Best Under-Desk Ellipticals for 2022 – SI Showcase

Best Under Desk Ellipticals

The products featured in this article have been independently reviewed. When you buy something through the retail links on this page, we may earn commission at no cost to you, the reader. The Sports Illustrated editorial team is not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more here.

Physical activity and movement are important for both your physical and mental health. If you have a desk job or one that requires you to be in front of a computer, you’re likely to be sedentary for a large portion of your day. Research links an inactive lifestyle to adverse health outcomes including an increase in disease, obesity and overall mortality.

The good news is that there are easy steps you can take to get exercise during times when you’d normally be stationary. One convenient option is an under-desk elliptical, a low-impact machine that can be used to get exercise while you work. Under-desk ellipticals are a great exercise option for any skill level, from absolute beginners who are just starting to track their fitness to those looking to pack more activity into their daily routines. Whether you are searching for an on-the-job fitness solution or are a senior who needs an easy seated workout, this list will help you find the best under-desk elliptical machine for your needs.

Our Picks for the Best Under-Desk Elliptical:

Cubii JR1 Seated Under-Desk Elliptical
  • Price: $269
  • Weight: ‎27 pounds
  • Dimensions: 23.15 inches x 17.56 inches x 10 inches
  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Warranty: One-year manufacturer warranty

Cubii was founded to help people get exercise while in the workplace. The brand’s co-founders realized how much sedentary time they were spending during their full time desk jobs and came up with an under-desk elliptical as a solution.

Cubii JR1 Seated Under-Desk Elliptical is a compact and ergonomic machine that is a convenient choice whether you are looking to use it under your desk or for multitasking during other seated activities. A “whisper-quiet” motor keeps this elliptical from being distractingly loud when you are doing work, in a conference or listening to entertainment.

This under-desk elliptical machine offers eight levels of resistance. You can monitor your progress on the digital LCD display monitor that shows calories burned, strides pedaled and distance.

Reviewers on Amazon comment that this low-impact machine is a good quality and quiet option for getting movement while sitting for long hours or watching television. This machine received an overall rating of 4.5 stars out 5 and over 15,000 reviews on Amazon.

Pros:

  • Eight levels of resistance
  • Quiet
  • Built-in LCD display tracks progress

Cons:

  • Not recommended for those weighing more than 250 pounds
  • Some reviewers on Amazon complain of clicking noises

Purchase Cubii JR1 Seated Under-Desk Elliptical


EFITMENT Fitness Stepper
  • Price: $68.30
  • Weight: ‎15 pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎19.5 inches x 14 inches x 10.25 inches
  • Resistance levels: Not adjustable
  • Warranty: One year on frame, 90 days on other parts

At around only $68 and a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon, EFITMENT Fitness Stepper is a highly rated budget-friendly option for your under-desk fitness needs.

This pre-assembled exercise machine arrives ready to use straight out of the box. It features a hydraulic drive system that uses fluid to provide a smooth and quiet workout. You operate the machine by stepping up and down on the machine’s wide non-slip pedals to achieve cardio workout. Meanwhile, track your progress on the machine’s digital LCD monitor which displays time, reps, calories burned and more.

This compact under-desk elliptical machine is best suited for use at a standing desk, though some reviewers report that it can be used while sitting too. Overall, reviewers on Amazon say that this machine is a good value for the price, but some reviewers wish there were resistance options.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Not recommended for those weighing more than 220 pounds
  • Resistance is not adjustable

Purchase EFITMENT Fitness Stepper


Stamina InMotion Compact Strider with Cords
  • Price: $132.99
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24 inches x 18 inches x 12 inches
  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Warranty: One year on frame, 90 days on other parts

If you’re looking for a versatile under-desk elliptical, the Stamina InMotion Compact Strider can be used in a variety of ways to get a full body cardio workout. This machine offers eight levels of adjustable resistance which can be controlled with a dial at the front of the machine. An LCD monitor allows you to keep track of data like strides, calories burned and workout time.

This compact elliptical can be used sitting or standing and by pedaling forward or backward. In addition to exercising your lower body, you can also use the included resistance bands to incorporate different muscle groups in your upper body into your workout. The resistance cords are easy to attach and detach and feature padded handles for comfort.

While there is some assembly required, reviewers on Amazon say that putting the workout equipment together is easy thanks to clear instructions. If you prefer to leave the assembly to a professional, you can get an expert to do it for you for an additional $89. The Strider’s design includes a large handle at the top of the machine for easy portability.

For a more immersive experience, this under-desk elliptical machine can be used with the free Müüv app for guided audio coaching.

Pros:

  • Can be used seated or standing
  • Includes resistance cords for upper body workout
  • Built-in handle for portability

Cons:

  • Not recommended for those weighing more than 250 pounds
  • Some reviewers on Amazon found it difficult to balance on without support

Purchase Stamina InMotion Compact Strider with Cords


Sunny Health & Fitness Fully Assembled Magnetic Under-Desk Elliptical Peddler Exerciser
  • Price: $149.98
  • Weight: 24.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24 inches x 19 inches x 11 inches
  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Warranty: One year on frame, 180 days on other parts

This Sunny Health & Fitness under-desk elliptical features large textured foot pedals to prevent slippage while providing a comfortable experience for a variety of shoe types and sizes.

Designed to be used in a seated position, this under-desk elliptical machine is ideal for using at your desk or while sitting on a couch. Magnetic resistance provides eight levels of resistance that you can control with a knob at the center of the machine. Also centrally located directly above the knob is the digital monitor that tracks speed, time, calories and distance. The machine features a flywheel, and smooth glide wheels under the pedals help ensure a smoothly flowing lower body workout experience.

Pros:

  • Large non-slip pedals
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Magnetic tension system

Cons:

  • Not recommended for those weighing more than 220 pounds
  • Some reviewers on Amazon and the Sunny Health & Fitness website say that it can be noisy

Purchase Sunny Health & Fitness Fully Assembled Magnetic Under-Desk Elliptical Peddler Exerciser


LifePro Seated Under-Desk Elliptical
  • Price: $199
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22.83 inches x 17.22 inches x 9.84 inches
  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Warranty: One year manufacturer warranty

One of the unique aspects of the LifePro Seated Under-Desk Elliptical is that it features Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to connect the LifePro fitness app on your smartphone (Android or iPhone), Fitbit or Apple Health Kit. You can use the app to set fitness goals, track your progress and get access to on-demand workout classes. The LifePro app also allows you to connect with the brand’s community to share your fitness journey.

This compact under-desk elliptical machine is best for a seated workout and features eight tension levels to offer adjustable resistance for any skill level from beginners to those with more experience. The machine is designed to be “whisper-quiet” for minimal distraction. While there is light assembly required, reviewers on Amazon say that assembly is simple and can be done in minutes.

Reviewers on Amazon comment that they are happy with the low noise level of the machine and that it is easy and convenient to use. Though reviewers on Amazon say the app does have some bugs, they also praise its features. One reviewer says that a favorite part of the app is that it reminds you to be active after stationary periods. “That’s the best feature that even my Fitbit doesn’t have,” says the reviewer.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth allows LifePro App connectivity
  • Quiet
  • Eight resistance levels

Cons:

  • Not recommended for those weighing more than 250 pounds
  • No display directly on the machine

Purchase LifePro Seated Under-Desk Elliptical


Perlecare PCPE01
  • Price: $99.99
  • Weight: 26.56 pounds
  • Dimensions: 23.62 inches x 13.6 inches x 11.4 inches
  • Resistance levels: Stepless resistance system
  • Warranty: One year manufacturer warranty

This dual mode machine is designed to offer the benefits of an elliptical and a stair stepper and can be used standing or sitting. Resistance is adjustable via a knob and uses a “stepless” system rather than levels. An LCD monitor provides metrics including calories burned, RPM (revolutions per minute), stride length, time and distance.

This Perlecare under-desk elliptical is made to be “whisper quiet,” but if it starts getting noisy lubricating oil can help. To reduce slippage, the machine contains several anti-slip features, including anti-slip pedals, anti-slip support rod covers and an EVA pad to keep the product in place.

Reviewers on Amazon comment that this is a sturdy, easy to use machine. While some reviewers say they like that the machine provides the option to sit or stand, other reviewers find balance a challenge when standing on the machine. This highly rated under-desk elliptical received a rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 60% of reviewers giving the machine 5 stars.

Pros:

  • Dual mode allows you to sit or stand
  • Anti-slip features
  • Integrated handle for portability

Cons:

  • Not recommended for those weighing more than 264 pounds
  • Some users report that it can get noisy after regular use

Purchase Perlecare PCPE01


Rotai Under Desk Elliptical for Seniors
  • Price: $219.99
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎20.25 inches x 18 inches x 12 inches
  • Resistance levels: 1
  • Warranty: Two year manufacturer warranty

Rotai Under-Desk Elliptical for Seniors is designed to be an easy to use seated elliptical option for seniors and those with arthritis or Parkinson’s disease.

One reason that this mini-elliptical machine is a top pick for those that need a less strenuous exercise option is that it can do the work for you automatically when plugged in. You can also use it manually when unplugged. A remote control makes this under-desk elliptical more accessible for those who have trouble bending over. You can use the remote to select speed and direction.

In addition to the remote, there’s also a touchscreen directly on the machine that you can use to adjust mode, direction and speed. The LCD display shows you distance, speed, calories burned and more. Four sponges on the bottom of the product enhance stability and help prevent sliding. The machine is also designed to be quiet, thanks to its “silent wheel.”

Several reviewers comment that this under-desk elliptical machine is an easy to use and a lightweight home workout choice. Some reviewers say that this is a good option to complement physical therapy.

Pros:

  • Can be used in automatic mode
  • Remote control can be used for adjustments
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Resistance is not adjustable
  • Must be plugged into outlet for automatic mode

Purchase Rotai Under-Desk Elliptical for Seniors


Why Buy an Under-Desk Elliptical?

The CDC recommends adults get 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Prolonged seated times can lead to an increase in health risks, including obesity and overall mortality.

Under-desk ellipticals are a convenient way to get exercise during times when you would normally be sedentary such as while you are working at a desk or watching TV. They may also be a good exercise option for seniors or those with physical limitations since many models can be used in a seated or lounging position.

While most under-desk ellipticals can be used while seated, some can be used while standing or at a standing desk.

Benefits of an Under-Desk Elliptical

Under-desk ellipticals can help you add physical activity into your daily routine. Their benefits include:

  • They are a low-impact workout option.
  • Under-desk ellipticals allow you to get in exercise during times when you would normally be sedentary.
  • They are easy to use.
  • They can be used while in a seated position.
  • They help you burn calories and may help with weight loss.
  • They are good for multitasking such as while you work or watch TV.
  • They are a good fitness option for seniors and may be used in physical rehabilitation.
  • They can be an affordable option for your home gym or home office.

How to Use an Under-Desk Elliptical

Most under-desk ellipticals can be used while in a seated position such as at a desk or sitting on a couch. The elliptical should be placed directly in front of you with your feet, including your heels, planted flat on the elliptical foot plate. It’s best to wear workout shoes for better grip. Once your feet are in position, you can start pedaling.

Many under-desk ellipticals allow you to adjust resistance. Some also provide the option to pedal forwards or backwards.

While most under-desk ellipticals can be used while seated, some can also be used in a standing position. If your elliptical can be used when standing, you’ll need a standing desk if you plan to use it while you work. A standing desk can also be used to help with support and balance.

Review your under-desk elliptical user manual for instructions for how to use your specific machine. Some manufacturers also offer video instructions on how to use their under-desk ellipticals.

What to Look for in an Under-Desk Elliptical

Size

While most under-desk ellipticals are compact, you’ll want to confirm that the length, width and height are appropriate for your space. If you have a small desk, some of the larger models may not be suitable. Most of the ellipticals on this list are between 19.5–24 inches in length, 14–19 inches in width and 10–12 inches in height.

Features

Under-desk ellipticals come with a range of features to help you reach your fitness goals. Most under-desk ellipticals include:

  • Display screen directly on the elliptical for tracking your progress
  • Adjustable resistance
  • Handle for portability
  • Textured non-slip foot pedals

Some ellipticals offer unique features including:

  • App compatibility
  • Bluetooth
  • Automatic cycling
  • Resistance cords for upper body
  • Remote control for adjustments
  • Dual mode (for standing and sitting)

Cost

Under-desk ellipticals can be a budget-friendly exercise equipment option. While some standard elliptical machines can cost over $1,000, you can purchase many under-desk ellipticals for under $300. The machines on the list range from around $68 to $269.

FAQs

How long should I use an under-desk elliptical?

How long you use your under-desk elliptical will vary based on your skill, health and comfort level. If you are a beginner, you can start with a 10 or 15 minute workout. It is a good idea to consult with your medical provider or a fitness professional to determine the best goals for your needs.

Do under-desk exercisers work?

With regular use, under-desk exercisers including under-desk ellipticals and under-desk treadmills can help provide a range of benefits, including helping with weight management and reducing sedentary time.

Can you lose weight using an under-desk elliptical?

It is possible to lose weight with an under-desk elliptical, though if weight loss is your goal, you may want to combine this method with other healthy habits such as a healthy diet.

One study suggests that one hour daily use of an under-desk elliptical could potentially help people lose around 5.2 pounds per year and prevent weight gain.

How effective are under-desk ellipticals?

Daily exercise is important for overall health, including reducing risk of disease, enhancing your ability to do daily activities and helping you live longer. Research links a sedentary lifestyle to higher rates of disease and mortality. An under-desk elliptical is one way to get in regular movement and reduce time spent inert. These machines can help you burn calories, manage weight, and may even help with physical rehabilitation in some cases.

Final Thoughts

An under-desk elliptical machine provides an affordable and convenient option to help you get exercise during times when you would normally be sedentary. Consult with your healthcare provider to help determine the best fitness options for your needs.

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *