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Best Under-Desk Elliptical for Working Out While Seated

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Love working out but stuck behind a desk all day? There are plenty of ways to get a bit more activity in your day… You can take a walking lunch break. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do 10 pushups (or more) every time you go to the bathroom…

Or you can shop for the best under-desk elliptical. This handy little exercise machine fits easily underneath your desk and allows you to keep moving all day long, not just when you aren’t seated. 

A woman using the best under-desk elliptical in her home office
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You aren’t going to be breaking performance records with these. But you will be able to stay moving throughout the day, prevent stiff legs, keep your circulation going, and burn enough extra calories to help get closer to any weight loss goals you may have. 

They may be small machines, but some are still better quality than others! Here are the ones we recommend considering if you want to stay active without leaving your desk.

In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best Picks

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Why Trust BoxLife? 

The BoxLife team eats, sleeps, breathes, and lives fitness. If there’s a way to get some extra movement in your day, burn a few more calories, or hack your system to reach your fitness goals faster, we know it… And we’ve probably tried it! 

We’ve also got a ton of experience on almost every piece of fitness equipment out there. Between our team members, we know the ins and outs of most cardio machines… Including those that people don’t consider to be “real” fitness machines. 

We get excited about machine features. We pore over user manuals. The conversations we have would probably bore most people… But we’re passionate about fitness, health, and the tools you can use to achieve them! 

Who Should Choose an Under Desk Elliptical? 

Under desk ellipticals are a handy concept for people who spend a lot of time seated. If you work in an office and spend the majority of the day behind a desk, this kind of exercise machine could be something to help prevent stiff legs and tingly feet. 

It’s also a good idea for those who work from home and want a bit more movement in their day. Seniors may also benefit from an under desk elliptical if they struggle with mobility, as they can get regular exercise while seated comfortably and safely. 

Also, those who are usually active in various ways but are injured at the moment might find this kind of device very handy for rehab. It’s a low-impact workout and safe way of staying active, especially good for keeping ankles and knees moving.

A woman working at home using the best under-desk elliptical
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How We Chose the Best Under-Desk Ellipticals

Our team came together and listed all the under desk ellipticals we’d tried before. We reached out to people we knew and asked them about their own experiences with these mini ellipticals. 

Once we had a decent-sized list, we turned to the internet to help us narrow it down. Amazon, Walmart, sports retailers, Quora, Reddit… We scoured the net to find where the fitness lovers were hiding and checked out their opinions on these small but mighty machines. 

This helped us to really nail down the key features that people loved, as well as any potential red flags that could be problematic. But that’s not all—we also devoured user manuals and real-people reviews so we could bring you the most accurate, up to date information possible. 

How We Tested Them 

They may be small, but you still need to make sure you’re buying a good quality under desk elliptical. Here are the key features we tested on each one of these machines: 

  • Pedals 
  • Noise Level 
  • Resistance Levels 
  • Grip 
  • Portability 
  • Built-In Programs 
  • Warranty 

The Under Desk Elliptical – Our Top Picks

Cubii JR2+ – Best Overall

Best Overall
Cubii JR2+
5.0

The Cubii JR2+ has everything you need to stay active during the day if you have to sit at a desk. 

Pros:
  • Many programs to choose from in the Cubii app
  • 8 levels of quiet magnetic resistance
Cons:
  • The included rubber office chair attachment doesn’t work well on chairs with wheels
See latest price

The Cubii JR2+ is a popular choice. It’s compact enough to use anywhere, but not so chunky that it gets in the way. A handy built-in handle means you can easily take it with you to the office, on vacation, or anywhere else you might want to use it. 

One of the nice things about it is that it runs pretty quietly. It only makes a hum about the same loudness as a small fan, so wherever you are, it won’t be likely to disturb anyone around you. 

There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance, so you can adjust it to your own liking. We love that it has a belt-drive system with the ZeroGravitii flywheel, which makes it very smooth and contributes to the quietness of the machine. 

The oversized pedals have a stride length of about 6 inches, which is great for using while seated. They’re strapless and feature a textured surface, so your feet should have no issue staying put even though they don’t have straps. Plus, the rubber grips underneath mean you can push down on the pedals without it sliding around. 

While there are no built-in programs on this elliptical, it comes with the Cubii Studio+ app. It’s free, and allows you to choose from hundreds of workouts, including group classes, live follow-along workouts, and fitness challenges. 

An easy-to-see LCD display screen allows you to track time, distance pedaled, and calories burned. Plus, it comes with a chair attachment that helps you stay at the right distance from the elliptical at all times. Be aware that it doesn’t work well with wheeled chairs! 

It’s important to note that although this mini elliptical has a maximum user weight capacity of 250 pounds, it’s not designed for standing on.

Pros

  • Many programs to choose from in the Cubii app 
  • 8 levels of quiet magnetic resistance that can be used around others without disturbing 
  • Rubber grips so you can pedal vigorously without the machine moving 
  • Built-in handle makes it easy to take anywhere with you 

Cons

  • The included rubber office chair attachment doesn’t work well on chairs with wheels

Key Specs 

Pedals 12-inches high, large, strapless, 6-inch stride length 
Noise Level About the same as a small fan 
Resistance Levels 8 levels of resistance 
Grip Rubber grips underneath 
Portability Built-in handle 
Built-In Programs None, but many in the Cubii app 
Warranty Unknown 

The Perfect Under-Desk Companion 

The Cubii JR2+ has everything you need to stay active during the day if you have to sit at a desk. It’s a quiet, smooth piece of exercise equipment, and the accompanying free app is a huge bonus. Highly recommended! 

Sunny Health & Fitness SitFit Electric Motorized Under Desk Elliptical – Most Resistance Levels

Most Resistance Levels
Sunny Health & Fitness SitFit Electric Motorized Under Desk Elliptical
4.5

Good choice for those who want something more to push against while pedaling.

Pros:
  • 18 resistance levels
  • Allows for forward and backward pedaling
Cons:
  • At 25 pounds, it’s not easy to move or shift aside
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The Sunny Health & Fitness SitFit is an excellent choice if you want some resistance variation that you can really push against. With 18 adjustable resistance levels, you can really dial it up for a bit of an increased workout. 

We love that you can pedal both forward and backwards on this mini elliptical. It adds something extra and helps you to work your muscles in a slightly different way. Plus, choose from 3 preset workout programs, or run it on manual. If you do want to change workouts, you can use the included remote controller without having to bend, which is great for those who may have limited mobility. 

With nicely-sized pedals that feature a 7-inch stride length, you should be comfortable on this machine. They have a light texture to keep your feet in place and a lip around the heel so you can rest your feet when you need a break. 

We like that the maximum pedal height is just 7 inches, so it should leave you with enough space for your knees to move up and down… But use caution if you have a desk with a pull-out keyboard tray. 

With a built-in handle, you can move this around if you want to. But it weighs 25 pounds, so it’s not easy to just shift out of the way. The elliptical does have a built-in safety feature—if it tilts, overheats, or detects an obstruction, it stops automatically.

Pros

  • 18 resistance levels so you can get a great seated workout 
  • Allows for forward and backward pedaling to add variation 
  • 7-inch pedals have a 7-inch stride length 
  • Built-in safety features make it a good option for almost anyone 

Cons

  • At 25 pounds, it’s not easy to move or shift aside 
  • The grip is just average so you may need to place it on a mat 

Key Specs 

Pedals 7-inches high, oversized, non-slip, 7-inch stride length 
Noise Level Quiet 
Resistance Levels 18 levels of resistance 
Grip Average 
Portability Built-in handle 
Built-In Programs 3 preset programs, plus forward and backward pedaling 
Warranty ‎1-year structural frame, 180 days other parts and components 

Surprisingly Good Workout 

Between the 18 resistance levels, forward and backward pedaling, and remote control usage, you can get a surprisingly good workout on this small elliptical machine! 

Stamina Inmotion E1000 Compact Strider – Most Versatile

Most Versatile