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The best under-desk ellipticals: Cubii, Sunny Health and more

While they don’t eradicate the need for a good workout, under-desk ellipticals can help you get a little movement into your workday.
While they don’t eradicate the need for a good workout, under-desk ellipticals can help you get a little movement into your workday.
While they don’t eradicate the need for a good workout, under-desk ellipticals can help you get a little movement into your workday.Amazon

You’ve probably heard how bad sitting for long periods can be for your health —keeping your blood flowing throughout the workday is a good way to combat these sitting-related problems.

A standing desk is one solution. Another option? An under-desk elliptical. “These devices can be a convenient way to incorporate more movement into a sedentary workday, complementing other physical activities you undertake,” says Bryan Wright, a physical therapist and owner of Wright Physical Therapy in Idaho. Cheaper and more portable than a full treadmill or exercise bike, these small machines fit neatly under a desk and allow you to pedal away while working or on a break.

To help you find an under-desk elliptical, we asked experts what to look for when shopping and got their recommendations for models they like. Based on their feedback, we also gathered some highly rated options.

SKIP AHEAD How to shop for an under-desk elliptical | The best under-desk ellipticals of 2024 | Can an under-desk elliptical give you a good workout?

Selected.Our top picks

  • Best overall
    Cubii JR1+ Under-Desk Elliptical Bundle
    $undefined
    $229.99
    Amazon
  • DeskCycle Ellipse Under-Desk Elliptical
    Best compact model
    DeskCycle Ellipse Under-Desk Elliptical
    $230.99
    $246.99
    Amazon
  • Best high-tech model
    Ancheer Seated Elliptical
    $209.00
    $239.00
    Amazon

How to shop for an under-desk elliptical

The experts we spoke to said you should pay special attention to these characteristics and settings when shopping for an under-desk elliptical.

  • Resistance levels: Look for models with adjustable resistance. This will allow you to engage in workouts of varying levels of intensity, according to Wright. If you are typing or in a meeting, you may want to choose a lower intensity that allows you to focus on what you are doing. In between meetings or when taking a break, you can crank the resistance to get your heart rate up.
  • Sound: If you use an under-desk elliptical in the office or while working from home, be mindful of the noise it can cause. A quieter option will ensure it doesn’t distract you or your colleagues, says Wright.
  • Stability: Wright recommends looking for a model that will stay put and has some stability. That can take several forms—a heavier model is more likely to stay put, or look for models with rubber treads to prevent them from sliding across the floor.

The best under-desk ellipticals

To select the best under-desk ellipticals, we used expert advice and consumer reviews to collect the highest-rated options on the market.

Cubii JR1+ Under-Desk Elliptical Bundle

Cubii JR1+ Under-Desk Elliptical Bundle

$229.99
$199.99
$299.00

According to Wright, Cubii is one of the top brands for under-desk ellipticals, thanks to its ergonomic design. This version has a built-in LCD display, which shows your calories burned, distance traveled, rotations per minute, and other metrics. Eight resistance levels help you vary your workouts, and Cubii also has various at-home workout videos led by personal trainers on its Facebook page.?

DeskCycle Ellipse Elliptical

DeskCycle Ellipse Under-Desk Elliptical

$230.99
$246.99

“I prefer sleeker models because they tend to be easier to store, says Karisa Karmali, a personal trainer and founder of Self-Love and Fitness. This option, which has a 4.7-star average rating from more than 2,020 reviews on Amazon, has a smaller footprint than most of the other models on this list. According to the brand, the elliptical can fit under desks as low as 24 inches. It also features a magnetic resistance flywheel for a quiet workout and eight intensity levels, ranging from warm-up to intense intervals.

Sunny Health & Fitness Under-Desk Elliptical

Sunny Health & Fitness Under-Desk Elliptical

$107.99
$139.98
$107.99
$149.99

One of the larger models on our list, this option has eight resistance levels, an LCD screen and a quiet belt drive, according to the brand. It has a 4.5-star average rating from more than 11,890 reviews on Amazon. This under-desk elliptical has non-slip pedals, and the magnetic belt runs quietly, so it won’t distract you or others.

Stamina Inmotion Elliptical

Stamina 55-1602 Inmotion Elliptical

$104.99
$109.99
$131.69

Unlike other models on this list, this elliptical can be used sitting or standing. Like the Sunny Health & Fitness model, you can also pedal forward and backward, which can help target different muscles. The top-facing LCD screen allows you to monitor your strides per minute, exercise time and calories burned. The Stamina Inmotion Elliptical has an average rating of 4.4 stars from more than 14,300 reviews on Amazon.

Ancheer Seated Elliptical Machine

Ancheer Seated Elliptical

$209.00
$239.00
$169.99
$299.99

This Ancheer seated elliptical distinguishes itself by using a remote control to adjust settings instead of the traditional resistance knob. This is helpful because you don’t have to reach under your desk to adjust it. It’s also able to operate unplugged or plugged in, making it more portable than other options on the market. Like the other options on our list, the pedal positions are textured to add grip, and the machine tracks time, speed, calories and distance. It has a 4.5-star average rating from over 1,320 reviews on Amazon.

Can an under-desk elliptical give you a good workout??

Under-desk ellipticals are a great addition to your day and can help you get movement in when you would normally be stationary. It’s multitasking at its finest, and it means combining your work time with your workout time,” says Karmali. That said, it’s not a great substitute for a full-body workout because you are only moving your legs. “They really should be considered a supplement rather than a replacement for a comprehensive fitness regimen,” says Wright. “They can help improve circulation and reduce some of the negative impacts of prolonged sitting, but they might not provide the full cardiovascular and strength benefits of a more varied workout.”

Want to make the most of your time using an under-desk elliptical? Wright has a few tips. “Use it in short, frequent intervals to maximize benefits without overstraining,” he says. Aim for 30 minutes spread throughout the workday, ideally in 5-10 minute segments. This approach helps mitigate the health hazards of prolonged sitting by promoting regular movement.”

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts with specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and experience. We also ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Bryan Wright is a physical therapist and owner of Wright Physical Therapy in Idaho.
  • Karisa Karmali is a personal trainer and founder of Self-Love and Fitness.

Why trust NBC Select?

Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two experts about under-desk ellipticals.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

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