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Under-desk ellipticals are machines that a person can use for pedaling while they are seated. Companies may also refer to them as seated or recumbent elliptical trainers. They are portable and suitable for use in the home or office. They may be particularly suitable for older adults who find exercise challenging.

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A 2020 study notes that seated elliptical machines can be beneficial for older adults, as they can reduce sedentary behavior.

Elliptical trainers offer a low impact form of exercise because the feet stay on the pedals as a person moves them, and these movements do not place a lot of stress on the legs.

According to one study, sitting for long periods may be harmful, as physical inactivity can increase a person’s risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer. The researchers advise engaging in outdoor exercise but note that only 20% of people in the United States do so.

An under-desk elliptical machine may make physical activity possible and appealing for people who are sedentary for long periods and unable to exercise otherwise. However, it should not replace regular exercise for those who can be more active.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that regular physical activity can benefit health by:

  • strengthening the bones and muscles
  • burning calories and helping people maintain a moderate weight
  • slowing the loss of bone density, in the case of moderate intensity exercise
  • reducing the risk of hip fractures

There are some safety precautions that people may find beneficial when using an elliptical trainer. These include:

  • starting at a slower pace to allow the muscles to warm up and the heart rate to increase gradually
  • checking the heart rate to avoid overexercising
  • keeping an upright posture when sitting
  • checking that the feet remain in place on the pedals
  • stopping if feeling sore or exhausted

Some features to consider when looking for an under-desk elliptical machine include:

  • Portability: A person who wants to use an elliptical machine in an office and at home may consider choosing one that is particularly compact and lightweight. Some also have a wheel and a handle for easy transportation.
  • Dimensions: Checking the device’s dimensions helps people determine whether it will fit in their under-desk area and they will have the room to use it. Learn about compact ellipticals here.
  • Noise: Individuals can use an under-desk elliptical to exercise while they are working at a desk. In these cases, it is best to choose one that features a silent operation mode so that it does not disturb other people.
  • Pedals: Pedals that come with a textured surface can help secure the feet and provide a firm grip.
  • Display monitor: This can be helpful for tracking time, speed, calories burned, and more.

Below, we look at seven under-desk ellipticals that people may wish to consider purchasing. The product information is correct at the time of publication.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Under-Desk Elliptical

This under-desk elliptical has eight levels of resistance, a digital monitor, and a transportation handlebar. It also features nonslip foot pedals and smooth glide wheels.

The company claims that it can increase circulation, joint range of motion, and lower body muscular endurance.

The product weighs 25 pounds (lb) and has a 3.52-lb flywheel. The dimensions are as follows:

  • 24 inches (in) long
  • 19 in wide
  • 11 in high

The product costs $138.98, and the company offers the following warranties and policies:

  • a 1-year structural frame warranty
  • a 180-day warranty for other parts and components
  • a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free shipping over $99

Stamina InMotion Compact Elliptical

Stamina’s under-desk elliptical machine features foot pedals that a person can move both forward and in reverse to target the lower body in different ways.

It comes with upper body resistance bands with handles, so people can use the machine to perform upper body exercises while standing or sitting.

Other features include:

  • a handle for easy portability
  • nonslip pedals
  • an adjustable tension dial
  • an LCD monitor
  • a workout DVD

The electronic display shows the exercise time, number of strides per minute, total strides, and calorie burn.

This elliptical weighs 24 Ib and has a maximum user weight of 250 lb. The dimensions are as follows:

  • 24 in long
  • 18 in wide
  • 12 in high

The product costs $99.99 and is available on Amazon.

Ativafit Under-Desk Elliptical Bike

Ativafit’s elliptical supports sitting or standing positions, pedaling or running, and forward or reverse motions. The company claims that it operates quietly.

Some of its features include:

  • quiet operation with a brake resistance mechanism
  • large anti-slip pedals
  • an LCD monitor
  • a massage function

The dimensions are as follows:

  • 22.4 in long
  • 19.7 in wide
  • height not specified

This product costs $139.98 and is available on Amazon.

Cubii Pro Seated Under-Desk Elliptical Machine

This near-silent elliptical is an upgraded version of the standard Cubii elliptical. Cubii offers a range of under-desk elliptical machines.

Learn more about Cubii here.

The Pro model has Bluetooth compatibility, and users can download the Cubii app on their iPhone or Android mobile devices. A person can also sync their data with Apple HealthKit and access live and on-demand workout classes.

The Pro model includes wheel stoppers, a Cubii Pro charger, and a nonslip workout mat.

It weighs 27.6 Ib and has the following dimensions:

  • 23.1 in long
  • 17.6 in wide
  • 9.8 in high

The price is $349 on the manufacturer’s website.

Fast88 Electric Under-Desk Elliptical Machine Trainer

This electrical under-desk elliptical is designed to be easily portable. It has a “whisper-quiet” operation, and people can plug it in or use it without electricity. It is only suitable for use while sitting.

Other features include:

  • a built-in display monitor
  • multiple movement options
  • five speed levels
  • large anti-slip pedals

It has the following dimensions:

  • 17.7 in long
  • 14.6 in wide
  • 9.8 in high

The product costs $219 and is available on Amazon.

ANCHEER Under-Desk Electric Mini Elliptical Machine

This elliptical trainer comes with a remote control, so people do not have to bend to adjust the mode and speed. It has a built-in monitor, is portable for easy transportation, and operates quietly.

The machine features automatic and manual modes with various preset programs and speed options. It also has enlarged nonslip pedals.

It has the following dimensions:

  • 18 in long
  • 14 in wide
  • 10 in high

The product costs $229 and is available on Amazon.

PEXMOR Mini Pedal Exerciser Cycle Machine

This elliptical machine features a built-in monitor that tracks time, distance, speed, and calories burned. It has large nonslip pedals.

It weighs 26 Ib and has the following dimensions:

  • 24 in long
  • 16.9 in wide
  • 11.4 in high

The product costs $105.99 and is available on Amazon.

Under-desk ellipticals are pieces of fitness equipment that may suit people who are sedentary for long periods, including older adults and office workers.

These machines provide various health benefits, but they come with safety precautions. For instance, a person should ensure that they keep their back straight and increase the workout’s intensity gradually.

Several under-desk elliptical trainers are available for purchase online. People should check what features and policies brands offer before making a purchase.