Informational Guide

Comparing Under Desk Ellipticals Vs Bikes

Home office gym equipment is booming, but which is best for you? We compare under desk ellipticals vs bikes to help you pick the right equipment for your office.

by Josh Mitchell

More people than ever are working from home. That means we sit at our desks all day whether at home or in the office.

It can make for a sedentary lifestyle. One item that can help you break away from desk life is an under desk bike or elliptical machine.

Check out our guide to find out which under desk machine is perfect for you.

  • Perfect For Office Jobs  
    These exercise bikes fit perfectly under your desk at work. Most people can’t even see that you are using one. It is quiet enough to use in any office setting. You can keep your legs moving to increase blood flow, which will increase your productivity.
  • Strengthen Muscles  
    Using an under desk exercise bike can increase your muscular strength while you work. You can increase your calf, quad, and glute strength.
  • Speed Up Metabolism  
    One issue with sitting at a desk all day is that we rarely get up and move except to replenish our coffee cup. An under desk bike allows you to keep moving and speed up your metabolism while you work
  • Easier On Joints  
    Exercise bikes are easier on your joints than running on a treadmill or outdoors. The reduced impact is ideal for exercising while you work.
  • Improve Sleep Patterns  
    Exercising releases endorphins, which can lead to better sleep. It also raises your body temperature and burns calories, which can tire you out before nighttime.
  • Burn Fat  
    If you are interested in shedding fat, then sitting at your desk all day won’t help. With an under desk bike, you can shed fat while you work by using the bike during the day.
  • Improve Mental Health  
    Exercise improves mental health by releasing endorphins, improving focus, and boosting self-esteem.

Exploring Under Desk Ellipticals

  • Less Expensive  
    One huge advantage of under desk elliptical machines is they are inexpensive compared to under desk bikes and other cardio machines.
  • Work While You Exercise  
    Under desk ellipticals are ideal for exercising while you work. You can continue to type and take phone calls while you exercise your lower body.
  • Small And Compact  
    You can fit these small ellipticals directly under your desk. They can sit right next to your computer tower without impeding your desk chair.
  • Great For General Fitness  
    An elliptical machine is great for getting your heart rate up and building muscular strength in your legs.
  • Improves Cardiovascular Health  
    If you exercise daily, you will increase your heart rate and blood flow. This can significantly improve your cardiovascular health and endurance.
  • Provides Impact-Free Exercise  
    Since most of us work at a desk all day, our joints can only take so much impact. Ellipticals are impact-free and easier on your joints than jogging.
  • Strong, Durable, And Safe  
    Under desk ellipticals are made of high-grade steel and polymer. They will last for years with little maintenance.
  • Easy To Assemble  
    Under-desk ellipticals require little to no assembly. They typically come pre-assembled, and you can stow them under your desk without breaking them down.
  • Variable Resistance Level  
    You can change the resistance settings on an under-desk elliptical to help you build muscle or break a sweat. Most of these machines come with a variable resistance knob.
Under Desk Elliptical Vs Bike

Under Desk Bike vs. Elliptical Compared

So many professionals want to work out and increase their muscular strength and endurance. Many of us can’t find the time between work and home life.

The good news is that you can invest in a cardio machine that allows you to exercise while you work. Under desk bikes and ellipticals are your answer to staying fit while you work.

  • Workout 
    The main difference in the workout type for a bike versus an elliptical is how you move your legs. On an under desk bike, you move your legs in a circular motion. On an under-desk elliptical, your legs move back and forth. This difference in movement will affect which muscles are worked out.
  • Space 
    An under-desk bike will require your legs to move up and down more than an under-desk elliptical. If you have limited desk height, then you might want to for the under-desk elliptical machine. If you have limited space towards the front of your desk, then an under desk bike might be better for you.
  • Feet Placement  
    On a bike, your feet are placed into pedals with foot straps. On an elliptical, your feet are placed on the top of two platforms. An under-desk elliptical has a wider foot platform, which can allow you to change the positioning of your feet. This can help you exercise different leg muscles.
  • Leg Muscles  
    Both of these machines workout similar muscle groups but in different ways. Both under-desk ellipticals and bikes work your hamstrings and quadriceps. Ellipticals might work your glutes slightly more than an exercise bike. While an exercise bike works out your calves and quads more. This can change due to machine and foot placement, however.
  • Stride Movement  
    An under-desk elliptical machine moves your feet and legs in a back and forth motion. An under desk bike machine moves your legs in a circular motion. Ellipticals feel more like you are shuffling or gliding. An exercise bike makes you feel like you are riding a traditional bicycle.
  • Smooth And Quiet Operation  
    Both of these machines are quiet. You can work out at your desk and not disturb others. We found an exercise bike to be slightly quieter, but not by much. As long as the model you buy is stable, you should not have any issues with the noise level.
  • Resistance 
    Depending on the model you choose, both under desk bikes and ellipticals can have variable resistance levels. Some of the cheaper models will not come with a built-in resistance knob. If you want to increase the intensity of your workouts, then you should look into a model that comes with variable resistance.
  • Equipment Cost  
    Under desk exercise bikes and ellipticals are similar in price. They cost around $200 or less. You can find cheaper models for both types of machines. Keep in mind that some of the lower-end models may not come with some of the features you need. If you want a simple machine, then a less expensive model might work for you.

Getting the Most Out of Your Cardio Equipment

Under Desk Bikes

  • You should focus on pedaling downward to activate your quads, hamstrings, and calves.
  • Focus on keeping your upper body still while you pedal. If you keep a good posture, your legs will be forced to do more of the work. This will increase your muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Start slowly and see how it goes. You might need to make some adjustments if your knees hit your desk. We recommend keeping a slow and steady pace while you work.

Under Desk Ellipticals

  • Place your feet firmly on the elliptical platform. Make sure you are moving slowly at first to avoid any mishaps. You can pick up speed once you are sure you have plenty of space under your desk.
  • Track your progress while you exercise at work. Try to do a few more minutes every day to see if you can beat your previous record. This will help you stay on track and meet your fitness goals.
  • Always sit up straight in your chair to target your leg muscles.
Under Desk Cycle Vs Elliptical

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can you lose weight with under desk cardio equipment

Under-desk cardio equipment can burn calories just like any other cardio machine. It is estimated that an under-desk cardio machine can burn as many as 100-150 calories per hour. Decreasing your sedentary time will always burn calories.

Does the elliptical burn belly fat?

The elliptical can burn belly fat if you are using it correctly. The more you increase your heart rate, the more fat you will burn. You can monitor your heart rate while you exercise to see if you are entering a fat-burning state.

Do under desk bikes and ellipticals burn many calories?

While these machines may not burn as many calories as stand-up cardio machines, they can still burn between 100 and 150 calories per hour.

Do workplaces allow the use of these machines?

Most workplaces will allow you to use one of these cardio machines. However, we recommend asking your supervisor if it would be okay before you make a purchase.


After many hours of testing and research, we found that under-desk bikes and ellipticals can offer a great solution to exercising while you are at your office. We recommend checking out the top under-desk cardio machines to help you make the most of your time while you’re on the clock.