In today's fast-paced world, everything is about multi-tasking.
Eating while working. Listening to books during your commute. Sending emails and text messages while waiting in line at the grocery store.
That's probably the same modus operandi from which under desk exercise bikes emerged: combining your need to exercising while you're still at your desk working.
What Are Under Desk Exercise Bikes?
The under desk exercise bicycle (or elliptical), as the name would imply, is essentially a miniaturized bicycle without any handle bars.
You place it right below where you'd rest your feet under your desk, and instead of planting your feet to the ground, you put them on the pedals of the bike and perform a less-exaggerated peddling motion while remaining seated in your chair.
The Benefits Of Under Desk Exercise Bikes?
The benefits of under desk exercise bicycles are pretty straightforward: they help keep your legs in motion while the rest of your body is stationary and seated at work.
This keeps your blood circulating, heart rate elevated, and metabolism revved up during the day.
That can also lead to you staying energized throughout the work day, perhaps even avoiding that dreaded "mid-afternoon slump." And this type of exercise is not going to make you break out into a huge sweat while you're in the office.
In 2011, a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that found that employees who worked a sedentary, desk-based job, and used an under desk exercise bike for as little as 23 days, could burn over 500 additional calories while sitting at their desk.
What To Look For When Buying Under Desk Exercise Bikes
If you're looking to purchase an under desk exercise bike, there are two key things you want to keep in mind when sorting through options.
The first one is that it's preferable to purchase one that has adjustable straps on the pedals. Because you're going to be pedaling away underneath your desk (or while doing something else) it'll be easy for your feet to miss the pedals or slightly move, since you're not specifically focusing on the motion. The straps will ensure they conform to your feet, no matter how big or small your foot is, and/or what type of footwear you're wearing.
The second important factor is to find a device that has a fair amount of bulk and good rubber padding where it touches the ground. While you want your feet to be pedaling, you don't want to be in a situation where the pedaling causes the under desk exercise bike to move around. That's just going to get annoying.
Having some mass, and having rubber "shoes" on the edges, will help keep the device in place.
Under desk exercise bikes do not require any type of assembly (in the vast majority of cases), and take up only a small fraction of the space that an exercise bike would; plus, as mentioned, most people will just keep them in their office anyway.
The bottom line is: lots of people realize the benefits of bicycling for exercise, but they don't want to purchase an exercise bike is because of the need to assemble it, and the space that it will take up in their home.