Under Desk Exercise Bikes – A Personal Trainer’s View
For those of us who are confined to our desks for large portions of the day, we’re probably all too aware of the impact of it on our bodies. We can try and rectify some of it with things like sit/stand desks allowing us to spend more time on our feet.
But make no mistake – sedentary work is bad for the body.
There are a huge volume of gadgets and gizmos on the market now to try and help deal with the crisis caused by sitting for long periods of the day including under desk treadmills, adjustable height desks and the under desk exercise bike. The latter is what we’re going to talk about here – a very cost effective device that encourages more movement during the day.
The premise of this is simple. The devices are essentially the pedal units of exercise or spin bikes, only small enough to tuck under your desk.
The idea is that you pedal while you work, helping you to expend additional calories over the course of the day and help build muscle in your legs.
Here are some of the best sellers available:
NRS Healthcare Pedal Exerciser
The best value under desk pedal exerciser in our list is the NRS healthcare version at under £25 at the time of writing. This is a no frills product designed for rehabilitation, but it will offer you the same movement opportunity as so many others. This could be the ideal one for those not sure they would use it very frequently.
A few key features:
- It’s foldable
- You can adjust the resistance on it
- Light and easy to move around
- No assembly required
It reviews reasonably well but common complaints centre around the fact that the rubber pads don’t appear sufficient to stop it moving around when pedalling so the NRS pedaler might not be the optimal choice if you’re using it on a hard floor.
EVOLAND Mini Exercise Bike
Ths EVOLAND Mini under desk exercise bike is again well reviews but slightly more pricey than the NRS one.
It comes with an non slip mat which should deal with some of the complaints about the NRS one though.
Key features include:
- Non slip pedals
- Advertised as being suitable for arm pedalling on top of a desk
- Designed to fit under any desk with low height
- Adjustable resistance
ANGGO Mini Exercise Bike
The second lowest price under desk exercise pedal bike in our list is the ANGGO Mini at £35.99 at the time of writing.
It’s well received for its price point and has the following features:
- No assembly required
- Adjustable resistance
- Digital LDC display
- Anti slip feet
DeskCycle is the household name in under desk exercisers and the latest pedaler from them is the DeskCycle2 which is height adjustable to make fitting it under desks easier.
A household name comes with a premium price tag too, however, and the DeskCycle2 is more than 6 times the price of the cheapest under desk bike in our list.
That said, it is feature rich:
- Very large adjustable resistance range, which DeskCycle claims to be twice that of other models on the market
- Heigh adjustable to give you more clearance space for your legs under lower desks
- Patented magnetic resistance
- Quiet pedalling which is ideal for offices where you’re not the only one in there
And the DeskCycle2 reviews incredible well. At the time of writing, it is rating 4.6 out of 5 with almost 200 reviewers.
So if you want a tried and tested name and are prepared to invest a little more in it, the DeskCycle2 might just be the best desk bike pedal exerciser for you.
MARNUR Pedal Exerciser Mini
This is another under desk bike that sits at the more expensive end of the scale. But it reviews incredibly well and many comment that the MARNUR is very quiet too.
Its features include:
- Adjustable height
- 8 different resistance settings
- Can be used on top of your desk as an arm exerciser
Do Under Desk Bikes Actually Work?
But do these under desk exercise bikes actually work?
We asked Personal Trainer, Melanie Gilder for her opinion and here’s what she said:
“Under desk exercise bikes will indeed help you burn more calories. In one study, participants burned just over 100 calories a day using an under deck exercise bike and that was only actually pedalling for around 50 minutes of the day on average. If you can pedal more than that, you can obviously increase this calorie burn as well. So I think this is one way that people who have desk jobs would potentially burn anything from 500 to maybe even 1000 calories per week extra.”
But what about the claims that under desk exercise bikes can help with muscle build? We asked Melanie again:
“An under desk exercise bike works your quads, which is a large muscle group. It can also work your hamstrings, calves and glutes. I don’t think an under desk bike is likely to replace a strength training session in the gym in terms of muscle build, but it could help to avoid some of the muscle deterioration we might associate with sitting for long periods of time.”
We asked Melanie whether she would recommend this sort of device for those who work at a desk all day.
“There are a few things you can do to help when you work at a desk. Standing up regularly will help without a doubt. And, if at all possible, getting away from your desk for a short walk once or twice a day is really important as well. But where that’s not feasible, the under desk exerciser is a brilliant way to burn a few extra calories and keep some large muscle groups active while you work.”
Last update on 2021-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API