Under Desk Steppers Buyers Guide

Under desk steppers buyers guide provides insight into under desk steppers, reviewed elsewhere on this site. Also, use under desk steppers frequently asked questions to find the best one for your needs.

Desk Steppers Buyers Guide


First, a stepper with a bigger footprint adds more stability than one with a small footprint. Incidentally, this is important when steppers are used while standing on them. However, if steppers are going to be under a desk or table, the stepper's footprint must be small enough to fit under a desk or table.


Second, displays help you keep track of your workouts. By the way, examples of metrics to track workouts include step counts, speed in steps per minute, exercise time, and calories.

Height for use Under a Desk

Third, if the stepper is going to be used under a desk, first, measure the distance between the top of your knee, when sitting on a chair, and the floor with your shoes on. Next, measure the distance between the underside of the table or desk top and the floor. Incidentally, the typical space under a desk is 20 to 26 inches. However, some desks or tables could be higher.

Next, subtracting the first measurement from the second measurement gives you the vertical movement possible with your lower legs on the stepper. Now, this vertical movement is provided by the desk stepper's footplates. Incidentally, the vertical movement of the footplates are set by turning a knob on the stepper.

Options for using the Stepper

Fourth, the first and typical option is to place the desk stepper underneath the desk or table with the LCD display in the back and the outer edges of the footplates near the chair. In this mode, the front of your feet are stationary next to the LCD display and the frame. Meanwhile, the back of your feet and lower leg move up and down. Consequently, the lower legs and the rear part of your feet get a workout

On the other hand, you can also flip the desk stepper around so that the LCD display is near the chair and the outer edges of the footplates are away from the chair. In this mode, your legs are stationary while the front of your feet move up and down. Now, in this position, the pivot points of the footplates, next to the LCD display, are typically only a few inches from the floor. So, this position works best if you only want to exercise the feet.

Pedals or Footplates

Fifth, its best to have footplates with a non-slip surface to keep your feet secure and stable. In addition, footplates should be large enough to support your entire foot.


Sixth, for the most part, hydraulic cylinders with a piston provide the resistance. Incidentally, a heavy-duty hydraulic cylinder will not overheat after only 10 to 20 minutes of use and will let you exercise for at least 30 minutes or more before it starts to heat up.

Now, you may want to be able to adjust the intensity of your workouts. Indeed, this is likely true when you are using the seated stepper machine for aerobic workouts while standing. By the way, steppers provide resistance by increasing or decreasing the movement of footplates. In fact, the greater the footplates travel, the greater the resistance, and vice versa. Incidentally, this feature is provided by turning a knob on the stepper.

Next, another way these steppers provide resistance is by the use of resistance bands.


Because a sitting step machine is likely to be used in office environments, it should run as quietly as possible.

Sitting Step Machine Size

Meanwhile, the American College of Sports Medicine points out that many sitting step machine users feel uncomfortably restricted by the small size of the sitting step machine. Consequently, the seated stepper machine may not give you the workout you want. But if you like the way the sitting step machine feels or you get used to its compact size, the sitting step machine provides some cardio workout.


Also, the longer the warranty period the better you are protected against loss from manufacturing defects. Generally, a 90 day period will cover the majority of manufacturing defects. Since most defects are found in this period, it’s important to ensure your purchase is covered during that time.

Weight Limit

In addition, the weight limit is relevant only if you are going to use the mini step machine in the standing position.

What to Look Out for

Furthermore, the weakest links in the seated stepper machine are the pedals and the hydraulic piston. Obviously misuse can easily damage these components. However, if you only intend to use the seated stepper machine while sitting at home or in the office, they will last a long time. In any case, it’s always a good idea, especially if you later decide to use the sitting step machine for aerobic workouts, to get a good quality sitting step machine.


In conclusion, you are looking for essentially an sitting step machine that:

First, allows you to use the seated stepper machine located below the desk or table.

Second, is reasonably solid

Third, is quiet

Fourth, offers adjustable resistance, if you need to

Fifth, displays exercise time, step count, steps per minute, and calories

Lastly, has at least a 90 day warranty