cheap. If you want to see the exact price and different reviews, click below:
Vive Under Desk Exercise Bike
Here we have another under desk exercise bike and that makes this product different than most of the ones on this list (most of the others are ellipticals). It’s most like the Fitdesk product mentioned earlier.
While you can still use this product under your desk for your legs and for a leg workout, you can use it for your arms for an arm workout too. That makes this exercise bike very versatile.
- Easy to simple: Even if you aren’t exactly handy, you’ll easily be able to put this product together without any issues.
- Display screen: The display screen is much like the screens in the previous products. It shows all the data you need to track your workouts.
- Adjustable resistance: You get various resistance options too. This allows for customizable workouts and can switch from high resistance to low and more.
So if you like the idea of an exercise bike more than an elliptical, this one is definitely worth thinking about. It’s very affordable too and is one of the cheapest pieces of equipment on this list.
Goplus Under Desk Elliptical
The Goplus is basically the same as the last few ellipticals you’ve seen. This product is pretty affordable and durable.
Another aspect that you’ve seen before and get here, is this elliptical has a display so you can see vital data. This allows you to track workouts and burn as many calories as possible.
- Lightweight: You can very easily carry this product around and transport it without any issues.
- Adjustable tension: This is another elliptical that can be adjusted in terms of tension. This means you can get a more difficult exercise when you want and a less strenuous one when you want.
- Silent design: You won’t have to worry about making a lot of noise when working out either. This product is whisper quiet.
Also, the pedals that come with the Goplus are anti-skid and ensures you can pedal hard without any issues. How much is this elliptical going to cost? Under $100, which makes it a very good value.
How To Choose An Under Desk Elliptical
Ellipticals are wonderful because they build leg, thigh, and glutes while thinning and defining buttocks and upper thighs. This is not to even mention how much that extra bit of cardio makes a difference day after day, improving your metabolism, speeding up how well your body burns fat, and completely redefining your digestion.
So what kind of elliptical machine are you looking for? Let’s go over some great options to check out and see which one would be the perfect machine for you and your comfort.
Sizes of Elliptical Machines
Typically, elliptical machines are about the size of a good-sized treadmill or a large exercise bike. However, under-desk ellipticals are about the size of three pairs of large shoes. That’s a much smaller size and a great way to get a workout while working in your office or doing typical morning routine work at your desk at home before heading off to work.
Under-desk ellipticals are pretty much all the same size and take up the same amount of room. The pedals will fit a large man’s feet and children can still use them if you have one at home. The size of the pedals does not limit this at all.
This point will be reiterated under “Trick Considerations” below, but one thing you should remember is that ellipticals WILL require you to push against them to get a real workout, so it is NOT recommended that you use a chair with wheels. Instead, find a nice sturdy office chair that is stationary and use that. Also, you may not want to use one on hard floors because the chair may slide back easily, whereas carpet will prevent it from moving at all.
Common Elliptical Features
Tension Settings (How hard is it to pedal?). All ellipticals come with a knob or an electronic setting which gives you control over the amount of tension you have when you are pedaling.
Distance traveled (If you were on a bike, how many miles have you gone?). You can plan on pedaling one mile per day. This will have a cumulative effect over time and will give you wonderful feelings of exercise and strength without working up a sweat (unless you want one).
Time exercised. You can plan on pedaling during your ten-minute breaks throughout the day. You can also pedal/climb for one hour per day. You can plan on pedaling during your TV time in the evening while you eat supper or late-night snacks and simply record your times on a notepad every day. The possibilities are endless.
(RPM) Rotations per minute (this is important if you want a cardio workout). If you want to burn a lot of fat by increasing your heart rate for thirty minutes every day, you can watch the RPM on your elliptical. Climbing/pedaling at a fast rate can really burn a lot of fat within two weeks. However, if you keep this at your office, you may find it difficult to do your job and pedal fast at the same time.
If you want to incorporate cardio into your routine, use your elliptical at above-average speed for thirty minutes, and then slow it down for five to cool down.
Non-stick features (only for the elliptical, not for your chair). Most under-desk ellipticals come with rubber feet to prevent movement. High-end ellipticals may also come with a non-stick mat to keep it from moving around. However, this mat will not be big enough for your chair and your chair may move if it has wheels. Choose your chair accordingly.
Highest Quality Elliptical Brands
The highest quality elliptical machine brands are:
2. Hammacher Schlemmer
Most of these high-end brands are within a fairly modest $100-$200 range, but some of them have ellipticals which are above that. Only choose higher prices if you can afford it and if you already have used elliptical machines and know which features you value the most.
Pricing a Nice, Cheap One
Since there aren’t any elliptical brands which are specifically “the cheap brand”, you will have to price a nice, cheap elliptical by looking at stores more than brands. Wal-Mart, Amazon, and eBay are still the number one sites for good, strong elliptical machines at affordable prices. You can even get one for $44 from Macy’s and for $86 from Wal-Mart.
Get on Amazon or do a Google search for “elliptical machine” and click on the Shopping tab. Voila! Instant shopping for high-quality exercise machines.
If you go for one of the cheapest available, make sure that it still has a couple of features. You will definitely want one with rubber feet and you will definitely need a knob for setting the resistance to different settings. Without these, your options for using it are almost non-existent.
Exercise Needs (and Office Requirements)
Do you need to build muscle? Then, you need to use slow, deliberate movement using a higher resistance or tension setting on your elliptical machine.
Do you need to melt fat fast? Then, you need to set the resistance to a low, easy tension and increase your RPM to a much higher speed.
Do you need a full lower-body workout? Then, you need to schedule a full two-hours a day, three days a week to work on your elliptical. Use both slow, high-tension speeds and fast, low-tension speeds to build different temperatures and engage different types of muscles in your lower body.
Do you simply want a light exercise that you don’t have to really think about? Set the elliptical in front of your living room couch, grab a snack and a glass of water, and turn on the TV to your favorite show. Your body, wanting to move, will play around with the machine, while your tummy and your attention are getting what they want, as well.
Do you work in a quiet office which would know the sound of a whirring machine? Then carefully read the reviews of the elliptical on the user comments section on Amazon. That will give you a very definite idea of how loud it is and whether or not it can be used in an office setting.
What You Should Expect
You should expect to always have the elliptical nearby so that you can use it when your feet want to do something while you are working, waiting, or watching TV. However, if you plan to do deliberate exercise within a timed setting, you should NOT expect to use your elliptical every day. Instead, plan to use it two or three times a week.
Playing around with exercise is more natural and can be done every day. Steady, deliberate exercise is more intense and, though really good for you, requires rest in between times to rest (and thus build) your muscles. Remember, your muscles don’t build up during the workout. They only build up during the rest in between the workouts.
Tricky Considerations: What Type of Chair Will You Be Using? Will You Be Near a Drinking Fountain?
There are some small details you will have to take note of when buying an elliptical machine.
First, you should probably use this with a stationary office chair or a living room chair or couch. Even if you place your elliptical directly under your knees, the action will still be at enough of an angle to push your chair back if you are in an office chair with wheels.
Second, far more than normal, you will need to drink a great deal of water. This would be easier if you don’t even have to get up to refill your water bottle or only have to walk ten easy steps to do it. Make sure you are near a good drinking fountain or a home sink with clean water before you start using it. You will be much thirstier than you perhaps know.
Third, are you self-conscious at all about exercising? For people who grew up in athletic families or have plenty of friends who like to workout, you may not be self-conscious at all. However, if you are overweight and have always been rather shy about that part of yourself, working out in public or at the office may seem like some sort of admission of guilt. Whatever the case, acknowledge your feelings about that and plan accordingly. You may simply need a phone or tablet in a nice, quiet corner of your home where you can read or watch TV online while you pedal away.
And, fourth, do you have small children who habitually get their fingers stuck in tiny crevices? In that case, you may want to invest in an elliptical which has a double wheel brake so that you can actually prevent it from being moved while your little ones are around.
Can I Stand On My Elliptical and Use It As a Standing Elliptical?
No, you cannot. An under-desk elliptical is designed to hold the weight of your legs and not the weight of your whole body. Only small children would be able to use it as a standing elliptical and, since it does not have anything to hold onto, it would still be a hazard to the child’s balance. Only use it as an under-desk elliptical for both the safety of your body and the security of the equipment.
Another thing to note is that some ellipticals can be attached to the wall by screws and screw plates. On these machines, a large of amount of weight and force can be pushed against the elliptical with your glutes, but it is still not the whole force of your total body weight. Be sure to make sure these wall machines are screwed with heavy duty screws into the stud of the wall for security reasons. These would also need to be used with a stationary chair on the carpet to prevent the chair from sliding back from the force of your strong glutes. They are the strongest muscles in the body.
Can I Overdo My Exercise?
Yes, but with an under-desk elliptical, your safety is relatively high. Even if you got a really high-resistance machine and used it all the time, you would still be too tired to workout before you would be in danger of pulling a muscle or doing any real damage. Under-desk elliptical machines are extremely safe and use a combination of muscles without adding extra strain to your knees and hips.
An Added Health Note: Under-desk elliptical machines, in particular, are great for people who have just had a hip or knee replaced. Rehabilitation can be brutal and painful and awful, so having a machine which can help your joints get juiced up and running smoothly again between therapy appointments will make things heal faster and feel better sooner. The small amount of controlled movement on low-resistance is just perfect for the patient who wants more relief sooner and, for goodness’ sake, wants to control the speed of the process outside of their physical therapy appointments. This is a great option for those people.
Should I Invest in a High-End Elliptical with an Included App?
Some machines, like this really cool one, comes with Cubii apps which motivate you by showing your progress along a game-face timeline with your mileage and if you want, comparison to other members of the Cubii community. It’s a great way to get encouragement if you’re a social person and to see how far you’re actually progressing as you go along. The results will always surprise you, especially over time.
Choosing an elliptical machine can seem really simple or really daunting. However, you should make it a fun process for yourself! Exercise is fun and creative, not to mention healing. Enjoy your new machine and remember to comment below when you get it to tell us how much you’re enjoying it!
Extra Calories Burned
Under desk elliptical machines help users to burn a substantial amount of extra calories, compared to what they would burn while sitting still. If an under desk elliptical is used consistently—say, for at least two hours per day for five days per week—exercisers can expect to enjoy more “wiggle room” in their diet, as well as a healthier bodyweight.
It’s been reported that using an under desk elliptical at a moderate pace for about an hour burns roughly 100-150 calories. (The exact number of calories burned depends upon several user-specific factors, including age, gender, exercise speed, and more.) At the recommended exercise frequency of two hours per day for at least five days per week, the average user would burn 250 calories in a day and 1250 calories in a week. 1250 calories is the equivalent of walking or running 13 miles! And that’s not bad for an exercise that is completed from the comfort of a seated position.
Of course, as an under desk elliptical user becomes more experienced, he or she can probably start to increase the frequency and intensity of exercise, resulting in even more calories burned.
Improved Muscle Tone and Leg Strength
Regular under desk elliptical use boosts exercisers’ muscle tone and leg strength. Right about now, some skeptical readers are doubting the validity of this claim, probably because they believe that something as easy-to-use and accessible as an under desk elliptical cannot possibly have an effect on muscles.
Under desk elliptical machines can and do boost leg strength and improve muscle tone.
The truth is that any form of exercise, so long as it’s consistently practiced, will improve one’s muscle tone and physique. Individuals who walk a mile or two per day enjoy more defined and capable legs than they otherwise would, even if they don’t know it. Thus, those who frequently use under desk elliptical machines will see major muscle-tone improvements—particularly in the thighs and upper calves. Their leg strength will also increase, a point that will render other, more strenuous exercises easier to complete.
Finally, all the benefits of under desk elliptical machines come without joint pressure or strain. Many other exercises, including squats, running (especially on treadmills), and box jumps place a great deal of pressure on joints and ligaments—particularly the ACL and MCL. That under desk elliptical machines allow users to forego this pressure in exchange for additional muscle strength and calories burned is significant to say the least.
Optimized Circulation and Other Health Perks
The dangers of sitting still for extended periods of time have been widely documented and dissected by scientists and researchers. The short version of their studies is this: individuals who regularly sit for multi-hour periods are much more likely to suffer from a variety of health difficulties. Furthermore, sitting still for about eight hours per day—the average workday—can result in leg circulation becoming compromised, and over time, this can lead to the development of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)—commonly known as a blood clot.
But by using an under desk elliptical, those who sit for extended periods of time at work and/or at home can greatly reduce their risk of suffering from the mentioned health detriments, especially DVT. Elliptical use activates leg muscles and requires the heart to circulate blood, which in turn minimizes the risk of a clot developing. There isn’t enough research to say for certain whether or not under desk elliptical machines will completely prevent the other specified ailments, but increased exercise and movement can’t hurt prevention chances, and logically, it seems as though this exercise will work to alleviate the causes of the indicated disorders and health issues that come from inactivity.
Gym Membership Savings
Under desk elliptical machines are very affordable, and if they’re regularly utilized—especially in coordination with another form of exercise—gym memberships, which are generally expensive, can be guiltlessly avoided.
This isn’t wishful thinking, either. Consider the aforementioned average of 250-300 calories burned with two hours of under desk elliptical use. To burn 300 calories while walking would require one to travel three miles. Accordingly, if an under desk elliptical is used for two hours per day, one can simply walk for half an hour to burn a total of 500 calories—the equivalent of walking or running five miles!
With all that can be accomplished with an under desk elliptical and walking, it’s hard to justify paying for a gym membership. Truthfully, what are the odds of one walking five miles on a gym treadmill after work and dinner? More than being a potential motivation issue, doing so is a potential time issue.
Most under desk elliptical users expect to breeze through their multi-hour sessions without breaking a sweat. To be sure, experienced exercisers can do so, but the reality is that those who’re new to elliptical machines, and especially those who’re new to exercise, may become fatigued and/or sore during the first month or so of workouts. This fatigue could impact multiple areas of one’s life, including job performance.
Like any type of exercise, the important thing with under desk elliptical use is to stick it out until cardio and muscle improvements render the exertion effortless.
Potential Work Distraction
Some under desk elliptical exercisers who’ve set-up their units in the workplace have reported difficulties pertaining to using the machine while completing job-related tasks. These reports have admittedly been rare, but they are worth considering for those who aren’t very good at multitasking. Similarly, this distraction may not manifest itself in the form of an inability to complete work, but it may result in work being completed at a comparatively slower pace.
(Possible) Moistened Dress Clothing
Again, this potential drawback pertains mostly to individuals who plan to use an under desk elliptical in the workplace. Pants, skirts, and dresses—particularly those that are made from cotton—can hold in heat given off by the body, which can in turn cause said clothing to become, well, moist. For those who work in business-casual environments and are protective of their clothing, this point may be worth considering.
Tall Users Beware
Again, this is a specialized potential drawback; it only applies to tall individuals who’re considering using an under desk elliptical. (Importantly, one need not be that tall to encounter under desk elliptical problems. Depending on the desk at-hand, some individuals who are less than six feet tall can have trouble.)
The exercise’s inherent leg-raising motion means that long-legged persons and/or those who have relatively low-to-the-ground desks may bang their knees while attempting move. To be on the safe side, it’s recommended that any potential elliptical users measure their legs, their desk’s height, and the size of the machine they’re considering buying, to assure that there won’t be any knee-banging, head-hurting, wallet-aching trouble to speak of.
Limited Target Muscles
While walking, running, and other forms of cardio target multiple muscle groups (indirectly, at the very least), under desk elliptical machines only condition and strengthen the legs, in addition to helping users burn calories and lose weight. Far from meaning that the machine should be avoided by exercisers who want to tone their entire body, an under desk elliptical machine should be supplemented with other exercises, including maneuvers that impact the back, arms, chest, and abdominals. Moreover, for many, under desk elliptical machines are used to cover cardio, while strength-building exercises are utilized at other points during the day.