Under Desk Bike Benefits & Disadvantages

Having a busy schedule can make it really hard to burn a few calories and stay fit. You’re rushing between your work desk, living room and your bed. Even the rushing is done in a sitting position in your car or other transport means.

With an under desk bike, you have the chance to burn calories, focus more and generally be healthier and more productive. The fact that you’re expending some energy can actually allow you sit at your desk for longer periods without getting tired or damaging your back.

On the downside, you may have difficulty pedaling when your desk is low. Over time, your under desk bike might get uncomfortable especially if you’re yet to find the perfect sitting position for yourself.

Also, if you can’t find a good quality bike for this purpose, you’ll have a tough time with your coworkers as the cheaper ones tend to be noisy.

This article is a look at what you get from owning and using an under desk exercise bike and what the disadvantages are with the same. Overall, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

Just don’t expect yourself to burn a thousand calories a week while working full-speed.

picture of an under desk exercise bike
Under Desk Bike

The Advantages

Among the benefits you get from using an under desk bike include the following:

1. Helps you stay healthy

It’s almost obvious to assume that the primary reason you’re getting that miniature exercise bike is to exercise your body and live a healthy life. It’s a great way to work the legs, improve circulation and have your heart working better.

Normally, you’re seated with the weight of your legs leaning on the heels of your feet. With the bike, the weight is shifted to the center of the foot allowing the feet to get a better flow of blood.

The pedaling will burn lots of calories that you may never find the time to burn elsewhere. On average, moderate pedaling can burn about 100 calories a day which is a great achievement given that you’ll also be working.

Even more encouraging is the fact that some bikes come with extra features such as the ability to charge your battery as you pedal. You can thus attach your power bank on it and, by the evening, you’ll have it full. It can be an encouraging routine if you set targets such as the charge generated per day.

2. It Makes you More Productive

Working out, however minimal, will lead to the production of endorphins which are feel-good hormones. These hormones will improve your mood and make you better at what you’re doing since you’ll focus better.

In one experiment, a teacher gave under desk bikes to his students and studied them afterwards. They became less fidgety and were much better at their work than before.

The results were attributed to the channeling of excessive energy into the pedaling leaving just enough to focus on their work.

As such, the bike may help you transition from being a low-energy and demotivated worker to the employee of the year in no time.

3. You Can Use the Bike for the Upper Body

Most of the health benefits you’ll receive on your feet can be attained in the upper body as well. After hours of hunching over your work computer, a chance to pedal your bike with your hands may appear during the lunch hour.

The pedaling isn’t just for the arms but the upper body in general. You’ll feel that rush of blood through your chest, hands and head which further helps you improve your productivity.

Some bikes even come with extras such as resistance bands to help you make the most of the upper body sessions.

4. Helps you Shed Some Weight

Any form of exercise will help you burn calories. For most people, this is tough as finding the time and money to work out in a gym can be a daunting task for some. Even with the gym membership, you’ll still reap many benefits from a consistent workout like the one provided by the under desk bike.

On average, a medium pedal can shade off about 100 calories a day. For five days a week, you’ll be burning away about 500 calories. This is no small task to pull off given the effortlessness that comes with the pedaling. After you get used to it, you’ll be doing it without giving it a thought.

5. You Won’t Get Distracted

In our reviews of real-life use for the under desk bike, one of the most asked questions was whether the machine will distract you or your workmates from work. This was on the pedaling motions and the noise from the bike.

The side-to-side motions that may occur when pedaling will be due to the idea being a new one. With time, you’ll need to adjust your body such that the pedaling of the feet doesn’t affect the rest of the body at all.

You’ll need to keep adjusting your body each time you find yourself swaying to one side until you can subconsciously keep a straight upper body.

Adjust the chair such that you’re not leaning on your feet too much. This will allow you carry out tasks on your desk without having to disrupt the pedaling.

As for the noise, there’s very little chance that the bike you get will make any significant noise that affects you or your mates at work. These bikes are meant to be very silent event when you pedal them at full speed.

6. Can be Used in Lots of Places

The under desk bike can be taken in so many places compared to most other workout equipment. Weighing about 20lbs and only about 10 inches tall, these bikes can be moved from your office desk, living room couch to the beach without inconveniences.

Assembling and disassembling them also takes a few minutes if you’re short on space. The good news is that you’ll get better and faster at it the more you do it. However, most people won’t need to assemble and tear them apart over and over again as they take very little space.

Once you switch the location of your bike, you simply place it on the ground and you’re good to go.

These are but just some of the benefits of owning and using an under desk bike.

The Disadvantages

The downside to these bikes include the following aspects:

1. The Bikes Can be Noisy

It’s one thing buying an exercise bike, and another buying a quality exercise bike. With under desk bikes, finding a quality one should be your priority at all times. Otherwise, going for the cheap one can lead to easy breakdowns or a noisy bike that can get you kicked out of the office.

When buying, either have it tested or check for online reviews about the bike to make your decision. Reviews from verified buyers rarely mislead.

2. They Can be Costly

As with all products, the more you spend, the happier you will be with the result. For the bikes under your desk, good ones can set you back about $150. These ones use magnets and other more sophisticated technologies to provide the needed resistance.

The cheaper ones, which can go for as low as $20, use friction resistance and easily break. Worst of all, they’ll be quite noisy compared to the quality ones. It’s simply better to save for the costlier ones in our opinion.

3. You Could Sweat

While it’s the purpose of exercising, no one wants to sweat in their suit at work.

Often, people use tougher settings thinking they have to sweat to burn the needed calories. That’s a mistake and not what these little bikes are meant to do.

You just need to use between setting 2 and 3 to move your legs. Just tough enough to require some effort from your feet, but light enough not to make you sweat.

4. May Be Uncomfortable

If it’s your first time using an under desk bike, or you got yourself a new model, it may be tough adjusting to the new way of working. In fact, without proper adjustments, you may find it hard working and even sitting properly.

You’ll need to frequently adjust your sets as the machine or your chair may frequently move as you try to exercise. As stated before, you should adjust your position until you have the right one to keep you in place as you work.

These downsides can all be overcome with some effort on your side.

Final Thoughts

Looking at these aspects, it’s clear that the good bits far outweigh the downsides. You’re thus better off with the exercise bike primarily due to the need to keep yourself active. Long hours seated can do irreparable damage to your back and legs and under desk exercise bikes go a long way in undoing that damage.

You should take time, do your research and settle on the best quality bike for this purpose. It’ll serve you well.

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