Millions of people suffer from the office chair disease. When you spend hours slouched at your desk crunching numbers and working on projects, your body takes a beating in the process.
But with technology developments, you can now say hello to an under-desk cycle. Developed to help mitigate the effects of sitting for hours, the under-desk elliptical is the new way of exercising while working.
What is an under-desk elliptical?
It is hard to balance work and social life let alone have time to exercise as well. In a bid to fight the sedentary life, the under-desk elliptical was developed to help you to expend more calories than if you are just sitting typing behind a desk.
These ellipticals are designed to fit under the desk so that you can pedal without hitting your knees under your desk. They are a form of low-impact exercise with different resistance levels so that you can exercise hard without putting any extra stress on the joints and they are quite as well allowing them to be used in almost any office environment.
5 Benefits of an Under-Desk Cycle
1. Improves Health and Energy Level
Many people report constant fatigue and increased weight gain because of a sedentary lifestyle. But you can kick-start a healthy life by pedaling while you work. You may not get the full benefits of an exercise routine, but you are sure to expend double the energy than if you just sit in your chair.
Even so, any form of exercise comes with higher energy levels, lower stress levels, a happier life, and a longer lifespan.
The benefits of working out at your desk have been publicized. Everything from weight loss to improved blood pressure, you have every reason to get an under desk cycle.
2. It is Convenient
If you hardly have time to exercise, having an elliptical under your desk will work your calves and get your heart rate up. You will be more alert since more oxygen is being pumped into your brain. As such, you get more work done as your mind is more attentive.
3. Feel Warm in a Cold Office
Modern offices have air-conditioning that make the office too cold for comfort. Instead of bringing in scarfs and coats, you can warm-up just by exercising away under your desk. Many people attest to not wearing their jackets and ditching the scarf thanks to the warmth you create by incorporating a form of exercise at work.
4. Improves Posture
You have to be in a proper upright position if you wish to exercise correctly using an under desk elliptical. It saves you from lower back pain which is usually a result of sitting with poor posture for prolonged periods of time.
5. Quiet Operation
You don’t have to worry about distracting co-workers while using an under desk elliptical. This is because they are designed to have smooth motion while you move only your legs. They do not have tracks like in treadmills which are quite loud and distracting.
Here are the best under-desk ellipticals and bikes you can buy:
1. Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical
Best Premium Under Desk Cycle
Adding fitness to your routine is as easy as incorporating the Cubii Elliptical in your daily life. This compact under desk elliptical is designed to be portable and lightweight such that you can use one in the office and at home.
You can now burn as much as 150 calories more by sitting behind your desk and walking at the same time. It is ergonomically designed to help you achieve proper posture and unobtrusive motion. It has a silent operation that will not distract you or your co-workers.
Cubii is the only smart under-desk elliptical on the market currently. It is Bluetooth-enabled so that you can connect to Cubii Android and iOS app. You will be able to track calories burned, miles, strides, RPM, and minutes.
You can also create and join exercise groups, so you can be motivated to work out as you compete with other Cubii owners worldwide.
Unique Features of the Cubii Pro Desk Elliptical:
- Low impact training
- Compact design
- Smart design connects to Android and iOS smartphones
- Needs Android OS 4.4 and iPhone 5 and above with iOS 9 and above
- Durable construction with better parts
- Ergonomically designed for smooth motion and proper posture
- Comes with assembly equipment and wheeled chair stoppers
2. Cubii Jr: Desk Elliptical
Best Overall Desk Elliptical
The Cubii Jr. is a compact desk elliptical that will slide under your desk discretely. It provides an excellent way of moving while at your office so you can remain active throughout the day. It is built to be short so that it will fit under the desk and you will never hit your knees on the bottom of your desk.
Cubii Jr. is designed with comfort in mind. It provides smooth exercise without putting any extra pressure on your joints. Not to mention, it is developed ergonomically so that you will be able to maintain a proper posture for cycling and performing office activities.
With the display monitor, you will be able to track the RPM, calories, strides, and the distance you cover. Not to mention it has eight resistance levels to help you adjust the intensities of your workout.
- Engages major muscles of the body in low-impact workout
- Ergonomically designed for all day pedaling
- Whisper Quiet pedaling
- Elliptical angle triggers correct pedaling posture
- Built-in display monitor
- Eight resistance levels
- Compact design to prevent bumping of knees
Best New Under Desk Bike
DeskCycle is a popular under desk bike that is revered for its innovative features. You can work out in the office, while relaxing at home, or just watching TV.
This under desk cycle features magnetic resistance to give you smooth pedaling all day long. The pedal height is only 10 inches making it possible to use with desks that are only 27 inches high. This means you don’t need a desk makeover to add it under your desk.
This model offers Velcro foot straps to keep your feet balanced and comfortable as you cycle. Its wide base keeps it stable throughout all the eight intensity levels. Resistance is quite crucial if you are looking to burn calories since it has intensities that are suitable for almost all fitness levels even athletes.
- Smooth pedal motion
- Magnetic resistance with eight different levels
- High inertia flywheel provides smooth spinning
- Eight precision-sealed bearings
- Display window for up to 1000 minutes
- The desk stand display can be put on top of a desk
- 10-inches pedal height
- Supports Kensington lock to secure it to the desk
4. Platinum Fitness Fit Sit
Best Cheap Under Desk Cycle
The Platinum Fitness Fit Sit Deluxe is a lightweight model that folds compactly for transportation and storage. It is the only model you will need if you are constantly on the go covering business meetings in different locations. Or are looking to spend a less amount of money.
With the help of the new coolrev technology, this exercise bike will not overheat no matter the intensity. It keeps you safe from coming into contact with any hot parts meaning you are never at risk of getting a burn.
The LCD provides a readout of the standard exercise parameters including the revolutions per minute and the calories burned. It comes with the battery and anchor strap to attach it to your chair.
This bike makes it more practical to live an active life without investing in a high-end product.
- The new coolrev technology prevents it from overheating
- Compact design and folding frame allows portability and convenient storage
- LCD with five parameters
- Anchor strap prevents sliding of the bike
- Non-marking foot pads
- Powder coated finish is available in different colors
5. FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical
If you’d like to enhance your focus and work output while doing gentle exercise, the FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical is your answer. Instantly become more active as you sit at your desk. This bike pedal machine’s ideal for home or office use. It smoothly keeps your legs active without bumping the underside of your work surface.
The fluid forward and backward shuffle pedal motion is both ultra slick & extremely quiet, thanks to the 8 position magnetic resistance & balanced high velocity flywheel. With the 8 inch low pedal rotation height you can peddle away to your heart’s content while you work. Only 29 inches long and including a large & comfortable pedal platform, this machine is ideally suited to all desk & people shapes & sizes.
Tension adjustment is easy using the foot shifter, without interrupting your work. Conveniently cast an eye on your progress while completing your tasks: simply use the removable digital meter and desk stand with a six function display.
High quality and built to last, this machine is designed for desk & sitting use. For increased alertness and productivity, it’s what you need for daily exercise & maintained physical activity & fitness.
- Comfortable pedal platform
- Fits most desks
- Hands free foot shifter for tension adjustments via toe tap activation
- Magnetic resistance with eight level variations
- Removable digital meter with desk stand
- Smooth pedal motion
- 8 inch pedal height
- 29 inches long
6. Fast88 Electric Desk Elliptical
The Fast88 provides you with a very tidy looking compact and effective under desk elliptical. It features large anti-slip pedals that make it easy to get a secure and comfortable footing. The axis on this unit is flexible allowing for a very smooth and natural elliptical motion. An integrated display unit on the top of the base provides you with feedback on all of your key training data such as speed, calories burned, counter total strides, strides per minute, distance traveled, and time exercised. There are also Power, Function, Mode, Speed and Direction touch buttons on the display unit.
The Fast88 comes with a remote control unit. This means that you don’t have to bend down to the unit to make adjustments. Built into the unit are 3 pre-set functions. You can also adjust the speed to 5 levels. In addition, the pedals on the Fast88 are bi-directional to work your muscles differently. This is a solid unit made of durable plastic. It runs very quietly so you can confidently use it at work without interrupting others. The 45-watt motor provides plenty of power for your under desk workout.
- Display Type: LCD
- Power: 45W
- Voltage: 110V
- Pedal Size: 34x13cm/13.4x5.1inch
- Base Size: 45x37cm/17.7x14.6inch
7. Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Desk Elliptical
The Stamina InMotion E1000 is an impressively compact unit with a footprint that is smaller than most of its competitors. It also weighs less than most at just 24 pounds. This makes this one of the most portable and convenient under-desk ellipticals to use on the go. Yet it features comparatively large pedals to allow you to get a solid and secure foothold. A centrally located knob allows you to easily adjust the tension. However, it is a little tricky to find just the right setting.
The Stamina inMotion provides you with a convenient carry handle. The top of the base provides you with an LCD window to view your key training data. A handy pedometer is included to allow you to keep track of the steps traveled per day.
- Compact design
- Display Type: LCD
- Power: 45W
- Voltage: 110V
- Pedal Size: 24.5 x 17 x 11.4 inches
8. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872 Desk Elliptical
The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical Peddler Exerciser provides you with a centrally located digital monitor to track your vital training diagnostics, including time, speed, calories, and distance. The centrally located adjustable resistance knob allows you to select between 8 levels of magnetic resistance. The low profile and light weight of the machine make this unit very portable, making it a great choice for your office workout.
The non-slip foot pedals of the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical ensure that your feet are moving smoothly and safely. The textured footpad accommodates users of all sizes. The 7-inch stride length moves smoothly with integrated wheels along the stable frame, while floor stabilizers endure that you get an even placement on any floor surfaces
- Display Type: LCD
- 8 levels of magnetic resistance
- Power: 45W
- Voltage: 120V
- Pedal Size: 24 x 19 x 11 inches
9. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3626
The Sunny Health & Fitness EZ Stride Motorized Auto Assisted Under Desk Elliptical Peddler Exerciser comes with a non-slip rubberized mat. This makes it suitable for any type of floor surface. There is no setup required on this unit so you can use it directly out of the box. This motorized elliptical is excellent for increasing blood circulation and incorporates hip and knee extension with very little impact.
This device provides you with a flip-up carry handle to make it easy to transport. The stride length is six inches. This motion is smooth and natural. A digital monitor on the top of the unit provides you with access to manual and auto modes. You also get forward and backward pedaling so you can work both the front and back of your legs. You can operate this unit with 3 modes of resistance; low, medium or high.
The Sunny Health & Fitness EZ Stride Motorized Auto Assisted Under Desk Elliptical Peddler Exerciser arrives on your doorstep fully assembled, so you can get to using it straight away.
- Display Type: LCD
- Power: 45W
- Voltage: 120V
- Pedal Size: 20 x 15 x 10.5 inches
10. YOSUDA Under Desk Bike
The Yosuda under desk bike is a compact, convenient, quiet unit that provides a cycling motion rather than an elliptical one. You will not get an aggressive workout experience with this unit but it will provide just what you need for a rehabilitative workout. The LCD monitor provides you with 5 training readouts; time, distance, count, total count, and calories.
The Yosuda under desk bike comes with a carry handle for ease of transportation. It is a little taller and heavier than the competitors so you will need to ensure that your desk provides the space to move without banging your knees. As a point of reference, the highest point of the pedal is 10.63 inches. The machine operates very quietly and delivers a smooth cycling motion that is free from any jerkiness or stuttering. However, this unit does not come with desk stabilizers or a mat so, in order to prevent it from sliding around, you are best advised to use it on the carpet. It does come with a rubber strap to help keep it in place.
This under desk cycle is especially suitable for the elderly.
- Display Type: LCD
- Power: 45W
- Voltage: 110V
- Pedal Size: 15.75 x 13.39 x 12.20 inches
How Many Calories will you Burn while using an Under Desk Cycle?
The number of calories you burn while using a foot peddler is determined by a number of factors. One, your weight is a major factor followed by your cycling pace. For example, if you weigh 136 pounds and have dialed your desk cycle to a low resistance, you are going to burn around 107 calories every day.
That is not much but considering you are not giving up your eating habits. It is a plus since you will lose a pound every seven weeks.
Remember that; the more you weigh, the more calories you will burn.
Will an Under Desk Cycle Strengthen your Quads?
The muscles involved in cycling a foot peddler include the calves, glutes, hip flexors, hamstring, and quadriceps. To strengthen your glutes, you will need to use the resistance feature in the bike. This feature increases the intensity of the workout and improves your quads in the process.
Desk Cycle vs. Desk Elliptical
Desk bikes simulate cycling using circular motions. They work much like the indoor bike in that you will be using your legs only and will be seated in an office chair. These bikes have resistance levels which provide the intensity of riding a bike.
With a desk elliptical, it can simulate walking, climbing the stairs, and even running. It is also a low-impact exercise machine that has different resistance levels to provide various intensities according to the resistance level that you set it at.
Assembling a Desk Cycle and an Elliptical: Is it a Complicated Process?
There are not many parts to assemble in a desk cycle. You can assemble it in a few steps since it comes mostly preassembled. You will get the left and ride pedals which are screwed into the left and right sides of the cycle or elliptical respectively.
For a desk cycle, it may take longer since you need to install the front and the back leg which is followed by the pedals unlike an elliptical where you only need to install the pedals in two or three steps.
Best Under-Desk Elliptical Brands
Since daily life is complicated enough, it is hard for many people to stay active throughout the day. That is why Cubii invented active sitting. One of the founders of Cubii discovered this form of exercise while sitting for hours during an internship.
From the first prototype to their most advanced Cubii smart Under Desk Elliptical, this brand has come a long way. Today, the Cubii elliptical is a NEAT ® Certified for active sitting. It increases sitting energy expenditure by more than 10%.
The DeskCycle is a brand by 3D Innovations LLC. This product is a design resulting from customer feedback. The DeskCycle was then developed to make it easier and convenient to get healthy exercise all day, all week, at any place.
Cubii Jr vs DeskCycle
The DeskCycle has a low profile which makes it handy for use in confined spaces. At a max height of 10 inches, you will not have any problems with your knees hitting the bottom of your desk while exercising in the office. The width of the unit is 20 inches with a length of 24 inches. The total weight is 23 pounds. A nice design feature is the padded feet which ensure that the cycle stays securely in place when you are exercising.
The Cubii Jr has a similar profile to the desk cycle, except that it is just 17 inches in width, 3 inches less than the DeskCycle. The height of the unit is 10 inches, just like the DeskCycle. The 23-inch length is an inch shorter than the DeskCycle. At 29 pounds, the Cubii Jr is 6 pounds heavier than the DeskCycle.
Of the two under desk cycles, the Cubii Jr has more of an ergonomic, streamlined design which makes it easier on your joints than the DeskCycle. The Cubii Jr also comes with a handy carry handle, which you do not get on the Desk cycle. However, the DeskCycle provides you with what is called a Kensington slot. This is a slot that allows you to secure the DeskCycle to your desk using a standard Kensington laptop lock. However, the lock is not supplied with the unit and would have to be bought separately.
The Cubii Jr has eight calibrated resistance levels. The transition between resistance levels is smooth and jerk-free. The DeskCycle offers the same eight resistance levels, which are also impressively smooth. High inertia flywheels on both machines provide a natural exercise motion. Both units have a centrally located knob to adjust the resistance level.
Both the Cubii Jr and the DeskCycle provide you with a very quiet exercise operation. This is great, especially when you are using your under-desk cycle in an office setting. Touch-free magnetic resistance on both units keeps everything silent.
Both the Cubii Jr and the DeskCycle provide you with a centrally located display unit that features your essential training diagnostics. The DeskCycle display tells you your speed, distance, calories burned and how long you have been pedaling. The Cubii Jr only tells you your steps, distance, and calories burned.
The Cubii Jr is more expensive than the DeskCycle which means if price is your number one factor then the DeskCycle is the winner.
Which one is better?
Both of these under-desk cycles have similar profiles with the same height from the floor of 10 inches. The Cubii Jr has a better ergonomic design and will provide a smoother, joint-friendly exercise experience. With all other features being quite comparable, we feel that the cost is worth it to get a smoother workout. As a result, we recommend the Cubii Jr over the DeskCycle.
Disadvantages of an Under-desk Elliptical
It can’t replace Regular Exercise
You will not be able to burn calories anywhere close to that of a normal exercise routine. As such, you must incorporate other forms of exercise to reap the full benefits. An under-desk elliptical is a great supplement to a regular workout routine and can help you burn additional calories but cannot be your only form of exercise if you are intent on losing weight and improving your physique.
Sit an Awkward Angle to the Desk
If your desk is short, you will have to adjust the chair to a lower position so that you can reach the cycle and pedal without hitting your knees under the desk. In the process, your computer may be too far away from you making it hard to read the screen when seated further away from the desk. While you can increase the font size on the screen many people find it cumbersome to switch font size on their computers multiple times per day.
It’s hard to cycle and type at the same time
While you can walk and type at the same time, typing and cycling is a different story. This is because the brain has to concentrate on driving your legs in a circular manner which will be a distraction if you are a typist trying to complete work as fast as you can.
Fast cycling is only applicable if you are browsing, watching videos, and other stuff that involves consuming content.
An under-desk cycle is a perfect way of getting rid of the “I can’t find time to exercise” excuse. We have researched various products in the market to find the best under desk cycle. You can expect smooth pedaling and silent operation from our top models. These brands showcase innovative features to kick-start an active lifestyle.
Our Best Under Desk Elliptical is the Cubii Jr. It has all the essential features, and it comes at a reasonable price. We have also included innovative designs like the DeskCycle and Cubii Pro models for those willing to spend more money for additional features.