Mini ellipticals are a baby version of your standard elliptical exercising machines. They were designed and manufactured to meet the needs of a people that live a sedentary lifestyle (and that’s the majority of the population). Think about it; how many hours per day you spend sitting? We sit in our schools, homes, cars, buses, taxis, waiting rooms, restaurants, bars, churches, and so forth. And last but not least, we sit in our workplace. So, the fitness industry came up with the idea of mini ellipticals, an exercising machine that fits under your desk and boosts your health. While I did appreciate these health benefits, I mostly enjoyed it for its stress-relieving benefits.
Does Under Desk Elliptical Work?
Well, I wouldn’t be writing this article if I thought that mini ellipticals were useless. Again, I want to point out that this isn’t a miracle machine, but there are plenty of reasons why you should try it out. These reasons are:
- Mini ellipticals are compact, inexpensive and easy to use
- They boast physical health benefits (cardiovascular system, weight-loss, better posture, etc.)
- They feature psychological benefits (stress-release, mood improvement, emotional balance, etc.)
- Mini ellipticals are quite (at least those on our list)
- Mini ellipticals are low-impact machines and require no additional fitness preparation
- Mini ellipticals can be used in homes and offices
Best 3 Under Desk Elliptical Machine for Weight Loss Are:
1. Cubii Jr. Desk Elliptical
I already mentioned that the Cubii Jr. Desk Elliptical (Amazon) is my favorite elliptical. And while I can’t be entirely unbiased when I’m reviewing this machine, I do have a lot of evidence to support my claim. For starters, it is very quiet, which was very important to me. I assume that quietness is also vital to all of you who work in offices or do jobs that require a peaceful environment. The Cubii Jr. (love that name btw!) is also sturdy and well-constructed; it is heavy enough not to slide away while you use it but light enough for you to transport it from A to B. It assembles with ease, and you receive all the necessary tools for installation. More importantly, The Cubii Jr. is fairly sophisticated; it features a simple monitor that displays time, burned calories, RPM, and so forth. And, you can choose between 8 different difficulty levels while you are working out. Lastly, it features the under-the-desk design. What this means is that Cubii Jr. was built and optimized to function under your desk. Whether you are a gamer or office worker, Cubii Jr. will “force you” to sit correctly and will help you burn extra calories for a very affordable price.
Up-Grade (The Most Sophisticated Mini Elliptical)
2. Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical
Cubii Pro (Amazon) is Cubii Jr’s older and more sophisticated brother. Like Cubii Jr, it was built for quiet environments and designed to fit under desks. The Cubii Pro also connects to your smartphone; iOS 9 or above users can pair it with Apple Healthkit, while the Android 4.4 or above users can pair it with Fitbit. The Cubii pro is the only Bluetooth mini elliptical on the market, which is why it is a lot more expensive than others. But when it comes to construction, durability, and ergonomics, it is the same as the Cubii Jr. Now I do not deny the benefits of Bluetooth connectivity. Unmistakably, competing with other people and achieving personal goals and milestones can be very beneficial for your mental and physical health. But, if you don’t plan on using the Bluetooth connectivity, then you should probably stick with the Cubii Jr. or some other mini elliptical. The Cubii Pro also features 8 resistance levels, but it doesn’t have a built-in display. Why? Well, the manufacturers concluded that you don’t need a display if you can connect the elliptical to your smartphone and use it with compatible apps.
The Best Budget Elliptical
3. Stamina InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer
The InMotion E1000 elliptical (Amazon) is the least expensive item on my list. It too has a built-in display system, which shows you burnt calories, number of total strides, number of strides per minute, and so forth. The manufacturer argues that you can use it while standing and sitting, but I honestly didn’t try using it while standing. The item is available in three different colors, and you can use it in forward and reverse modes. While the InMotion E1000 does feature a resistance control knob, there are no final levels of resistance. The good news is that the noise doesn’t increase as you increase resistance level (well, it does, but not a lot.) Despite its low price, this item was very well constructed. The endcaps were rubber padded and texture so that the machine doesn’t damage your floor. The pedals are also textured, ensuring that you don’t slip as you exercise. But I do have two complaints regarding this machine:
- It would be great if it arrived with a handle since it can be used in stand-up mode.
- The internal wheels start squeaking after you use the machine for a certain amount of time. I suggest you clean the wheels when they start yelling!
How Effective are Under Desk Elliptical?
While we already mentioned some benefits, in this section you’ll find a list of proved and supposed benefits of this machine.
Simple And Stress-free Exercising
A mini elliptical is a low impact machine (1), meaning that it doesn’t put your body under a lot of stress while you use it. In short, you don’t have to be a fitness maniac or a bodybuilder to use it! Also, it is quite simple to use. Those who go to the gym know that gym equipment requires adaptation and learning; you can’t just walk into a gym, get a membership and start using a Smith Machine! But, you can use a mini elliptical even if you never exercise in your whole life. And you don’t need to be in great shape either because an elliptical won’t pressure your legs, core or arms.
It Is Good For Your Heart
Let’s face it; any movement is good for your heart (more or less.) When you start pedaling, your muscles start demanding more and more oxygen. Consequently, your heart starts working faster to meet the demands of your muscles, and your lungs start to open/close rapidly to meet the requirements of your heart. Results? Better vascular system(2)! Keep in mind that you need to pedal for at least 10 minutes straight to achieve desired results. Preferably, you should use a mini elliptical for 20 minutes to achieve optimal results.
It Helps You Burn Fat
Remember what we said about increased heart rate and faster breathing? Well, all that also requires more calories. Now, your body will firstly burn fat and sugars (3), which is excellent news if you are trying to lose weight. But keep in mind that the mini elliptical isn’t a fat-burning machine like a treadmill or stair mill, but it does help your body burn fat. According to Cubii, the manufacturer of the two reviewed machines, you can burn 150 calories per hour if you use their machines. But let’s say you use it for 20 minutes of every hour; that’s 50 calories per hour. Now let’s say that you work for 8 hours; that’s 300 calories per day. That’s not a bad day at the office if you ask me.
It Corrects Your Posture
We already mentioned that these machines would force you to sit correctly. Now you might feel awkward at first, but you’ll quickly get used to it. Once you start pedaling, you won’t even realize that your posture is improving. Your lower back will straighten up, your shoulders will feel more flexible, and your neck will be pain-free. Note that you might also feel some beneficial side-effects of good posture, including better muscle usage, less joint pain, better circulation (4.)
It Improves Your Mood
I already mentioned that my Cubii Jr helps me deal with stress. But, there are other mood-related benefits of using mini elliptical. For starters, our body produces endorphins when we exercise, which is a chemical that reduces pain and improves immunity (5). Then there is the sense of achievement and movement, a sense of progress and triumph. I know; you are pedaling a mini elliptical, not an Olympian bicycle! Nevertheless, there is that sense of achievement involved with using this machine! Last but not least, exercising is good for your emotional well being. Again, this “moving effect” helps you process your thoughts and emotions more effectively and rapidly.