Buying an Under Desk bike or Elliptical: Factors to Consider

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An under desk bike is a mini exercise bike designed to fit under a desk with shorter strides or rotational axis than that of regular exercise bikes. It is a manifestation of the new “deskercise” trend, which means to exercise while sitting at your desk.

It is also official as well known institutions have incorporated exercise during work through under desk bikes.

Buying an Under Desk bike or Elliptical: Factors to Consider

Here are factors to consider when buying an under desk bike or elliptical. They are summarized below:

  1. Quietness. Ensure that it is as noiseless as possible since it will be used in the office. Quietness is sacrosanct in most offices so mutual respect’s convenience and organizational policies in such matters should be given.
  2. Pedal height. You have to consider this to determine if you can use an under desk bike or elliptical at all. Get a measurement of the clearance between your knees and the underside of your desk that is comfortable for you and use it in picking a bike that will fit under your desk. Check for the pedal height that corresponds to the measurement you have.
  3. Adjustable tension. The tension or resistance settings determine how hard you need to work the pedals. So if you are looking to burn off some calories, you should look up an under desk bike with the highest resistance level options.
  4. Connectivity. Some under desk bikes feature this option. Connection is usually through Bluetooth to a mobile device like a smartphone (an app is available to facilitate this) and other accessories.
  5. Pedal dimensions. This factor should be considered especially when you are looking forward to exercising as many muscles as possible. With an elliptical, you can place only your toes, back heels and flat foot to get different angles. This is because the pedal is wide enough but an under desk bike has pedals with the dimension of a regular bike.
  6. Weight. The weightier the machine the firmer it will be during exercise. Weightier machines are usually more expensive than lighter ones. So if you have zero tolerance for slipping while working out, consider a heavy machine.
  7. Price. This is strictly the buyer’s prerogative in this sense; expensive machines last longer and are smoother in operation as compared to less expensive machines.

Difference Between Under Desk Bike & Under Desk Elliptical

The only difference between an under desk bike and an elliptical is the pedals and stride. The stride or motion of an elliptical is similar to that of climbing a stair or jogging while that of a bike is the same motion as pedaling a bicycle. The pedals of an elliptical are larger and wider than that of a bike- the difference is significant.

How many Calories Can a user Burn With an Under Desk Bike or Elliptical?

About 1000 calories per workday are the ideal and expected, depending on the resistance level, weight, and age of a user, etc. Using the DeskCycle online calculator, you can get a good idea of the amount of calories expected to be burnt. All that needs to be done is to input your parameters like height, weight, gender, etc. An example is shown in the table below. The values are calculated based on the criteria below.

  • Age = 35 years old
  • Workout time = 1 hour
  • Resistance level = 8
  • Distance = 7 miles
Height Weight (male) Male (Calories Burned/Hour) Weight (Female) Female (Calories Burned/Hour)
5′ 5″ 190 295.2 169 245.3
5′ 6″ 195 302.2 172 248.2
5′ 7″ 200 309.3 175 251.0
5′ 8″ 205 316.3 178 253.8
5′ 9″ 210 323.4 181 256.7
5′ 10″ 211 330.4 184 259.5
5′ 11″ 212 337.4 187 262.4
6′ 0″ 213 344.5 190 265.2

Limitations of an Under Desk Bike

The under-desk bike can’t replace the regular exercise bikes function-wise. This makes its effect on the fitness of the user limited. This is not to say calories are not burnt or muscles not exercised while using them, they are actually, as the LCD shows. However, the display can be inaccurate sometimes. Also, under desk bikes tend to slide around during a fast pedaling session except the DeskCycle and Cubii. But lighter weight machines will slide around on hard floors.

The primary function of an under desk bike is to keep the user active during work hours especially for jobs that require lengthy sitting periods. The use of under desk bikes can facilitate healthy blood flow in the body, reducing cramps and fatigue in the process.

Promoting a Healthy Workplace

Organizations or employers usually provide health packages for their employees to keep them fit and productive. These health packages or benefits are mostly in effect outside the office or off-work hours. This practice does not sustain or improve man-hours as much as on the job exercise can. Many employees don’t work out after office hours and if they do, it may not be enough. The pressures of the job may influence them to develop a need-to-relax attitude towards after work hours. Many can hardly subscribe to work out after working at the desk for hours as a way to keep fit and promote health. It is much easier to incorporate a work out activity during work hours than after. There is a working consciousness carried by employees when they are in the office and this consciousness can enable them to work out during work hours.

The under-desk bike or elliptical provides a suitable platform to achieve this all-important aspect of building and sustaining fitness. The compact build of under desk bikes and its noiselessness in operation makes it work-friendly in the sense that it doesn’t distract the user and colleagues. With constant use, it can enhance focus which in turn reflects in productivity. It is imperative to practice exercise during work hours as this can forestall health breakdowns and recover lost man-hours. An under desk bike can achieve this.

Keeping fit is primarily a preventive health measure. Employers can install under desk bikes in their offices and even incorporate “desk exercise” into their work policies. Apart from the fact that it is organizational policy, hardly anyone refuses an opportunity to stay healthy while working and enhance his/her productivity in the process. It is worth looking into. Get desk bikes, get employees using them and get more man-hours!

Invest In Your Health

Purchasing an under desk bike is a valuable investment in your health. Fitness is wellness. Make these mini exercises a lifestyle. Work hours can be very fleeting and there is the tendency to take in food substances that certainly need some burning off. Yes working on your desk will burn a few calories but it is far from adequate to keep you physically fit.

The use of an under desk bike will take care of an appreciable chunk of your physical fitness requirements. Consider getting one today, and be consistent in using it. Consistency yields more results than time spent per session. It is an ultimate investment in your future.

If you consider under desk bikes a cool move or idea, why not share with friends on social media and see what they think. You never know, they might even have one and haven’t told you about it!


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Feature Image: Mashable

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