Best Under Desk Pedals And Mini Exercise Bikes To Be Healthy

People spend an extraordinary amount of time sitting each day. Regrettably, too much sitting is not healthy. However, if you must sit, pedal exercisers like the under desk pedals and mini exercise bikes may help lessen some of the bad effects of sitting. Most noteworthy, these pedal exercisers, are specially built for use while sitting to exercise legs. However, some pedal exercisers, can also be used on a table to exercise arms.

Why Some of these Pedals May be Used Under a Desk

First and foremost, some of the pedals, reviewed here, can be used while sitting or working at a desk. Now, a typical desk has a depth of at least 21 inches. And, the compact pedals, reviewed below, have length ranging from 15.5 to 20 inches. So they fit under the typical desk. On the other hand, the longer pedals have length ranging from 22 to 24 inches. So they will fit if the desk has that depth or if the desk is open in the back.

Meanwhile, some of the best elliptical trainers, used while sitting, have lengths that are greater than 18 inches and could be as long as 32 inches.

Quick Answer: Best Desk Pedal and Exercise Bikes For 2019

Table of Contents

4 Best Desk Cycle (For Legs) Reviews

Editor's Choice

Exercising Legs: DeskCycle-2 Under Desk Exercise Bike

Comparison of 4 Best Under Desk Pedals for Legs

Under Desk Pedal

Height 

(inches)

Display

Features

Warranty

A/A+ Feedback

1-5 Rating

DeskCycle

10

Revolutions per minute, time, distance, and calories

Portable display

1 year

92%

4.9

DeskCycle-2

9

Revolutions per minute, time, distance, and calories

Portable display

1 year

86%

5.0

FitDesk

10

Time, speed, distance, lifetime distance, and calories

Portable display

3 year parts replacement guarantee; 30 days for pedals

67%

4.7

Cycli

11

Speed, time, distance, and calories

Bluetooth enabled

Standard

75%

4.3

DeskCycle Exercise Bike

exercise bike

The most popular DeskCycle exercise bike has features described below.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered DeskCycle pedal exerciser comes almost fully assembled. However, the delivery also includes a combination screwdriver and wrench to complete assembly in short order.

Desk Use

Also, to use the DeskCycle pedal exerciser under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk.

Dimensions

In addition, the pedal exerciser is 24 inches long, 20 inches wide and 10 inches high. Also, at it's highest point the pedal is 10 inches above the floor. Consequently, it needs a clearance of 11 inches or more for use under a desk.

Display

Especially relevant, the LCD displays speed, time, distance, and calories with the touch of a button. Meanwhile, the scan button, located on the LCD console, sequentially displays workout data continuously. Incidentally, the  DeskCycle accumulates time to 1000 minutes, before resetting to zero.

And, for more convenience, the portable display stand allows you to see your workout data on your desk, instead of having to look at it underneath the desk.

Exercise

Meanwhile, this machine only exercises your legs.

Pedals

In addition, this exerciser has large pedals with adjustable Velcro straps. Meanwhile, the double weighted base keep the straps on top of the pedals, making it easier to insert your feet.

Pedal Movement

Next, the pedals rotate in both the forward and backwards direction. Meanwhile the pedal arm is 3.5 inches long. Especially relevant, the pedals use a belt to drive a high inertia flywheel. And, this flywheel results in smooth pedal rotations. Furthermore, the DeskCycle has 7 sealed hardened-steel bearings for years of maintenance free operation. Incidentally, no lubrication needed.

Tension

Next, the tension knob allows you to easily adjust your workout from easy to hard. In fact, the 8 calibrated resistance settings help you keep track of your workout intensities. Furthermore, the magnetic resistance results in quiet pedal rotation.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the DeskCycle pedal exerciser comes with a full 1-year warranty on parts, labor, and shipping.

Weight

Finally, it weighs 23 pounds.

Pros

  • Display
    First and foremost, the display can be relocated to the desk top.
  • Warranty
    Next, it comes with a full 1-year warranty on parts, labor, and shipping.
  • Height
    Also, it has a low height of 10 inches.
  • Rating
    Furthermore, it is the highest rated among under desk pedal exercisers.
  • Popularity
    Finally, it is the most popular among under desk pedals.

Cons

DeskCycle-2 Under Desk Exercise Bike

Next, the DeskCycle-2 has the following additional features.

Display

First of all, the DeskCycle-2 accumulates time to 10,000 minutes before resetting to zero. In addition, the LCD also displays revolutions per minute.

Height

Also, adjusting the front leg lets you set the maximum pedal height to either 9 or 10 inches. In fact, the lower pedal height gives you an extra inch of clearance between your knees and the underside of the desk. Consequently, the DeskCycle-2  can be used under desks as low as 27 inches by anyone who is 5’10” or shorter.

Pros

  • DeskCycle
    All the Pros for DeskCycle also apply to DeskCycle-2.
  • Height
    In addition, with a height of 9 inches, it is very likely to fit under most desks.

Cons

FitDesk Under Desk Cycle and Exercise Bike Peddler with Magnetic Resistance

desk cycle

The FitDesk under desk cycle has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the pedals, front and back support bars, and display need to be mounted on the chassis.

Desk Use

Also, to use the exercise bike peddler under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk. For example, the desk cycle can be used with desks as low as 26 inches if you have the necessary clearance with a 26 inch desk.

Dimensions

In addition, the exercise bike peddler is 24.5 inches long, 16 inches wide and 10 inches high. Also, at it's highest point the pedal is 9.75 inches above the floor. Consequently, it needs a clearance of 11 inches for use under a desk.

Display

Especially relevant, the LCD displays time, speed, distance, lifetime distance, and calories. Meanwhile, the scan button sequentially displays workout data continuously. And, for more convenience, the removable display allows you to see your workout data on your desk, instead of having to look at it underneath the desk.

Exercise

Most noteworthy, this under desk cycle only exercises your legs.

Pedals

In addition, the cycle has large pedals with grooves that prevent the feet from slipping. However, there are no straps to grip your feet. On the other hand, having no straps does make it easier to put your feet on the pedals and start using the cycle.

Pedal Movement

Next, the pedals rotate in both the forward and backwards direction. Especially relevant, pedals use twin belts to drive a balanced flywheel which results in whisper quiet and smooth operation. Consequently, the under desk cycle is ideal for office use.

Tension

Next, tension is changed by the foot shifter. In fact, the foot shifter has 8 positions of magnetic resistance. Consequently, you can change the resistance without having to bend down.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the exercise bike peddler comes with a 3-year parts replacement guarantee for all moving parts. Meanwhile, pedals are covered for 30 days.

Weight

Next, it weighs 24 pounds.

Weight Limit

Finally, the exercise bike peddler, has no constraints on a user's weight to use the cycle.

Pros

  • Display
    First, the display can be moved to the desk top.
  • Desk use
    Also, the desk cycle can be used under a desk as low as 26 inches.
  • Resistance
    Next, the resistance can be changed by your feet - no need to bend down.
  • Warranty
    Finally, it comes with a 3-year parts replacement guarantee for all moving parts. However, the pedals covered for only 30 days..

Cons

Cycli Under Desk Cycle

desk cycle

The Cycli under desk cycle has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered under desk cycle is easy to assemble with the tools that came with it.

Construction

Most noteworthy, it is constructed from high quality steel with an aluminum frame. 

Desk Use

Also, to use this stationary cycle under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk. In the meantime, the manufacturer states that the stationary cycle will work with desks 27 inches high. 

Dimensions

In addition, the stationary cycle's lowest pedal height is four inches above the floor, while the highest pedal height is 11 inches above the floor. Consequently, it needs a clearance of 12 inches for use under a desk.

Display

Especially relevant, the touch screen display shows speed, time, distance, and calories. In addition, it is Bluetooth enabled so that you can see workout data on your cell phone.

Exercise

Most of all, the stationary cycle only exercises your legs.

Pedal Movement

Next, it uses magnetic resistance, which results in smooth and quiet operation. In fact, 8 levels of adjustable resistance available.

Warranty

Finally, the under desk cycle comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

Pros

  • Display
    Most noteworthy, it is bluetooth enabled which makes the workout data available on a cell phone..

Cons

7 Best Exercise Bike (For Legs and Arms) Reviews

Editor's Choice

Exercising Legs and Arms: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike

Comparison of 7 Best Exercise Bikes for Legs and Arms

Mini Bike

Height 

(inches)

Display

Features

Warranty

A/A+ Feedback

1-5  Rating

Sunny

SF-B0418

14

Revolutions per minute, time, distance, odometer, and calories

Forward rotation with handle

1 year for frame; 90 days for parts

87%

4.9

Vive

12.5

Revolutions per minute, time, distance, and calories

Portable display

Standard

73%

4.7

MagneTrainer-ER

15

Speed, distance, time, and calories

Forward & backward rotation

1 year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee

92%

4.8

Pinty

12.6

Time, distance, revolutions, total revolutions, and calories

 

Standard

80%

4.2

Titan

12

Time, revolutions, total revolutions, and calories

Forward & backward rotation

Standard

77%

4.2

Himaly

12.6

Time, revolutions per minute, distance, and calories

 

Standard

76%

4

Merax

11.8

Time, speed, distance, and calories

Forward & backward rotation with handle for lifting

Standard

77%

4.2

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike

magnetic exercise bike

The very popular Sunny SF-B0418 magnetic mini exercise bike has features described below.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered bike comes almost fully assembled. In fact, only the two pedals and the two feet have to be attached to the bike.

Desk Use

Also, to use the bike under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk. 

Dimensions

In addition, the bike is 22 inches long, 18 inches wide and 14 inches high.  Consequently, it needs a clearance of 15 inches for use under a desk.

Display

Especially relevant, the easy to read LCD screen displays distance (in miles), calories, time pedaled in hours and minutes, current revolutions per minute, and an odometer. Meanwhile, the scan button on the LCD console sequentially displays workout data continuously.

Exercise

Most of all, the bike exercises your arm and leg.

Handles

Next, it has a built-in handle that makes it easy to lift and move the bike from one location to another. Also, the handle has small finger grooves making it easy to grip the bike while moving it.

Pedals

In addition, it has oversized textured non-slip pedals with adjustable large heavy-duty plastic straps to help keep your feet in place as you peddle. In addition, the pedals have small finger grooves making it easy to grip them when exercising the arms.

Pedal Movement

Next, the pedals rotate in only the forward direction. Consequently, if you want to pedal in reverse, turn the bike around. Especially relevant, the pedals use a belt to drive the flywheel. 

Tension

Next, the tension knob allows you to easily adjust your workout from easy to hard. In fact, 8 calibrated magnetic resistance settings help you keep track of your workout intensities. Furthermore, the magnetic resistance results in quiet pedal rotation.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the bike comes with a 1 year warranty for the frame and a 90 day warranty for all other parts.

Weight

Next, it weighs only 21 pounds.

Weight Limit

Finally, the bike is limited to anyone weighing less than 220 pounds.

Pros

  • Handle
    First, the bike's handle makes it easy to move.
  • Sound
    Next, the magnetic resistance results in a quiet workout.
  • Warranty
    Also, it comes with a 1-year frame and 90-days parts warranty.
  • Rating
    In addition, it is among the highest rated pedals for exercising arm and leg.
  • Popularity
    Finally, it is the most popular pedals for exercising arm and leg.

Cons

  • Pedal rotation
    However, the pedals only move in forward direction. So, to go in reverse, manually turn the bike around.

Vive Pedal Exerciser

pedal exerciser

The very popular Vive pedal exerciser has features described below.

Assembly

First and foremost, when delivered, it requires some assembly. In fact, the pedals, front and back support bars have to be attached to the frame. However, all necessary tools to complete assembly are provided.

Desk Use

Also, to use the stationary exercise leg peddler under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk.

Dimensions

In addition, the stationary exercise leg peddler is 16 inches long, 13.75 inches wide and 12.5 inches high. Consequently, it needs a clearance of at least 13 inches for use under a desk.

Display

Especially relevant, it has a large, easy to read LCD screen that displays revolutions per minute, time, distance in miles, and calories with the touch of a button. Meanwhile, pressing the scan button, on the LCD screen, sequentially displays workout data continuously.

Exercise

Most of all, the leg peddler exercises your arm and leg.

Pedals

In addition, it has 4 inch wide pedals with a non-slip surface. Also, the pedals have adjustable toe loops to help keep your feet in place as you peddle. In addition, the pedals have molded finger grips for exercising arms.

Sliding

Furthermore, the leg peddler has non-slip, non-marking feet that ensure it stays in place while being used on hard floors, carpets, and table tops. And the low profile prevents it from wobbling and sliding.

Tension

Next, the tension knob has marked resistance levels. Consequently, it's easy to adjust your workout from easy to hard. Furthermore, a strap around the flywheel generates resistance.

Warranty

Finally, the peddler comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

MagneTrainer-ER Mini Exercise Bike

ER exercise bike

The very popular MagneTrainer-ER mini exercise bike has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the pedals, front and back support bars have to be attached upon delivery. However, all necessary tools are provided.

Construction

Most noteworthy, it has a sturdy steel frame.

Desk Use

Also, to use the MagneTrainer-ER  under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk. Moreover, it is likely usable under desks with 34 to 36 inches of clearance underneath.

Dimensions

In addition, the MagneTrainer-ER is 15.5 to 20 inches long, 15 inches wide and 18 inches high. However, the highest point of the pedal is 15 inches above the floor. Consequently, it needs a clearance of 16 inches for use under a desk. Also, the wide footprint provides excellent stability. In fact, both legs are over 15 inches wide which helps prevent the bike from wobbling.

DIsplay

Especially relevant, the electronic monitor displays speed, distance, time, and calories.

Exercise

Also, the MagneTrainer-ER exercises legs and arms.

Pedals

In addition, it has pedals with a non-slip surface and adjustable Velcro straps to grip your feet. Also, the pedals are molded with finger grooves that allow you to firmly grip them for exercising arms.

Pedal Movement

Next, the pedals rotate in both the forward and backwards direction. Also, the pedals drive the flywheel with wide 4V belts and heavy-duty pulleys. Moreover, the effective 39-pound flywheel helps keep the pedals moving smoothly and quietly.

Tension

Next, the tension knob provides 20 marked levels of magnetic resistance to adjust your workout. Indeed, the 5-rotation knob helps set resistance precisely.

Use

Most noteworthy, the MagneTrainer-ER is used in hospitals, physical therapy offices, nursing homes, assisted living facilities.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the exercise bike comes with a full 1-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.

Weight

Finally, it weighs 23 pounds.

Pros

  • Use
    Especially relevant, the MagneTrainer-ER is used in hospitals, physical therapy offices, nursing homes, assisted living facilities.
  • Warranty
    Also, it comes with a full 1-year warranty and a 30-days money back guarantee.

Cons

Pinty Mini Exercise Bike

pedal exerciser

The Pinty mini exercise bike has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered bike is almost completely assembled.  In fact, the only assembly required is to attach the pedals.

Desk Use

Also, to use the mini cycle bike  under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk.

Dimensions

In addition, the mini cycle bike is 16 inches long and 12.6 inches high. Consequently, it needs a clearance of 13 inches for use under a desk. Also, the front feet are 9.8 inches long, while the rear feet are 13.8 inches long. Moreover, the low height means that you can also tuck it away under your desk when you are done using it.

Display

Especially relevant, the LCD monitor displays time, distance, revolutions, total revolutions, and calories.

Exercise

Most of all, the mini cycle exercises legs and arms.

Pedals

In addition, it has pedals with adjustable toe loops to help keep your feet in place as you peddle. Also, there are two sets of pedals: one for exercising your legs, and one for exercising your arms. Moreover, the pedals are screwed in or out of the crank arm.

Pedal Movement

Next, the pedals rotate a 4.4 pound cast iron flywheel that improves stability and provides quiet operation.

Sliding

Furthermore, it has four rubber wrapped non-skid feet that ensures the mini cycle stays in place on hard floors, carpets, and table tops.

Tension

Next, the tension knob provides continuous step-less resistance settings.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the mini cycle comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

Weight

Finally, it weighs 13.2 pounds.

Pros

  • Pedals
    Most noteworthy, the mini cycle comes with two sets of pedals: one for the hands and one for the legs.

Cons

Titan Fitness Pedal Exerciser

pedal exerciser

The Titan Fitness pedal exerciser has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered Titan mini exerciser is almost completely assembled.  In fact, the only assembly required is to attach the pedals and the base.

Construction

Most noteworthy, it has a durable metal frame.

Desk Use

Also, to use the Titan mini exerciser under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk.

Dimensions

In addition, the Titan fitness bike is 15.5 inches long, 15.5 inches wide and 12 inches high. Consequently, it needs a clearance of at least 13 inches for use under a desk.

Display

Especially relevant, the LCD displays time, revolutions, total revolutions, and calories.

Exercise

Most of all, it exercises legs and arms.

Pedals

Furthermore, it has 3.5 inches wide pedals with non-adjustable straps to help keep your feet in place as you peddle.

Pedal Motion

Meanwhile, the pedals rotate in both the forward and backwards direction.

Sliding

Furthermore, the exerciser works well on carpets and floor mats.

Tension

Next, the tension knob provides 8 levels of resistance. 

Warranty

Especially relevant, the Titan Fitness bike comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

Weight

Also, it weighs 9 pounds.

Weight Limit

Finally, the bike is limited to anyone under 260 pounds.

Pros

Cons

  • Foot straps
    Regrettably, the foot straps are not adjustable.

Himaly Home Pedal Exerciser

mini exercise bike

The Himaly home pedal exerciser has the following features.

Construction

First and foremost, it has a heavy duty plastic frame.

Desk Use

Also, to use the Himaly home exerciser under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk.

Dimensions

In addition, the Himaly home exerciser is 15.98 inches long, 13.81 inches wide and 12.6 inches high. Consequently, the clearance has to be 13 inches or more to be able to use it under a desk.

Display

Especially relevant, the large digital LCD displays time, revolutions per minute, distance, and calories. Also, the scan sequentially displays all the workout data continuously.

Exercise

Most of all, the Himaly exerciser exercises legs and arms.

Use

Moreover, the Himaly exerciser can be used for rehab and by seniors.

Pedals

Furthermore, the oversized textured pedals have anti-slip features to prevent your feet from slipping. In addition, adjustable toe straps help grip your feet to the pedals.

Pedal Movement

While the pedal rotations are quiet, they are not as smooth as some others.

Sliding

Furthermore, the non-skid rubber feet pads provide stability during use. In addition, the rubber feet won’t scratch smooth surfaces such as a table top or floor.

Tension

Next, the tension knob allows you to adjust resistance. However, the knob has no markings showing resistance levels. Meanwhile, the Himaly exerciser provides low resistance.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the Himaly exerciser comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

Weight

Finally, it weighs only 8.8 pounds.

Pros

  • Use
    Most noteworthy, this pedal exerciser is used for rehab by seniors.

Cons

  • Pedal motion
    Regrettably, the pedal motion is not as smooth as other machines.

Merax Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike

under desk exercise bike

The Merax magnetic mini exercise bike has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the Merax bike is delivered almost completely assembled. In fact, the only assembly required is to attach the pedals and straps.

Desk Use

Also, to use the Merax bike under a desk, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk.

Dimensions

In addition, the Merax bike is 17.7 inches long, 13.8 inches wide, 11.8 inches high. Consequently, the clearance has to be 13 inches or more to be able to use it under a desk.

Display

Especially relevant, the LCD displays time, speed, distance, and calories.

Exercise

Most of all, the bike exercises legs and arms.

Handles

Next, the built-in handle makes it easy to lift and move the bike from one place to another.

Pedals

In addition, the non-slip pedals have adjustable straps that hold the feet to the pedals. Because the pedals have a non-slip surface, the hands can grip them for exercising the arms. Also, pedal centers are 12 inches apart

Pedal Movement

Meanwhile, the pedals can rotate in both the forward and backwards direction. Also, magnetic resistance gives a quiet and smooth workout.

Tension

Next, the tension knob allows you to select 8 levels of magnetic resistance settings.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the Merax bike comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

Weight

Next, it weighs 14 pounds.

Weight Limit

Finally, the Merax bike is limited to anyone weighing less than 220 pounds.

Pros

  • Handle
    Most of all the handle makes it easy to move.

Cons

Video Showing Pedals In Use

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do You Evaluate These Machines?

In fact, use the factors described below to evaluate these pedal exercisers and mini exercise bikes.

Assembly

First, assembling the pedal exerciser should be easy. In fact, the less assembly required, the better.

Construction

Next, a pedal exerciser made of heavy-duty alloys or steel is preferable. At least the frame must be metal. And, since you may push them hard, the pedals need to be made from heavy duty plastic such as ABS or better. Indeed, the more solid the construction, the longer the pedal exerciser will last, and more stable it will be.

Display

Displays help you keep track of your workouts. Example of workout measurements include revolutions, time, revolutions per minute, and calories burned. Moreover, you use this information to monitor your progress over time, or simply to ensure you met your daily target.

Exercise

Most of all, a pedal exerciser exercising both legs and arms gives you more options.

Feet

Most of all, the feet are generally made from heavy duty rubber or other similar material to protect the floor and/or the table from scratches and marks. Also, the feet help prevent the pedal exerciser from sliding as you pedal. Indeed, nearly all pedal exercisers are lightweight weighing less than 26 pounds. In addition, most people try to use the pedals as they would a recumbent bike – namely by pushing the pedals away from you. This pushing action is a consequence of the chair being behind the pedal exerciser – as with a recumbent bike. Moreover, this pushing action pushes the pedal exerciser away from you. So instead of pushing on the pedals, push the pedals down towards the floor. Consequently, the pedal exerciser may stay in place as you peddle.

Especially relevant, several pedal exercisers provide straps to tie the pedal exercise to the chair. On the other hand, if you choose one without the straps, there are ways to prevent the pedal exerciser from sliding.

  1. 1
    First, put the chair and the pedal exerciser on a rubber matting
  2. 2
    And, tether the pedal exerciser to the chair using a rope or solid rubber strap with hooks on either end 
Footprint

Most of all, the footprint tells you how much space the pedal exerciser is going to need, so you can decide if the pedal exerciser is going to fit where you intend to use it.

Handle

A handle makes it easier to move the pedal exerciser around with one hand.

Height

If the pedal exerciser is going to be used under a desk, you need to measure the distance between the top of your knee, when sitting on a chair, and the floor with your shoes on. Next you need to measure the highest point the top of the pedal reaches above the floor. Next, the sum of these two numbers needs to be less than the distance between the underside of the table or desk top and the floor.

Noise

Because the pedal exercisers are likely to be used in office environments or while watching TV or reading a book, they need to run as quietly as possible. Most of all, pedal exercisers using magnetic resistance run quieter. On the other hand, pedal exercisers that use friction for resistance tend to be noisy. To reduce this noise, take the tension knob out and put graphite powder in the tension knob’s hole. And then screw back the tension knob.

Pedals

Most of all, to drive the pedals with your feet, the pedals need to be non-slip or else your feet will not grip the pedals. In addition, pedal straps help grab your feet to the pedal. Moreover, the pedal straps need to be adjustable to accommodate various shoe sizes.

Tension

Tension is sometimes referred to as resistance. And, nearly all pedal exercisers provide the capability to adjust tension so that you can change your workout intensity. However, not all pedal exercisers provide markers that allow you to easily identify tension levels. Furthermore, such markers help you record tension levels of your workouts. And these markers are especially important, if the pedal exerciser is used by others.

Most noteworthy, tension based on friction will cause metal parts in the vicinity to heat up. Pedal exercisers that offer protection from contact with the heated parts are better than those which don’t. Furthermore, depending on the pedal speed, and the length of time pedaling, heating could start to be felt as soon as 15 minutes after starting. However, if you are pedaling slowly, heat from friction likely won’t be an issue. Be that as it may, you can reduce the build up of heat by lubricating. In fact, to lubricate, take the tension knob out and put graphite powder in the tension knob’s hole. And then screw back the tension knob.

Transportation

Because the pedal exercisers are used under the desk, in front of a couch, on a table, among other places, being lightweight becomes an advantage in terms of moving it from one location to another.

Use

In addition, manufacturers design pedal exercisers for different use. So, you want to look at pedal exercisers targeted to your need. For example, some pedal exercisers are designed for the handicapped, some for beginners. While others are designed for strengthening your legs and arms or used under a desk, while in the office or at home.

Warranty

The longer the warranty period the better you are protected against manufacturing defects. Generally, a 90-day period will cover majority of manufacturing defects. Since most defects are found in this period, it’s important to ensure your purchase is covered during that time. In addition, a longer warranty period, implies that the pedal exerciser is better built to last a longer time.

Weight

Finally, pedal exercisers that weigh less are easier to carry around. On the other hand, heavier pedal exercisers offer more stability.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you are looking for essentially a pedal exerciser that:

  • 1
    First of all, allows you to use the exerciser under or near a desk or a table or on a table, or next to a couch.
  • 2
    Next, is reasonably solid
  • 3
    Also, is quiet
  • 4
    In addition, offers adjustable tension
  • 5
    Furthermore, displays exercise time, count of revolutions, revolutions per minute, and calories
  • 6
    Finally, has at least a 90-day warranty

What Should I Be Looking At In These Machines?

First and foremost, itemize what you want from a pedal exerciser or mini exercise bike. For example, the list below gives you a start.

  • 1
    First and foremost, how much physical space is there for the exerciser?
  • 2
    Next, does the exerciser need to keep track of workouts?
  • 3
    Also, is the exerciser going to be used for exercising both your legs and arms?
  • 4
    Lastly, how much use is the exerciser going to get every day?

Indeed, answers to these questions and others will help guide you to the pedal exerciser or mini exercise bike that's best for you.

What Are These Machines Used For?

Under desk pedals and mini exercise bikes are used to get some exercise to stay healthy. Moreover, they are used to tone leg and arm muscles and get some cardiovascular workout. And, they are mostly used while sitting.

Hours Spent Sitting

According to the 2017 American time use survey by Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the average American’s time each day is spent as follows:

  • 1
    First and foremost, American's spend 1.11 hours on eating and drinking
  • 2
    Next, they spend 4.14 hours working
  • 3
    Also, they spend 0.52 hours on socializing,
  • 4
    Meanwhile, they spend 2.5 hours watching TV
  • 5
    Finally, they spend 0.16 hours on the telephone, going through the mail, and email

For the most part, all these activities involve sitting. As a result, the average American spends 8.43 hours each day sitting.  Most noteworthy, this number is consistent with other surveys and studies on sitting.

Consequences of Too Much Sitting

Especially relevant, prolonged sitting on a regular basis results in health problems such as:

  • 1
    First, metabolic syndrome
  • 2
    Next, poor blood circulation
  • 3
    Also, obesity
  • 4
    Moreover, poor posture
  • 5
    In addition, develop diseases
  • 6
    For example, cancer
  • 7
    And, mental health issues
  • 8
    In addition, longevity
  • 9
    Finally, mortality

But most of all, prolonged sitting effects muscles in the arms and the lower body.

Effect of Sitting on Arm Muscles

The major muscle groups in the arms are:

  • 1
    First, the biceps located in front of the upper arms
  • 2
    Next, the triceps located in the back of upper arms, and
  • 3
    Finally, the forearms in the lower arms

All these arm muscles are affected by sitting too much. In fact, the triceps are a common area for fat deposits, meaning you’re most likely to notice excess, flabby skin in this area.

Effect of Sitting on Lower Body Muscles

The legs contain the most muscle groups in your body. Too much sitting causes the quads, hamstrings, and calves to change. In fact, these muscles become less toned as the muscles get smaller and less defined. Indeed, the effects are first seen on your upper legs and hips, where fat deposits are common. These changes are largely because fat in this area tends to be less metabolically active than fat in other areas of the body.

Next, the buttocks are made up of three major muscle groups: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Too much sitting causes these muscles to soften and become undefined, leaving the butt looking flat and misshapen. Moreover, as these muscles lose their tone, you may have difficulty maintaining good balance.

That’s where desk pedals and mini bikes help. In fact, desk pedals are used to exercise legs while working at a desk. Furthermore, mini bikes are used when sitting in a chair to exercise legs and arms.

How do these Machines Help?

By providing some cardio workout, these machines help mitigate some of the negative effects of prolonged sitting.

First and foremost, a study was published in the March 21 2019 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In fact, the study looked at 14 years of activity and inactivity data of 92,500 people. Meanwhile, one study group consisted of participants who were least active with less than 17 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. And, the study found that if these participants replaced just 30 minutes of sitting with light activity, their risk of premature death falls by 14 percent. On the other hand, if these participants replaced 30 minutes of sitting with moderate to vigorous physical activity, their risk of premature death fell by an even larger 45 percent.

Is There Proof That These Machines Really Help?

Studies show that physical inactivity and sedentary work environments increases insulin resistance. Moreover, this increase leads to higher risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. However, a recent study showed that exercising, while sitting, improves the body's insulin response and thereby reduce these risks.

In fact, University of Massachusetts researchers published a study in October 2018 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Indeed, the study reported that pedaling while working improves the body’s insulin response.

Meanwhile, the study comprised of six men and six women overweight/obese full-time sedentary office workers. And, these seated participants pedaled for two hours while working at their desks. Incidentally, the participants pedaled at their own pace for as little or as much time as they chose.

Next, after eating a light meal, the participants provided blood samples. The blood samples were used for analysis of metabolic responses of glucose, insulin and free fatty acids. Indeed, glucose, insulin, and free fatty acids are linked to obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

When compared to sedentary behavior, the study showed that pedaling required significantly less insulin to maintain glucose concentrations. Consequently, their insulin levels were lower, which in turn, reduced their risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Consequently, the body doesn’t work so hard to maintain blood glucose and fatty acid levels when pedaling. Best of all, their work output and efficiency were not affected by the pedaling.

Finally, pedaling is better than treadmill or standing desk because long periods of standing lowers productivity besides being tiring.

What Muscles Do These Machines Exercise?

First and foremost, these machines exercise leg muscles. Also, some exercise arm muscles.

Exercising Leg Muscles

Leg muscles are exercised by both the desk pedals and mini exercise bikes. In each case, the exerciser is set on the floor with you sitting in a chair behind it. Furthermore, in this mode, the exerciser is used to strengthen and tone legs. Especially relevant, the muscles exercised include the hips flexors, glutes, calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

Exercising Arm Muscles

Only the mini exercise bikes are used for exercising arms. In fact, the mini exercise bike is placed on a table while you are sitting in a chair. Furthermore, in this mode, the mini exercise bike is used to strengthen and tone arms. Especially relevant, the muscles exercised include the biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms.

What Are The Benefits?

Both desk pedals and mini exercise bikes provide the following benefits:

  • 1
    First of all, they help prevent varicose veins.
  • 2
    Next, they exercise calf muscles which increases blood circulation to the feet and ankles and stops blood from pooling. As a result, your risk of deep vein thrombosis or blood clots is reduced.
  • 3
    Also, they help reduce numbness in feet and ankles
  • 4
    In addition, they help prevent swelling of feet, ankles, and legs from water retention due to edema. Indeed, regular use of the pedal exerciser, help reduce these symptoms of edema.
  • 5
    Next they help reduce damage to the knees. In fact, the smooth moving pedals do not cause body joints to get jerked or suddenly shocked. However, while these pedals do not harm the knees, people with sustained injuries or weak knees should consult a doctor before using the pedal exerciser.
  • 6
    Also, they help you burn calories and lose weight
  • 7
    Finally, they give you some aerobic exercise

Only the mini exercise bike strengthens and tones arms. In fact, the mini exercise bike exercises biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms.

How Are These Machines Used?

First and foremost, a pedal exerciser shouldn’t be used like a recumbent bike. Most noteworthy, when you use a recumbent bike, because the seat is somewhat away from the pedals, you end up pushing the pedals forward. So, if you do this with the pedal exerciser too far away from your chair, the pedal exerciser will either slide or tilt forward.

The Correct Way

Therefore, keep the pedal exerciser closer to the chair. And, don’t start pedaling until the pedal arm is in the 1 o’clock position. At that time, push the pedals downward towards the floor. And, make sure your toes are pointing forward not upwards. Consequently, you can pedal downward even when you are sitting on a low chair or couch. Moreover, when you are sitting in a low chair or couch, you work both the quads and the hamstrings.

Also, by starting at very little resistance you can learn the correct way to pedal. Most of all, focus on pedaling downwards. In addition, pedal for at least 15 minutes at very little resistance. Next, increase the resistance a little and pedal for another 15 minutes. And, repeat this sequence until you reach a resistance where you are comfortable pedaling.

Lower Body Workout

First, place pedal exerciser underneath your desk, or on the floor in front of a couch or chair. And do 20 minutes of pedaling with no resistance. Next, increase resistance and do another 20 minutes. And, repeat sequence, as necessary, to complete workout.

Arm Exercises

First, place pedal exerciser on a table with rubber mat. Next, grab pedals by the hands and rotate them forward, changing the resistance to make it somewhat of an effort. And do this for 15 minutes. Next, change direction and rotate pedals backwards for another 15 minutes. Repeat sequence, as necessary, to complete workout.

Stretch Arm Muscles

Firstly, to stretch arm muscles, put elbow on the table with your arm bent, while keeping the other arm free. Secondly, position the top of your hand so that it is touching the pedal and grasp the pedals with fingers. Thirdly, starting with no resistance, slowly push down on the pedal. Next, pull the pedal back up. And, repeat with the other arm. Next, increase resistance and repeat sequence, as necessary, to complete workout.

Strengthen Upper Body Muscles

First, place pedal exerciser on a table with rubber mat. Next, grab pedals by the hands and rotate them forward, starting at zero resistance And, do this for 10 minutes. Next, gradually increase time and resistance. And, repeat sequence, as necessary, to complete workout.

Knee Injury

Most of all, you can use the pedal exerciser to increase flexibility of muscles surrounding your injured knee. Firstly, sit in a firm but comfortable chair to stabilize your back. Secondly, place the pedal exerciser in front of you. Thirdly, place your feet on the pedals and slowly pedal with zero resistance. Next, gradually increase time and resistance and repeat, as necessary, to complete workout.

Stretching Injured Knee

Finally, the pedal exerciser can be used as a stretching machine. Firstly, slide feet of the leg with injured knee in the pedal next to the floor. Secondly, rotate pedal to the highest height using the leg with injured knee. And hold that position. Next, gently push pedal back down and pull back up. And, repeat this sequence for 5 cycles.

How Do They Compare With Other Desk Exercise Machines?

First and foremost, desk pedals have a circular motion of the lower legs and hence more circular movement of the knees. In addition, desk pedals exercise glutes, quads, hamstrings, and to a lesser extent the calves.

Meanwhile, the stepping action of sitting steppers requires pushing down on the pedals against hydraulic resistance. As a result, there is greater stress on the knees. But a better lower leg muscle workout, especially of the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Finally, under desk elliptical machines produces a walking action swinging the lower legs back and forth. Consequently, the joints relax during the exercise. In addition, the under desk elliptical machines don’t put too much stress on the legs.

About the Author Lisa