Five pieces of the best desk exercise equipmentShare on Pinterest

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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: Everything on our list has mostly positive user reviews.
  • Price: We included a variety of options to suit different budgets.
  • Vetting: The equipment included on our list has been vetted to ensure that it aligns with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

Here are the 8 best under-desk fitness items of 2022.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is relatively affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $36.95–$409.99, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $125
  • $$ = $125–$300
  • $$$ = over $300

Measurement key

  • pounds = lbs.
  • kilograms = kg
  • inches = in.
  • centimeters = cm
  • miles = mi
  • kilometers = km

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 Superfit Folding Treadmill

  • Price: $$$
  • Warranty: 3 months
  • Weight: 69.5 lbs. (31.5 kg)
  • Max user weight: 265 lbs. (120 kg)
  • Dimensions: 49 × 27 × 42 in. (124.5 × 68.6 × 106.7 cm)
    • Folded dimensions: 52 × 27 × 5 in. (132.1 × 68.6 × 12.7 cm)

The Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill can easily fit under a desk when the handlebars are removed, or you can use it as a standalone treadmill when you put the handlebars back on. Plus, it’s equipped with transport wheels that make it easy to move.

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

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 7.5 mi (12 km) per hour.

Keep in mind that this treadmill doesn’t offer any incline adjustments, which you may want if you’re using the treadmill away from your desk or looking for a more intense workout.

Additionally, walking while working on a computer or at a desk can be a little tricky at first, so you may need some time to adjust. You can also opt to walk during meetings or while watching training videos, which typically don’t require as much hands on work.

Pros

  • relatively affordable
  • comes with Bluetooth speakers and a tablet holder
  • lightweight and foldable
  • can be used under your desk or as a traditional standalone treadmill

Cons

  • doesn’t have incline options
  • must be used with a standing desk, purchased separately
  • limits maximum speeds when used under a desk

Best bikes

If you would prefer to pedal while you work, you might consider adding an under-desk bike to your workstation.

Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Bike

  • Price: $
  • Warranty: 1-year frame, 180-day parts
  • Weight: 19.1 lbs. (8.7 kg)
  • Weight capacity: no limit, can only be used while seated
  • Dimensions: 20.5 × 16.5 × 10.5 in. (52.1 × 41.9 × 26.7 cm)

This under-desk bike is a good choice 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 want 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.

Pros

  • can be used for lower- or upper-body workouts
  • equipped with eight resistance levels
  • comes with foot straps
  • can be used with traditional desks, depending on height

Cons

  • not for someone looking for high impact exercise or moderate to vigorous workout
  • may slide on the floor, prompting users to purchase a mat to place underneath

FlexiSpot All-in-One Desk Bike

  • Price: $$$
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Weight: 51 lbs. (23 kg)
  • Max user weight: 300 lbs. (136.1 kg)
  • Dimensions: 37.6 × 22.8 × 42.5–48.4 in. (95.5 × 57.9 × 108–122.9 cm)

Unlike the Sunny under-desk bike, the FlexiSpot All-in-One Desk Bike provides a more traditional, upright bike experience.

The machine is essentially a stationary bike without the handlebars, and it comes with a built-in desktop. Both the seat and the desktop are adjustable.

If you’d prefer to work from your own desk, FlexiSpot makes a similar bike that doesn’t have a desktop.

Most reviewers agree that the seat is well-cushioned and comfortable, although a few mention that it can get uncomfortable after prolonged periods of sitting.

This desk bike has eight different levels of resistance, as well as a small LCD screen that displays your stats. The pedals don’t have foot straps, but they’re designed to work with everyday shoes.

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

Some reviewers mention a clicking or squeaking sound developing after using the bike for some time, and others 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 JR2

  • Price: $$
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Weight: 18.9 lbs. (8.6 kg)
  • Weight limit: 300 lbs. (136.1 kg), can only be used while seated
  • Dimensions: 22.2 × 11.8 × 11.6 in. (56.4 × 30 × 29.5 cm)

The Cubii JR2 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 rotations 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 JR2 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 an attachable chair-lock and 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 JR2 has 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and reviewers appreciate how convenient and easy it is to use. However, some reviews mention that the machine developed a clicking sound. A few others say that one of the pedals detached.

Pros

  • lightweight
  • equipped with eight resistance levels
  • offers optional app subscription to track progress and stream classes

Cons

  • may not offer rigorous exercise
  • doesn’t offer Bluetooth connectivity
  • may have a short stride
  • some user reviews mention a clicking noise developing over time

Stamina 55-1602 Inmotion Elliptical

  • Price: $
  • Warranty: 1-year frame, 90-day parts
  • Weight: 24 lbs. (10.9 kg)
  • Max user weight: 250 lbs. (113.4 kg)
  • Dimensions: 24.5 × 17 × 11.38 in. (62.2 × 43.2 × 28.9 cm)

The Stamina Inmotion elliptical works similarly to the Cubii JR2 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.

Pros

  • lightweight
  • equipped with eight resistance levels
  • versatile (can be used standing or seated)

Cons

  • standing may take some getting used to since there are no handlebars
  • may start to squeak over time

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 range: 5–52.5 lbs. (2.3–23.8 kg) per dumbbell
  • Dimensions: 15.75 × 8 × 9 in. (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 lbs. (2.3 kg) up to 52.5 lbs. (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.

What our tester says

While these dumbbells are a little unwieldy for certain exercise due to their bigger size, you can still get an effective full-body workout using them. They’re also pretty quiet — they don’t make noise when you re-rack them like traditional steel dumbbells do.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, space-saving option, the 552s are worth considering. To learn more about my experience trying the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells, check out this comprehensive review.

— Healthline writer Jessica Timmons

Pros

  • relatively affordable
  • allows for 15 pairs of weights in one set

Cons

  • may be bulky
  • may be too heavy to lift off of the ground, depending on your strength and mobility levels

Whatafit Resistance Bands Set

  • Price: $
  • Warranty: none
  • Weight range: 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 lbs. (4.5, 9.1, 13.6, 18.1, 22.7 kg)

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 are lightweight, 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 lbs. 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.

Pros

  • compact
  • lightweight
  • relatively inexpensive

Cons

  • bands may snap if overstretched
  • no warranty or guarantee

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 is a piece of equipment to consider adding to your office to help you stay mobile and flexible.

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

  • Price: $
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Weight: 2 lbs. (0.2 kg)
  • Max user weight: 500 lbs. (227 kg)
  • Dimensions: 13 × 5.5 in. (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.

The GRID 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 7,000 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.

Pros

  • lightweight
  • durable
  • textured, grid pattern

Cons

  • expensive for a foam roller

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 foam roller along with a set of dumbbells offers a great setup for strength and mobility work in your home office.

Below are some commonly asked questions about under-desk fitness equipment.

What is the best piece of desk exercise equipment?

There is no single best piece of desk exercise equipment. What works best for you will depend on your needs, goals, and preferences.

For example, if you’re looking for a cardio benefit from your equipment, you might want a treadmill, elliptical, or bike. Alternatively, dumbbells or resistance bands may be better if you’re interested in adding strength training to your routine.

Do under-desk exercise machines work?

Under-desk exercise machines can be a great way to get extra movement in your day. However, if you’re looking for a more intense workout, some under-desk equipment may not feel like enough of a challenge.

Which is better: an under-desk bike or elliptical?

Whether an under-desk bike or elliptical is better will depend largely on your preferences and work setup.

Similar to recumbent bikes, some under-desk bikes can be used while you’re seated in your own chair, while others may be more upright, come with a seat, and need to be used with a taller desk setup. Under-desk ellipticals are typically limited to the lower, pedal-only version and also involve a more recumbent sitting position.

Some people may find a recumbent position more comfortable. A sitting position can also influence the muscles you use while exercising. For example, pedaling on an upright back will typically engage more of your quads.

Another difference between the two is the method of pedaling. For example, an elliptical typically uses a forward and back stepping motion, whereas a bike will make larger rotational movements. Again, you may find one of these more comfortable than the other, and you’ll also want to consider your desk setup.

Overall, both ellipticals and bikes are somewhat similar exercise machines that can get your heart rate up without putting a lot of impact on your joints.

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.