There's nothing good about a sedentary lifestyle. It make you less flexible, and also adds health risks. A majority of us are stuck to our desk for a huge chunk of the day and it can't be helped. Or can it be? There are quite a few exercise machines designed for people like us who spend a lot of time in their desks. From under-desk cycles to standing desk converters and desk cycles, the options are many. Another category that often goes unnoticed is under-desk ellipticals.
If you have long legs or the height of your desk is a little low, getting an under-desk cycle seems impractical as you won't get the adequate clearance to pedal. Here's where the ellipticals come into the picture
As you already might know, ellipticals make forward/back motion as opposed to the circular motion of cycles. The best part is that some of these ellipticals let you exercise while standing. Best of both worlds, if you ask me.
So if you have been trying to make a change to your sedentary lifestyle while working, here are our recommendations for the best under-desk ellipticals.
We have picked the ones in the sub-$200 price bracket because let's face it, it's not that easy to stick to a fitness routine initially. So once you have made the habit of sticking to it, you can try the expensive and feature-rich models such as the Bluetooth-enabled Cubii Pro.
The Stamina InMotion Compact Strider can perform double duty: use it while standing or sitting. That's quite versatile. It's quiet and won't distract you or others in the office. Like most gym equipment, this one also comes with a monitor to track your progress. For now, it displays your strides, time, and calories burned. The anti-skid layer on the feet ensures that it stays anchored to the ground, and the anti-skid pedal grips your feet on the pedals.
There's a knob at the front to adjust the resistance level. It doesn't have fixed resistance, though. You will have to pick one as per your comfort.
At 24 x 17.5-inches, it has a smaller footprint. Plus, the lightweight ensures that you can easily put it aside when not in use. Or, you can drag it to your den and use it while streaming your favorite show on Netflix.
Reviewers are happy with the range of motion and the noiseless, smooth working. For now, the Stamina Inmotion Elliptical has a rating of 4.1-star out of 5 on Amazon.
It's not without its share of flaws. Some users have found its range of motions to be a little limiting. "The range of motion isn't amazing, but that's normal for a device this size," writes one user. The good news is that the build quality is solid and is likely to last you a long time.
It's available in three colors - Green, Orange, and Silver.
2. Bionic Body Magnetic Tension Under-Desk Elliptical
You can't go wrong with the Bionic Body Magnetic Tension if you are looking for slightly more features on your under-desk elliptical. It is a compact and sturdy machine that lets you hook resistance bands to the machine to add versatility to your workouts. Of course, you wouldn't need them while working on your desk, but that makes for a good option that you can utilize otherwise. It is noiseless, which makes it ideal for both the home office and the regular office space.
The good thing about this elliptical is that it has a solid build. The low profile ensures that it fits easily under the desk, provided that your desk doesn't have a low height.
And like its counterpart above, it also ships with a battery-powered digital monitor and non-slip pedals.
Reviewers are happy with their purchases and 61% of the users gave it a 5-star rating. They love it for its low-noise level, smooth magnetic resistance, and the sturdiness it brings to the table. One user sums her experience beautifully as, "Easy to put together, all tools included. It makes a little noise but is quiet enough that none of my coworkers hear it. It fits under my desk perfectly so I can use it sitting down or lift my desk & use it standing."
Last but not least, it includes a nifty handle that is useful to move the product from one place to another.
The elongated shape can make it a bit difficult to fit under desks and tables, especially if you do not have enough space. "While this does fit under my desk, it's problematic because it takes up so much space that I am too far away from my desk to type when it's under there. I put it beside my desk instead, and just swivel my chair when I want to use it," writes one user.
For breaking the monotony, the Ancheer elliptical bundles forward pedaling and backward pedaling. Yep, you read that right. You can switch between three automatic settings (P1-P3) or switch to backward pedaling by activating the manual mode. Secondly, this elliptical is compact, well-built and comes with a digital monitor to view the required stats.
If we talk specifics, this one measures 9.8-inches in height and around 17.7-inches in length.
Do note that you will have to plug the product to the power outlet for the automated workouts.
The pedals are large as well as grippy and you should have no issues in your strides. Since it's an automatic machine, you won't be able to adjust the tension manually. But other than that, it's a decent machine for the price. "This product really gives me the workout I need for when I’m sitting around and sedentary," explains a user.
The best part about it is that you can use it straight out of the box. It comes assembled and the device is sturdy enough to hold its position as you pedal. It has over 61% positive reviews on Amazon where users praise its stride and the handy remote control that comes bundled.
Some users have pointed out that the direction manual has little to no instructions, and that could be difficult for first-timers to operate this product.
The FitDesk Under-desk Elliptical has a small footprint and is ideal for desks as low as 25 inches. What makes the deal even sweeter is that it comes with a hands-free resistance shifting. Unlike some of the products with a knob above, this one bundles a lever adjustable with your feet. You can switch between eight different resistance, and a quiet flywheel accompanies it.
It ships partly assembled, and the remaining assembly is easy. At the same time, it has a good build quality for the price. In the long run, some of the machines may start to squeak. A user writes, "I bought this to keep my knees loose and it has been great! It was extremely quiet for the first 2 weeks before it started making an occasional noise. But it isn’t bad."
Nevertheless, it has managed to acquire some good ratings. Out of the 90 reviews at the time of writing, it has 66% 5-star ratings.
5. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Under-desk Elliptical
Last but not least, we have the highly-reviewed under-desk elliptical by Sunny Health & Fitness. It's a magnetic elliptical that comes with 8 levels of magnetic resistance and allows a 7-inch stride, along with the usual features like a digital monitor, patterned and non-slip foot pedals. Plus, the handle at the crank means you can easily carry it around the house.
The machine's low profile translates into a natural fit under desks and counters with height as low as 29-inches. Several users have backed that. A user adds, "I can comfortably peddle while seated, with my knees nowhere close to the underside of the desk."
The best part is that it doesn't require any assembly, and you can use it straight out of the box. The resistance settings are decent, and the 8-different levels mean you can switch between them as per your preference.
The build is solid. However, the base can rub against the floor surface and cause it to squeak. Thankfully, that is easily mendable by getting a quality anti-slip mat.