Under-Desk Bike: A Solution to Stay Active at Work

In today’s increasingly sedentary work environment, staying physically active can be a challenge.

However, there’s a great solution that’s changing the way we approach our daily tasks – the under-desk bike.

Under-desk bike benefits

This unassuming yet highly effective exercise machine has gained popularity as a way to combat the health risks associated with prolonged sitting.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the benefits of under-desk bikes, discuss their functionality, suitability for various workspaces, and explore the types available on the market.

First off let’s get some idea what are under-desk bikes and how do they work.


Under-desk bikes are like your personal mini-gyms at work or home.

They’re designed to squeeze right under your desk or table. You sit comfortably in your chair and start pedaling away while you’re working or watching favorite videos.

Under-desk pedal exercisers offer low-tension settings for physical therapy and higher resistance for toning and strength training, catering to various fitness and therapeutic needs.

They track cool stuff like how long you’ve been pedaling, how far you’ve gone, and even how many calories you’ve burned.

Plus, most of the premium models can be super quiet, so your coworkers won’t give you the stink eye.

Does using an under-desk pedal bike provide effective exercise?

Pedaling away on an under-desk bike is a great way to get some effective exercise.

It’s gentle on your joints, gets your heart pumping, and can help you burn calories and manage your weight. Plus, it’s super convenient and easy on your body.

While they provide a convenient way to stay active at work, other stationary bikes offer a more intense calorie-burning workout due to their different designs and positions.

Here’s a comparison of the approximate calories burned in a 30-minute workout for various types of stationary bikes:

Bike Type Calories Burned in 30 Minutes
Under-Desk Bike 75-125 calories (on average)
Upright Bike 210-315 calories
Recumbent Bike 140-210 calories
Dual-Action Bike 315-420 calories

Can you effectively lose weight with a under desk bike?

Lose weight with under-desk bike

Using an under-desk bike can contribute to weight loss and provide a cardiovascular workout.

Weight Loss: Under-desk bikes can be a part of a weight loss strategy when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise routine. While they may not burn as many calories as more intense forms of exercise, they help create a calorie deficit, which is essential for weight loss. Consistent use can aid in weight management and prevent weight gain associated with prolonged sitting.

Does it count as cardio?

Under-desk biking qualifies as a form of cardiovascular exercise. It elevates your heart rate, improves blood circulation, and enhances cardiovascular health. It’s considered a low-impact cardio activity, making it suitable for individuals with joint concerns.

Calories Burned: The number of calories burned during 30 minutes of under-desk biking can vary based on factors like your weight, pedaling intensity, and resistance level of the bike. On average, you can expect to burn approximately 75-125 calories during this time frame. This amount of burned calories contributes to your overall daily energy expenditure and can be beneficial for weight management.

To enhance weight loss through under-desk biking, consider combining it with a healthy diet and other forms of exercise. The key to effective weight loss is maintaining a consistent calorie deficit, where you burn more calories than you consume.

Adding variety to your fitness routine, including both cardio and strength training exercises, can help you achieve your weight loss goals more effectively.

What are the various types of under-desk bikes available?

The under-desk bike market offers a variety of options to suit diverse preferences and needs in terms of power sources and operation methods.

When choosing an under-desk bike, consider your workspace, power source preferences, and desired features to select the model that best suits your needs and lifestyle.

Many under-desk bikes on the market are powered by batteries, enhancing convenience and versatility.

These models don’t require access to an electrical outlet, allowing you to place them wherever you prefer without worrying about power sources. The batteries primarily operate the display screens, tracking essential metrics such as time, distance, speed, and calories burned.

They are typically long-lasting and can be replaced or recharged, depending on the model.

Main types of under-desk bikes available:

1. Battery-Powered Under-Desk Bikes:

These models operate on batteries and don’t need a direct electrical connection.

They are highly portable and can be placed anywhere without concerns about power sources.

LCD Monitor on under-desk bike

Batteries typically power the bike’s display screen, which tracks metrics like time, distance, speed, and calories burned, making them convenient and flexible.

2. Electric-Powered Under-Desk Bikes:

Unlike battery-powered bikes, electric models require a connection to an electrical outlet.

They often offer advanced features and functionalities due to a consistent power source, including additional resistance levels and programmable workouts.

3. Hybrid Models:

Some under-desk bikes combine both battery and electric power sources.

These hybrids allow users to choose between battery-powered operation for portability and electrical power for extended use without worrying about battery life.

4. Manual Under-Desk Bikes:

These bikes are entirely self-powered and do not rely on batteries or electricity.

Pedaling directly drives the motion of the bike, making them eco-friendly and low-tech.

5. Smart Under-Desk Bikes:

Equipped with smart technology, these bikes can connect to apps or devices to track and analyze fitness data.

They often feature interactive elements, enabling users to compete, set fitness goals, or follow virtual workout programs.

Exciting new tech revealed:

A recent innovation in this field is the Acer eKinekt BD 3 bike desk, introduced at CES 2023. This bike desk takes a significant step forward by harnessing kinetic energy generated from pedaling to charge devices.

This eliminates the need for traditional batteries or an electrical outlet, marking the convergence of eco-consciousness, active workspaces, and device charging, and setting a new standard for under-desk bikes.

Are under-desk bikes noisy?

Under-desk bikes are typically quiet, with smooth pedal strokes that generate minimal noise. However, the level of noise can vary depending on the specific model and its design.

Manufacturers aim to create machines that operate silently to ensure they don’t disrupt the work environment or distract colleagues.

How do you adjust the resistance on an under-desk bike?

Under-desk bikes typically offer magnetic resistance, some cheaper models also air resistance or friction.

Magnetic resistance requires less maintenance and can make less noise.

Adjusting the resistance on an under-desk bike is typically a straightforward process.

Here are the general steps:

Locate the Resistance Control: Look for the resistance control mechanism on your under-desk bike. This can be in the form of a tension knob or digital settings, and it’s usually situated near the front of the machine.

Adjustable resistance on under-desk bike

Tension Knob: If your under-desk bike has a tension knob, turning it clockwise increases resistance, making pedaling harder. Turning it counterclockwise decreases resistance, making pedaling easier. Gradually adjust the knob to find the level of resistance that suits your workout intensity.

Digital Settings: For under-desk bikes with digital resistance settings, you’ll typically have buttons or a control panel to increase or decrease resistance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting these settings. You might also have pre-set programs that automatically adjust resistance during your workout.

Start Pedaling: After making your desired resistance adjustments, start pedaling. You should immediately feel the difference in pedal resistance, whether it’s lighter or more challenging.

Experiment and Fine-Tune: It’s essential to experiment with different resistance levels to find what works best for your fitness goals. Beginners might start with lower resistance and gradually increase it over time to build strength and endurance.

Monitor Your Workout: Keep an eye on the display screen if your under-desk bike has one. It will show information like your pedaling speed, distance, and time, allowing you to track your progress and adjust resistance as needed.

Remember that the specific method for adjusting resistance may vary depending on the brand and model of your under-desk bike. Always consult the user manual provided by the manufacturer for detailed instructions tailored to your particular machine.

Adjusting resistance allows you to customize your workout intensity, making your under-desk bike a versatile tool for staying active at work.

Are under desk bikes worth it?

Yes, under desk bikes are worth it, especially considering their multiple benefits. Their cost-effectiveness makes them a valuable investment for those looking to stay active while working.

These compact exercise machines offer a range of benefits, from enhancing cardiovascular health and burning calories to toning leg muscles and reducing stress.

Incorporating an under-desk bike into your daily routine can definitely transform your workday, promoting better health and productivity.

About the author

Nicholas Woods

Freelance writer with over 5 years experience in multiple niches. Specialist in personal care and men's grooming. Love to travel and meet new people.
"Research is creating new knowledge" - Neil Armstrong

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