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An Under-Desk Elliptical Machine Can Help You Stay Fit While You Wait for Zoom Meetings To End

The new year is a time when we get the fresh start many of us need to put our plans for a healthier lifestyle in motion. The first hurdle is actually starting your new year’s resolutions. The second hurdle is keeping it up year-round. One of the best ways to keep fitness goals on track is by making changes that are easy to implement daily. If you already sit at a desk all day, it’s time to invest in an under-desk elliptical.

The under-desk elliptical is one of our favorite fitness aids for many reasons. It allows users to burn calories when they’re stationary. It doesn’t require much room in your home or office, and there are several affordable options ranging from $25 to $300. An under-desk elliptical makes it possible to work out even on days when you don’t have time to go to the gym, and it’s a great tool for those with mobility issues which are building up their leg strength.

Ellipticals are some of the most popular machines at any given gym, and it’s easy to see why. The best elliptical machines offer a low-impact but complete workout, and 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.

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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 work out at home, it’s worth considering buying an elliptical machine. We especially love under-desk elliptical machines thanks to the lower cost and convenience factor. As the name suggests, they’re designed to allow you to work out your legs while you sit at a desk. If you want a low-key way to burn off some calories from that big lunch while fighting the mid-day slump, these are the best under-desk ellipticals to get in 2023.

1. Cubii JR2


Cubii is one of the leading names in under-desk ellipticals, and the company’s JR2 model has become hugely popular thanks to its affordable price point and a long list of features. A large LCD display allows users to track their fitness goals, including calories burned, distance, time, and a number of strides. There is also a mobile app that allows users to keep an eye on their progress, which will be easy to make thanks to the JR2’s smooth ZeroGravitii Flywheel. At less than 20 pounds and designed with a charlock, it’s simple to use the Cubii JR2 under your desk while seated on a couch and more.

Courtesy of Amazon

2. DeskCycle 2 Under-Desk Pedal Exerciser


The DeskCycle 2 Under-Desk Pedal Exerciser is a great fit for people who prefer spin bikes to elliptical machines, and it’s also a very affordable option. This device stands just ten inches tall to slip easily under your desk. Designed to operate quietly while you log into Zoom meetings, it also comes with an LCD screen to track your exercise throughout the day. Finally, this exercise machine uses magnetic resistance for smoother motion. For all these reasons, it’s our new pick for the best under-desk elliptical of 2023.

Courtesy of Amazon

3. 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.

Courtesy of Amazon

4. Stamina InMotion Compact Strider With Cords


This compact elliptical machine has a convenient built-in carry handle, and 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 a number of strides taken. We also like that the Stamina InMotion Compact Strider is available without and with (shown here) cords, which help users achieve a full-body workout.

Courtesy of Amazon

5. DeskCycle Ellipse


The DeskCycle is designed to run quietly so that you can use it at work. The pedals are extra long and wide, making this machine 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 look under your desk to track progress constantly.

Courtesy of Amazon

6. BluTiger Seated Elliptical Machine


Backed by celebrity trainer Harley Pasternack, the BluTiger Seated Elliptical Machine is one of the more affordable options on our list. Great for those looking for gentle movement or an intense workout, the seated elliptical has eight levels of magnetic resistance to choose from. The low-profile design makes it convenient to use under just about any table, and a digital display helps users track their speed, calories burned, time, and distance. At 14 pounds, the BluTiger is on the lighter end of under-desk ellipticals, another pro for those who want to be able to move the machine with ease.

Courtesy of Amazon

7. Cubii Go


For a portable under-desk elliptical that is perfect for taking into the office and back home at the end of the day, there’s the Cubii Go. Weighing just over 19 pounds, the Cubii Go has a retractable handle and built-in wheels that add to its ease of portability. Users can track their progress using the illuminated LCD display directly on the Cubii Go or by checking the app, which can be synced with FitBit and the Apple Health Kit. Eight levels of resistance help to ensure users get a great workout every time, and the monitor can be cleared after each use, allowing multiple people to use the elliptical and track their progress. Arriving fully assembled, users can start exercising immediately.

Courtesy of Amazon

8. Under-Desk Bike Elliptical Machine with Built-in Display Monitor


If you’re looking for an affordable under-desk elliptical that still packs all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, try the Under-Desk Bike Elliptical Machine with Built-in Display Monitor. A built-in display monitor has a light-up LED screen that keeps users updated on their current workout progress, including speed, calories burned, and distance. Users can choose from five levels of resistance and opt for forwards or backward pedaling. Quiet and easy to assemble, the elliptical can be plugged in or used manually.

Courtesy of Walmart

9. LifePro Under-Desk Elliptical


Affordable, reliable, and durable, the LifePro Under-Desk Elliptical provides users with a quality workout that doesn’t require them to stand. The under-desk elliptical has a magnetic resistance that includes eight levels of adjustable tension. The non-slip rubber bottom helps to keep the LifePro in place while users build endurance and muscle. Stabilizers are also included to keep the user’s legs in place, and the LifePro comes with an optional tether strap for fixing the device to a chair.

Courtesy of Amazon

10. ANCHEER Under-Desk Elliptical Machine


For an under-desk elliptical machine that works with and without a power source, there’s Ancheer’s versatile model. The elliptical can be plugged into a wall outlet or used manually, making it easy to take your workout to any spot in the home, office, and beyond. The Auto mode allows for three levels, while the unit’s Manual setting has five levels of difficulty. Anti-slip foot pedals help to keep feet in place, while the quiet unit works to improve circulation and muscle tone. The Ancheer comes with a touchscreen and remote control for added convenience.

Image courtesy of Amazon

11. Bionic Body Magnetic Tension Under-Desk Elliptical


Sit or stand for a great workout with the Bionic Body Magnetic Tension Under-Desk Elliptical. The multi-use workout buddy can be used as an elliptical machine in the seated position, or users can stand and use the Bionic as a stepper. The heavyweight, 37-pound machine stays in place whether users are seated or standing and comes with resistance bands for an added exercise element. A large LCD screen displays the number of strides, time elapsed and calories burned. A built-in handle for easy transport and a tension rod all help to make this an excellent at-home or at-work exercise companion.

Courtesy of Amazon

12. JFIT Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical


For a machine that pulls double duty, we like the JFIT Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical. Not only is the unit a traditional under-desk elliptical that works while users are seated, but it is also sturdy enough to be used while standing. A top handle provides a convenient carrying option, and the JFIT has a magnetic tension bar that makes it possible to increase the resistance for a more demanding workout. The JFIT has a digital display that records time, steps, speed, and distance, and the unit comes with oil for regular maintenance.

Courtesy of Amazon

13. Wakeman Portable Under Desk Stationary Fitness Machine


For a budget-friendly exercise companion, it doesn’t get much more affordable than the Wakeman Portable Under Desk Stationary Fitness Machine. A non-traditional elliptical machine, the Wakeman features pedals that can be pushed by hands or feet, making this a great option for physical therapy. Like all the other models on our list, the Wakeman fits under desks and tables. It has a digital display, easy-to-use resistance controls, and includes straps to secure the pedals while the machine is in use.

Courtesy of Amazon

How We Chose the Best Under-Desk Elliptical Machines

Over the past few years, the SPY team has tested hundreds of exercise machines and home gyms. From premium smart exercise machines like Peloton to high-end fitness mirrors like Tempo and affordable massage guns, we’ve tested a lot of products in search of the best home gym equipment. While we haven’t tested all of the products featured in this shopping guide, we are very familiar with the top home fitness brands. When selecting the top under-desk elliptical machines, we considered the following criteria:

  • Size and dimensions
  • Price and overall value
  • Resistance type
  • User ratings and reviews
  • Brand reputation
  • Displays
  • Bluetooth capabilities

Noise is also an important consideration when choosing the best under-desk elliptical. If you are using them at the office, you’ll want to prioritize a machine that isn’t too loud so as not to distract your cubicle neighbor (or worse, the person next to you in an open-floor office). For remote workers, a quiet elliptical can avoid interruptions in Zoom meetings, which are already awkward enough.

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.

Under-desk elliptical machines save space so that 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. Unlike full elliptical machines, most 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.

For all these reasons, we recommend picking out an under-desk elliptical featured above.

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