Ellipticals are some of the most popular machines at any given gym, and it’s easy to see why. On top of the fact that they offer a low-impact but complete workout (more on that in a bit), they’re one of the few gym machines that can’t easily be replaced by something else. If you don’t have a treadmill, you can go for a run. No exercise bike? Ride a regular bike. Ellipticals, on the other hand, offer a unique workout that doesn’t quite compare to anything else.
They’re also a great way to work out. For those with joint problems or anyone looking for a low-impact alternative to running, ellipticals can offer that. And, full-size elliptical machines allow you to work out both your upper and lower body muscles, providing a more thorough workout than leg-centric stationary bikes.
Whether you’re tired of competing for machines, you don’t have time to go to the gym or you just want a way to workout at home, then it’s worth considering buying an elliptical machine. One of our favorite kinds is an under-desk elliptical machine. As the name suggests, they’re designed to allow you to work out your legs while you sit at a desk.
Under-desk elliptical machines save space, so you can use them at home or even at the office. It’s a great way to stay fit, or at least to keep moving, especially considering how much of our time is spent stationary. If you are using them at the office, you’ll want to prioritize a machine that isn’t too loud, so as to not distract your cubicle neighbor (or worse, the person next to you in an open-floor office).
Unlike full elliptical machines, under-desk machines don’t provide an opportunity to work out your arms. So, while they’re no replacement for a full-size machine, they’re a great way to work out anywhere you might not otherwise be able to.
Under-desk ellipticals are pretty similar to under-desk cycling machines, but there are a few benefits that an elliptical has over a bike. For one, under-desk elliptical machines are a great option for taller people. If you find yourself bumping your knee when you so much as try to cross your legs, then you’re unlikely to have the clearance needed to use a bike. The back and forth motion of the elliptical means you don’t have to move your knees up and down as much. And since ellipticals have longer pedals, they may be more comfortable for those with bigger feet. Plus, ellipticals can work different muscles than a bike can.
If you want a low-key way to burn off some calories from that big lunch while fighting the mid-day slump, then these are the under-desk ellipticals to get.
1. Cubii Pro – Seated Under-Desk Elliptical
Cubii’s elliptical is available in a sleek “Noir” color or classic “Chrome.” It’s designed to be very quiet, so it won’t distract your co-workers if you’re using it at the office. A dial on the front of the elliptical allows you to switch between eight different resistance levels. The thing that sets this machine apart is Bluetooth compatibility. You can pair it with your favorite fitness app or FitBit to track your progress.
Pros: Bluetooth compatibility allows it to be paired with fitness tracking apps. Smooth and quiet.
2. Sunny Health Under-Desk Elliptical
This elliptical machine from Sunny Health & Fitness has a dial with adjustable resistance levels, so you can increase or decrease the intensity of the workout as needed. A digital monitor on the screen allows you to track time, speed, calories and distance, so you can easily work toward a set goal. Plus, a handle on the top makes it easy to carry.
Pros: Convenient carry handle. Digital monitor that tracks time, speed calories and distance. Quiet operation.
Cons: Digital monitor could be more accurate.
3. Stamina InMotion Compact Strider
This compact elliptical machine has a convenient carry-handle. The pedals are designed to be large enough to suit people with larger feet. The dial allows you to adjust the resistance level, and the digital LCD display allows you to track distance, workout time, calories burned and number of strides taken. It’s also one of the more affordable options on the market.
Pros: Digital display that tracks distance, calories, etc. More affordable than some other options. Convenient carry handle.
Cons: Not as quiet as others on the list.
4. DeskCycle Ellipse
The DeskCycle is designed to run quietly so you can use it at work. The pedals are extra long and wide, making it easy to use for taller people and those with big feet. There are eight different resistance levels. The free app from the brand allows you to log your activity and easily view it, although the elliptical doesn’t automatically transmit that data. One of the best features is that the tracker is detachable, and has a long cord. That means you can place it on your desk, so you don’t have to constantly look under your desk to track progress.
Pros: Detachable tracker can be placed on your desk, allowing you to see your live progress without looking under the desk. Optional and free app allows you to track your data.
Cons: Somewhat expensive.
5. ATIVAFIT Under-Desk Elliptical Bike
Unlike many under-desk ellipticals, you can safely use this unit while standing (although you may need to stabilize yourself on something). The rotating dial allows you to customize the resistance level, and the large pedals have a tread pattern to keep your feet from slipping. The LCD display allows you track helpful metrics like speed and distance.
Pros: Can be used sitting or standing. Adjustable resistance. LCD display.
Cons: It can be difficult to balance if used standing.