Best Under Desk Elliptical & Cycles – Buyer’s Guide
Are you one of the millions of people who use the age-old excuse:
“I don’t have time to exercise”?
When you work full-time, it is hard enough to find a work-life balance, let alone find the time to fit in the gym.
Not only that, but it has recently been said that sitting for long periods of time can be more harmful thank smoking.
When you think of exercise equipment, you may automatically think of the bulky machinery that comes with an even bigger price tag, but that is not the case at all.
There are lots of small under desk elliptical that deliver great results without breaking the bank or thinking about standing desks.
To help you find the one the is best for you, here’s our reviews guide to the best under desk elliptical bikes.
|Product name||Weight||Dimensions||Resistance Levels|
|27 pounds||23W x 11D x 9H in||8|
|FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical||35 pounds||34W x 20D x 12H in||8|
|DeskCycle Desk Exerciser|
|23 pounds||24W x 20D x 10H in||8|
|Confidence Fitness Motorized||13 pounds||11.5W x 18.5D x 11H in||12|
|Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer||37 pounds||24W x 15D x 13H in||Variable|
|Sunny Health & Fitness Peddler||16.5 pounds||20W x 15D x 10.5H in||3|
|jfit Under Desk Mini Elliptical||26.5 pounds||27W x 15D x 11H in||3|
|Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418||21 pounds||27.7W x 18.11D x 14H in||8|
|Pedal Exerciser by Vive||12.7 pounds||20W x 15D x 13H in||8|
|Marcy Cardio Mini Cycle||13.6 pounds||19W x 14.5D x 16.5H in||Variable|
1 – Cubii Smart – The Intelligent Elliptical
More people are taking an interest in their health and setting goals for themselves in the form of fitness trackers, like a FitBit.
This under desk elliptical recognizes that trend, making sure you can document all of your work with help from Bluetooth that is built-in.
You can even share your progress and compete with friends (perhaps a friendly competition in the office is in order) or even with strangers around the world to give you that motivation to keep active.
You’ll also know how many calories you have burned and miles completed that day. This data can be transferred over to your Fitbit too, making sure you get an accurate picture of your progress on there.
This technology is something you may expect from a larger machine, not a small under-desk elliptical, but this little piece of equipment packs a punch.
The Cubii Smart won last year’s Good Design Award due to it being ergonomic, allowing you to keep a great posture with no slouching ensuring your knees don’t hit the top of your desk.
There’s less impact on the knees as well compared to most bike desks. You’ll still get the same great workout at your desk, burning 120% more calories than you would by just sitting.
2 – FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical – For Even the Shortest of Office Desks
You’ll see this with their under desk elliptical too. The design of the FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical machine is suitable for desks that are as low as 25 inches.
This is thanks to their pedals going no more than 8 inches
There are eight different levels of resistance, and it allows for handsfree tension adjustment (you can adjust the tension levels with a foot shifter).
The desk mounted meter will give you all of your stats from your desk workout, including calories, burned, time, speed, and distance all right on your desk for easy access.
You won’t have to stop and look at the elliptical for your progress. There is also a built-in lock wheel for those swivel chairs.
Transporting is easy with the grip handle and chair wheel. It weighs 35 lbs. with its steel frame, which can be heavy for some. A Grand handle and builtin wheel makes it easy to transport.
It measures 34W x 20D x 12H inches which seem quite big considering the pedal only goes a maximum of eight inches.
3 – DeskCycle Desk Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser – Low in Profile but High in Power
This will give a slightly different workout than stepper due to working a bit more muscle (better to lose weight).
This pedal exerciser comes on a stand, with the front leg measuring 20 inches to keep the exerciser from rocking, with help from the low profile.
There are straps on the pedals to keep your feet firmly in place whilst exercising.
The pedals stand at 10 inches at its highest point, making this suitable for even small desks at 27 inches and above (prevents your knees from hitting, even if you have a keyboard tray).
You can strap your feet in, but you may need to keep pulling yourself towards it if you have a swivel chair.
You will need to find a good position for you and lock your chair in place yourself using wheel locks if your chair has them.
The display stand can sit on your desk to keep track of your progress.
While it will show you roughly how many calories were burned, elliptical machines like this are not always accurate since many factors determine how many calories have been burned like your weight/height and resistance.
DeskCycle has recognized this though and has an online calorie calculator where you can put in your weight/height and details of your workout to give you a better idea.
The team at DeskCycle say they have the option to going online to do this rather than giving the option to program it into the machine is due to attempts at keeping costs down.
4 – Confidence Fitness Motorized Mini Exercise Bike – Great Assisted Support
There are 12-speed settings that will get the blood going, yet still in a low-impact way.
All of this is controlled by a cabled remote that makes it easy to manage the pace or pick one of the six built-in automatic programs.
The stated max speed is 80 rpm, although many users have said they can go up to 100 rpm.
Not wanting to follow a program? No problem. Just switch to manual mode and pedal away.
It measures 11.5 x 18.5 x 11 inches making it a taller choice of under desk cycles.
It is perfect for going at a good, normal pace, but if you were to challenge yourself and try to go beyond the 80 rpm, the machine can wobble and even shift slightly.
If you need something to keep you motivated, then a built-in program might give you something to aim for. Plus, you customize your own or go manual.
5 – Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer – Economical Elliptical
That is because of its no-frills design.
It constructed out of steel with non-slip end caps on the bars to keep it in place.
You can adjust the tension, but this is at the front of the machine.
The LED display for time/calories/strides is also near the same place at the front, which may make it hard to read without getting down to the same level.
It isn’t exactly the most portable design, but if you were transporting it to and from work in a car, then that would be better than trying to drag it on public transport since it does not fold down… Better suited to stay at the bottom of your desk.
Stamina’s elliptical doesn’t have long strides and is very easy on the joints. This is a desk elliptical enjoyed by those who have been in chronic pain and the elderly for that reason.
6 – Sunny Health and Fitness Peddler – Simple Motorized Assist
You don’t need to worry about numbers, or different manual modes, just your simple three basic levels, and active, moderate, or light for the assisted modes.
The foot pedals have anti-slip grip, and pretty much any type of footwear can be used on it, even your slippers!
There is an anti-slip floor mat as well that comes with the machine to keep it in place.
You may have a hard time reading it if it was under your desk.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Peddler weighs only 16.5 lbs. and measures 20 x 15 x 10.5 inches making it a very compact choice of motor assist cycles.
It’s also whisper quiet!
7 – Jfit Mini Stepper & Elliptical – Best of Both Worlds
The pedals are adjustable to make it comfortable for either standing up or sitting down.The magnetic wheels on the machine are large, making it a very smooth glide while using.
These same wheels have been the culprit of a bit of squeakiness from time to time, but there is some oil that comes with the machine to help stop this.
There is a standard dial to adjust resistance and a small digital screen for your stats.
The location of this is a bit awkward for when you are sitting down, but better when standing up as it swivels around.
If you were using it to stand up, although it would be difficult to read while working out standing up.
This well-built model is very easy to use, stays in place, and gets the heart going.
If you wanted one that allows you to do both, then this is a good strong model, but if you are looking for something for just under the desk, there are other models that are more suitable and with lower price tags.[/su_note]
8 – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 – Good Workout (If You Have the Space!)
This is a cool looking design in steel gray with a light gray detail. Like other machines, there is a dial on the front where you can change the tension from levels 1-8 that
Like other machines, there is a dial on the front where you can change the tension from levels 1-8 that give moderate to intense resistance.
There is a decent sized LED display giving you all your basic stats about your cycling workout.
If using for a chair out in the open, it’s perfect.
This mini exercise bike delivers an awesome workout, under your desk!
9 – Pedal Exerciser by Vive – Desk Cycle Recommended by Physical Therapists
There is a handle at the front where you can just pick it up and go.
It does not fold down at all for transport, but it is quite lightweight.
The anti-slip (and anti-scruff) rubber feet keep it in place, and with help from the straps on the pedals, you should stay in place. Resistance is controlled by a dial at the front of the machine.
It is also quite big and easy to read, so although it is attached to the machine and not detachable like some others, it is easy to get to and read.
10 – Marcy Cardio Mini Cycle – The Cheapest Mini Cycle for Both Arms and Legs
The Marcy Cardio Mini Cycle has a good, sturdy tabletop design for use on both arms and legs.
The LED display will run a scan through all of the workout’s stats, but it is quite small.
This may be due to saving on costs since the price tag of this mini cycle is very low-priced!
It isn’t very bulky, so it is very easy to transport.
It doesn’t move around when peddling, but there has been some issue with the tension with the friction belt stretching as it seems to loosen a bit after a while.
This may not be an issue for someone who is only looking to get the blood moving and not necessarily challenge themselves. It can be fixed, but it can be a complicated process.
Buyer’s Guide & Frequently Asked Questions
Can you really get a workout with these, while sitting at your desk?
You may not be breaking a sweat, but it is possible to get more fit with an under-desk elliptical.
You are using muscles you would not normally use, keeping the blood flowing and your energy levels up, burning calories.
These are perfect for more muscle endurance rather than building though. The exercise also boosts your mood, making those Mondays at the office not seem as bad!
How many extra calories can I burn with a desk cycle?
This will vary from person to person, but you will generally burn 120% more calories than you would by just sitting.
This is on average 150 calories.
While this may not seem like a lot, it is definitely more than you would be without a desk cycle/elliptical.
It won’t give you the workout of a lifetime, but if used just in work every day, that’s still an extra 750 calories burned a week!
What is the minimum desk height?
Each machine will vary with their recommended desk height to make sure you have a comfortable range and don’t hit your knees, but the lowest on our list is 25-inches with the FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical Trainer.
Of course, your own height, as well as the height of the chair, will factor into this too.
If you are taller than 5’7”, then consider taller desks to have a comfortable workout.
Is an under-desk stepper better?
This depends on the individual. A mini stepper is like climbing stairs.
There is a moment where the leg is nearly fully extended before moving up again.
This has a slight impact to the knee joint. Over time, this can become damaging if proper recovery time is not taken.
An under desk elliptical works by a more gliding movement. There is continuous movement and no impact on the knee.
Both machines work the same muscles (glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves) but the biggest difference is in the impact in the knee.
- If you have joint issues but still want a workout, then the elliptical is a better choice as a stepper could cause some pain.
- If you do not have any issues in the joint, then a stepper should be just fine.
Just be sure to give your body tie to recover, so no joint issues form in the future.
Are they portable?
Yes! Many under desk ellipticals are easy to fold up and transport with handles.
Some of the best ones even have wheels on them if you find it too much to carry.
Take your workout with you back home to enjoy while sitting in your favorite chair back home.
Sitting at your desk for long periods of time is not healthy physically and mentally.
Under the desk, even the best ellipticals won’t necessarily get you sweating.
But while they are not as efficient as a desk stand for weight loss, they still offer a good daily workout when otherwise you would just be sat at your desk.
They get the blood flowing and boosts your mood all while burning calories.
You can be productive with your fitness while being productive in the workplace, and who wouldn’t want that? There is something for everyone, and if these are too much for you, try a hand gripper 🙂