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In today’s world, many of us find ourselves working at a desk for hours at a time. Investing in under-desk fitness equipment is a great way to sneak some extra movement in an otherwise sedentary day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults need about 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Reaching this goal may help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers (1, 2).

We researched the best under-desk fitness equipment based on the following criteria:

  • Effectiveness. We included equipment that can provide an effective workout for cardio, strength, and flexibility.
  • Size. Dimensions are included for each product, so you can assess how it might fit under your desk.
  • User reviews and personal recommendations. Everything on our list has mostly positive user reviews.

Here are the 10 best under-desk fitness items of 2021.

Best treadmill

Using an under-desk treadmill is a great way to keep moving during the workday. The treadmill can either fit underneath your desk, or you can purchase a treadmill desk — essentially a treadmill with a small desk at the front on which you can place your laptop.

Keep in mind that if you decide to try out an under-desk treadmill, you’ll likely need to purchase a standing desk or standing desk converter. Otherwise, your desk may be too low.

Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill

  • Price: $$$
  • Warranty: optional 2-year protection plan through Amazon for $24.99
  • Weight: 69.5 pounds (31.5 kg)
  • Max user weight: 265 pounds (120 kg)
  • Dimensions: 49 × 27 × 42 inches (124.5 × 68.6 × 106.7 cm)
    • Folded dimensions: 52 × 27 × 5 inches (132.1 × 68.6 × 12.7 cm)

Shannen Altura, who spends 8 or more hours each day at her desk working from home, recommends the Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill.

“I use it every weekday morning! Sometimes just for 10 minutes to warm up before lifting weights. I also use it whenever I have a work meeting,” Altura told Healthline.

Walking while working on a computer or at a desk can be a little tricky.

“You get better over time. Just keep your pace super slow in the beginning,” Altura said.

Alternatively, you may find it easier to walk during meetings or phone calls instead.

You can remove the handlebars from this treadmill so you can fit it under your desk, or you can use it as a traditional, standalone treadmill when you put the handlebars back on. It’s also equipped with a front tablet holder.

It’s important to note that when the side handlebars are not attached, the machine will only run at walking speeds. However, if you choose to use the treadmill as a standalone rather than underneath your desk, you’ll be able to increase the speed up to 8 mph (12 kph).

Another downside, according to Altura, is that the treadmill doesn’t incline, so you can only use it in a flat setting.

The treadmill features a small LCD on the front that shows your time, speed, distance, and calories in both the under-desk or standalone settings.

It also comes with Bluetooth speakers, so you can plug in your device and play whatever you’d like to listen to while you’re walking.

Best bikes

If you would prefer to pedal while you work, you might consider adding an under-desk bike to your workstation. We’ve listed two different styles of under-desk bikes for you to consider.

Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Bike

  • Price: $
  • Warranty: 1 year on frame, 180 days on parts
  • Weight: 19.1 pounds (8.7 kg)
  • Max user weight: 265 pounds (120 kg)
  • Dimensions: 20.5 × 16 × 10.5 inches (52.1 × 40.1 × 26.7 cm)

This under-desk bike is ideal for beginners or folks looking to add some low impact movement to their day.

The machine is portable and comes with a convenient handle so that you can move it underneath your desk or even place it on top of your desk so you can pedal your arms.

The digital monitor on the front of the machine displays your speed, time, distance, and calories burned. Additionally, a dial allows you to adjust resistance over eight levels.

The foot straps included on the pedals help keep your feet secure, but some reviews mention that the machine itself can slide a bit when in use, so you may choose to purchase a mat to place underneath it.

While this under-desk bike doesn’t come fully assembled, reviewers seem to agree that assembly is straightforward.

Some of those who have left negative reviews say they’ve had disappointing experiences with customer service. However, most reviews are positive and mention that the machine offers a great, low impact exercise solution for a home office.

FlexiSpot Sit2Go Desk Bike

  • Price: $$
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Weight: 51 pounds (23 kg)
  • Max user weight: 300 pounds (136.1 kg)
  • Dimensions: 38 × 23 × 37 inches (96.5 × 58.4 × 93.4 cm)

Unlike the Sunny under-desk bike, the FlexiSpot Sit2Go provides a more traditional, upright bike experience.

The machine is essentially a stationary bike without the handlebars, so it can be placed underneath your desk. Keep in mind that this means you’ll likely need to purchase a standing desk in order for the height to match up correctly.

If you’d prefer, there’s also a somewhat more expensive model of this bike that comes with a small desktop attached to the front.

Both models come fully assembled and are lightweight, so you can easily change their location.

According to reviews, the adjustable bike seat is comfortable, but only for a little while. As you might expect with many bike seats, it can get uncomfortable after some time.

This desk bike has eight different levels of resistance, as well as a small screen that displays your stats. The pedals are small and lack foot straps, but they’re designed to be comfortable enough to use without shoes.

Overall, user reviews are positive. Fans appreciate the low noise level and enjoy being able to bike while working in their home office.

However, some critics felt that trying to work while biking caused them to hunch over. Other reviewers mention a clicking or squeaking sound developing after using the bike for some time, and some express frustration with FlexiSpot’s customer service.

Best ellipticals

Similar to bikes, under-desk ellipticals allow for individuals to pedal while working, but with more of a back-and-forth motion rather than a cycling motion. Below are two under-desk ellipticals to consider.

Cubii JR1

  • Price: $$
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Weight: 27.6 pounds (12.5 kg)
  • Max user weight: 250 pounds (113.4 kg)
  • Dimensions: 23.2 × 17.6 × 10 inches (58.9 × 44.7 × 25.4 cm)

The Cubii JR1 is essentially the bottom half of an elliptical — it’s an elliptical without the arms. It can be placed underneath your desk and used while sitting in your desk chair.

The machine has an LCD that shows your calories burned, time, distance, and strides per minute. You can also adjust the resistance over eight levels, though some user reviews mention that the resistance is light overall.

For this reason, the Cubii JR1 may be best suited for a beginner or someone looking to add light, low impact exercise during their day. More experienced exercisers may find it a bit underwhelming.

The machine also comes with wheel stoppers for your chair to keep it in place, as well as a workout mat to put underneath the elliptical to keep it stationed where you want it.

The Cubii Studio+ app is available for an additional cost and allows you to track your progress and stream classes. However, this model isn’t equipped with Bluetooth, so your data won’t sync directly to the app.

The Cubii JR1 has over 12,000 mostly positive reviews on Amazon. However, some reviews mention that the machine developed a squeaking sound after some time. Others found that the stride is a little short and can feel unnatural.

Stamina 55-1602 Inmotion Elliptical

  • Price: $
  • Warranty: 1 year on frame, 90 days on parts
  • Weight: 24 pounds (10.9 kg)
  • Max user weight: 250 pounds (113.4 kg)
  • Dimensions: 24.5 × 17 × 11.38 inches (62.2 × 43.2 × 28.9 cm)

The Stamina Inmotion elliptical works similarly to the Cubii JR1 in that it can be placed underneath a desk and used while working. However, it can also be used standing — either with a standing desk or on its own.

The LCD tracks your strides per minute, total strides, time, and calories burned, and the machine can be adjusted across eight different resistance levels.

In reviews, some users found that it starts to squeak over time, but using a lubricant fixes the problem. Additionally, some said that using the elliptical while standing takes a little getting used to, so it may not be a good fit for those with limited mobility or issues with balance.

Overall, reviews of the Stamina Inmotion elliptical are positive and mention that it’s a great, versatile way to bring exercise into their home office.

Best for strength training

Strength training is an important component of staying active. The CDC recommends that adults get 2 or more days per week of strength training (2).

Below are two different types of strength-training equipment that can easily be stowed under your desk so you can fit in some strength exercises during your day.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

  • Price: $$$
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 105 pounds (47.6 kg)
  • Dimensions: 15.75 × 8 × 9 inches (40 × 20.3 × 22.9 cm) per dumbbell

This set of dumbbells may seem expensive at first, but when you consider the cost of buying multiple pairs of varying weights, they’re relatively affordable.

The dumbbells can be set to different weights, ranging from 5 pounds (2.3 kg) up to 52.5 pounds (23.8 kg), so you can vary your workouts and work on progressing over time.

If you’re looking for a way to strength train during your workday, this set of dumbbells will easily fit underneath your desk. That said, if your mobility is limited, you may prefer to purchase a dumbbell rack so that you don’t have to bend all the way down to pick them up.

Overall, reviews are positive, and many people appreciate that they don’t need to purchase more than one set of dumbbells. However, some mention that the weights are a little bulky to hold, which can take some getting used to.

Whatafit Resistance Bands Set

  • Price: $
  • Warranty: none
  • Weight: 2.45 pounds (1.1 kg)
  • Dimensions: 7.9 × 6.7 × 4.3 inches (20.1 × 17 × 10.9 cm)

If free weights aren’t your thing but you still want to get some strength training in your routine, you may want to consider a set of resistance bands.

These bands take up even less space than the dumbbell set listed above and weigh just 2.45 pounds (1.1 kg), making them easy to pick up and move around. Additionally, they come in a convenient bag so you can keep them together neatly underneath your desk.

The set includes 5 bands with 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 pounds of (4.5, 9.1, 13.6, 18.1, 22.7 kg) resistance, but you can stack more than one band for more challenging workouts if you’d like.

Also included in the set are handle attachments, a door anchor, ankle straps, and a manual with some example exercises.

Reviews are positive, and most seem to agree that this set of bands is a great, convenient way to get a resistance workout in while traveling or when space is limited. Yet, while not the majority, some reviewers did report bands snapping, so be careful not to overstretch them.

Best for mobility and stretching

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults aim for 2–3 flexibility sessions each week (3).

In addition to stretching regularly, you may want to consider equipment to help relieve muscle tension, such as a foam roller.

“Muscle massage helps release tension, improve flexibility, and increase range of motion,” dietitian and triathlete Jess DeGore, RD, LDN, CD, CHWC, told Healthline.

Below are two pieces of equipment to consider adding to your office to help you stay mobile and flexible.

Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat

  • Price: $
  • Warranty: none
  • Weight: 3 pounds (1.4 kg)
  • Dimensions: 64 × 24 inches (162.6 × 61 cm)

A yoga mat is a versatile piece of equipment that can be laid out flat underneath your desk or rolled up to the side. It can be used for a variety of floor exercises like yoga, stretching, strength training, and Pilates.

The Gaiam yoga mat is extra thick, so you can use it comfortably on hard surfaces.

Additionally, the texture is meant to help prevent you from slipping when holding yoga poses, though some reviewers mention they still experience some slippage.

Other reviewers recommend washing the mat before first use to prevent slipping, though, you can always purchase a yoga towel to lay on top of the mat for extra grip.

Along with the purchase of this yoga mat, you’ll get a free, downloadable yoga workout to help you get started.

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

  • Price: $
  • Warranty: none
  • Weight: 0.5 pounds (0.2 kg)
  • Max user weight: 500 pounds (227 kg)
  • Dimensions: 13 × 5.5 inches (33 × 14 cm)

As DeGore said, using a foam roller can be a great way to relieve muscle tension and improve mobility. This foam roller is small, so it’s easy to fit underneath your desk and pull out during the day when you need to work out some muscle stiffness.

This foam roller is designed with a grid pattern rather than a smooth surface so that it can get deeper into muscle knots. However, if you’re new to foam rolling, it may be too intense for you, so use light pressure when first getting started — or opt for a smooth surface roller.

The TriggerPoint GRID foam roller has more than 17,000 mostly positive reviews on Amazon. The biggest downside mentioned is that the foam roller is too hard, but it’s important to note that the majority of reviewers don’t share this sentiment.

Another negative mentioned in some reviews is the price. However, many reviews also comment on how durable and long-lasting the foam roller is, so it may just be worth the price tag.

We asked registered dietitian Mary-Catherine LaBossiere, MPH, RD, LDN, for her tips on choosing under-desk fitness equipment.

She said to pay attention to:

  • Space. Be sure to measure the dimensions of your work area, specifically the height of your desk, to ensure that the equipment you’re thinking of purchasing will fit properly.
  • Budget. The cost of under-desk fitness equipment varies widely. Remember, it’s possible to get in effective workouts without spending much money, but some folks prefer the high end features of more expensive items.
  • Versatility. It’s a good idea to opt for equipment that can be used in more than just one way. For example, an under-desk treadmill can be used for walking and jogging, while the strength-training equipment on this list can be used for a variety of exercises.

Lastly, some of the products on our list pair well together. For example, purchasing a yoga mat along with a set of dumbbells offers a great setup for strength and mobility work in your home office.

Physical activity can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers, but finding the time to fit it in can be challenging (1).

Under-desk fitness equipment offers a way to get in some movement in an otherwise sedentary workday.

Depending on your goals and preferences, there are cardio machines like treadmills and bikes, as well as strength-training and mobility equipment that can conveniently fit underneath your desk and help you stay active during the day.