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As someone who works from home and doesn’t like hitting the gym, I find it harder and harder in meeting my goal of 10,000 steps per day. I’m also chronically ill and that has interfered with my exercise ability. Because of that, I went on a quest to find the best under desk bike or elliptical in aiding me in meeting my steps goal and I’m sharing what I found with you.
Under Desk Bike or Elliptical
Whether you’re an able-bodied individual who just needs extra activity while working, or if you’re like me and have physical limitations and need a low-impact way to get some extra activity, an under desk bike or elliptical might just be what you need.
What is an under-desk bike?
An under-desk bike, or a desk bike, is what it sounds like – a machine that acts like a bike in its circular motion that either sits under the desk or there’s a desk built into it. If you have knee issues you may want to pass on this option. However, if you like the motion of biking, this could be a great option for you.
What is an under-the-desk elliptical?
An under-the-desk elliptical is a small piece of machinery that moves forward and backward in it’s motion. This may be a better option if you have knee pain as it isn’t a full circular motion.
Key differences between the bike and elliptical
There are differences between the two options and while somewhat subtle they could be significant enough that you’ll want to know them before making a decision which to purchase.
As mentioned before, the under-desk bike is circular in motion. While the elliptical is forward and backward in motion.
If you get an under-desk bike vs. a bike with a built in desk there will be more limited clearance than with an elliptical because your knees are coming up and down in that typical biking motion, while an elliptical is forward and backward in motion. If you order the built in desk bike option this shouldn’t be a problem depending on your height.
Foot positioning differences
The under-desk bike is limited in your foot positioning while the elliptical allows you to move your feet up further on the pedal or lower depending on what muscles you’d like to target.
Do they actually work?
While it would seem this small piece of equipment couldn’t possibly work to help the body in movement, increasing the heart-rate, and other benefits from exercise they actually do.
They both can offer cardio benefits, which can assist in losing weight, in heart health, and more. The bike or elliptical can also help in strengthening the muscles of the legs. They are great options for low impact work outs and also great options for busy working people who don’t have time to walk or work out as much as they’d like.
Why bikes/ellipticals are good for your health
According to MarketWatch.com “pedal desks also do more than just help you with your aerobic exercise, according to a new pilot study released Monday. It found pedaling under a desk has major health benefits, including preventing obesity, diabetes and heart disease through insulin resistance.”
Think about it this way, if the doctor wants you to reach 10,000 steps for your health, heart, and weight loss but you only get maybe 5,000 or less per day due to chronic illness or working many hours, then grabbing those extra steps with a bike or elliptical will give you a lower impact option for getting your full 10,000 steps per day.
I know that we don’t often think of steps/walking/biking as all that vigorous or impressive but according to the MayoClinic.com a brisk walk gives the following health benefits:
- Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve muscle endurance
- Increase energy levels
- Improve your mood, cognition, memory and sleep
- Improve your balance and coordination
- Strengthen immune system
- Reduce stress and tension
Which am I going to choose?
I’m chronically ill and part of my chronic illness is arthritis pain, this affects my knees and my hips. Because the under-desk bike acts like a bike in its motion and uses circular motion I’ve decided to try the elliptical first. I also like that the elliptical can target different parts of the legs depending on foot placement. I’m not opposed to the bike option and might actually like that if I purchased the built in desk option but for my own personal needs I believe the elliptical will work best.
Under-Desk Bike Options
If you’re in need of an under-desk bike then one of these three options may be a good fit for your needs. We chose these options based on reviews, features, an pricing – choosing a higher priced model, mid model, and lower priced model so you can find something depending on your budget.
Flexispot Desk Bike
Key features of the Flexispot
- Battery powered
- Weight limit: 300 pounds
- White or black in color
- Item dimensions: 23 x 38 x 37 inches
- Number of resistant levels: 8
- Adjustable seat
- “Whisper quiet”
Current rating at time of writing this: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Price at time of writing this: Starts at $309
DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser
Key features of the DeskCycle:
- Dimensions: 24 x 20 x 10 inches
- Max height: 10 inches
- Can fit under desks as low as 27inches
- 8 calibrated resistance settings
- Adjustable straps
- 6 function removable LCD display
Current rating at time of writing this: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Current price at time of writing this: $179.00
GOREDI Pedal Exerciser
Key features of GOREDI Pedal Exerciser:
- Maximum height: 11.8 Inches
- Heavy metal flywheel to improve stability
- Can handle upward of 400 pounds
- Quiet and smooth
- LCD display
Current rating at the time of this review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
Current pricing at the time of this review: $49.98
Under-desk Elliptical Options
If you’re in need of an under-desk elliptical machine then one of these four options may be a good fit for your needs. We chose these options based on reviews, features, an pricing – choosing higher priced models, mid models, and lower priced model so you can find something depending on your budget.
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical
Key features of the Cubbi Seated Elliptical
- Color: chrome
- Dimensions: 22.83 x 17.22 x 9.84 inches
- Battery Powered
- Maximum weight 250 pounds
- Resistance levels: 8
- The Cubii mobile app syncs with iPhone and Android cellphones (etc)
- Whisper quiet
Current rating at the time of this review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Current pricing at the time of this review: $210 – $299.95
LifePro Under Desk Elliptical
Key features of the LifePro Under-Desk Elliptical
- Color: black
- Product dimensions: 22.7 x 18.5 x 12.9 inches
- Battery operated
- Tension knob to choose from 8 different resistance levels
- LCD monitor
- Lifetime warranty
Current rating at the time of writing this: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Current price at the time of writing this: $189.00
DeskCycle Ellipse Under Desk Elliptical
Key features of the DeskCycle Elliptical:
- Color: black
- Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 10 inches
- Magnetic resistance
- Large 6-Function LCD display
- 8 different resistance levels
- Wide pedals allow you to adjust the shape of your elliptical motion by where you place your feet
Current rating at the time of this article: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Current price at the time of this article: $259.00
Leasbar Under Desk Elliptical
Key features of the Leasbar Elliptical
- Color: Black+Red
- Dimension: 24.8 x 17.3 x 11.1 inches
- Built-in digital monitor
- A simple twist you could adjust the intensity of your strides
Current rating at the time of writing this article: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Current pricing at the time of writing this article: $109.99
Don’t let the fact that you need low impact exercise be a reason to not exercise at all. An under-desk bike or under-desk elliptical may just be exactly what you need for your health and wellness. Whether you have a hard time with balance, or your joints, or have weaker muscles that you need a sitting option, these two may just be right up your alley.
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