Under Desk Elliptical FAQ

This post contains under desk elliptical FAQ or frequently asked questions. Incidentally, this under desk elliptical FAQ is used to understand under desk elliptical machines, reviewed elsewhere on this site. Also, use with under desk elliptical buyers guide to find the best.

Question. What are desk elliptical machines used for?

Answer. Most of all, sitting elliptical machines are used to get some exercise to stay healthy. Also, they are used to tone leg muscles and get some cardiovascular workout. And, they are mostly used while sitting.

Question. What do people do while sitting and how long?

Answer. 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:

First, 1.11 hours on eating and drinking.

Next, 4.14 hours working.

Also, 0.52 hours on socializing.

In addition, 2.5 hours watching TV.

Finally, 0.16 hours on the telephone, going to 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.

Question. What are the consequences of sitting too much?

Answer. First and foremost, prolonged sitting on a regular basis results in health problems such as:

First, metabolic syndrome.

Second, poor blood circulation.

Third, obesity.

Fourth, poor posture.

Fifth, deteriorating muscles in the arms and the lower body.

Lastly, developing diseases, cancer, deteriorating mental health, shortened longevity, and premature mortality.

Question. How does prolonged sitting effect muscles in the lower body?

Answer. 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.

Question. How does a desk elliptical machine help?

Answer. In fact, sitting elliptical machines are used to exercise legs while working at a desk. Furthermore, they are used when sitting in a chair or couch to exercise legs.

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.

Question. Any evidence showing sitting elliptical machine actually helps?

Answer. Now, many studies show that physical inactivity and sedentary work environments increases insulin resistance. Moreover, this increase in insulin resistance 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. While this study used pedals, sitting elliptical machines are simply another way to get an equivalent exercise as the pedals. Consequently, the results of this study apply to sitting elliptical machines also.

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, sitting elliptical machines are better than treadmill or standing desk because long periods of standing lowers productivity besides being tiring.

Question. What muscles do desk elliptical machines exercise?

Answer. Leg muscles are exercised by sitting elliptical machines. The sitting elliptical is set on the floor with you sitting in a chair behind it. Furthermore, in this mode, the elliptical is used to strengthen and tone legs. Especially relevant, the muscles exercised include the hips flexors, glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps.

Question. What are the benefits of desk elliptical exercisers?

Answer. You can expect the following benefits from using a desk elliptical exerciser:

First and foremost, provides a passive, low-attention workout.

Second, burn calories and reduce cellulite.

Third, build good body shape.

Fourth, boost your energy level and productivity.

Fifth, relax your body and reduce your stress.

Also, improve health of your whole body.

In addition, improve metabolism.

Furthermore, improve blood circulation.

Meanwhile, improves cardiovascular functions.

Next, improves coordination of arms and legs.

Also, provide a low-impact workout that won’t jar your back, knees, hips, or ankles.

In addition, exercises your abs and core muscles.

Furthermore, exercise hip flexors, which includes the psoas and illiacus muscles.

Moreover, exercise hip abductors, which includes the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fasciae latae.

Next, exercise quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

Also, exercise ankle and foot muscles.

In addition, help your posture.

Furthermore, exercises your upper body.

Most of all, exercises your arms and shoulders.

Next, improves body flexibility.

Also, rehabilitation following surgery or injury.

In addition, builds endurance.

Finally, save money on gym or fit club membership dues.

Question. How many calories burned with a desk elliptical machine?

Answer. A July 2014 study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport reported on sitting elliptical use. Specifically, the study reported on the feasibility of using sitting elliptical machines during sedentary activities. Indeed, 32 physically inactive adults ranging in age from 25 to 65 were recruited.

Overall average calories expended
In fact, participants expended a median of 179 calories per hour while using the sitting elliptical. Moreover, this was 89 calories per hour more than they expended while sedentary. Incidentally, the participants used the sitting elliptical at a rate of 76 strides per minute. Especially relevant, these participants would lose about 9 pounds if they used the sitting elliptical for one hour each day for one whole year.

Calories expended by men
Meanwhile, men expended a median of 216 calories per hour while using the desk elliptical. Moreover, this was 33 calories per hour more than they expended while sedentary. Incidentally, the men used the desk elliptical at a rate of 85 strides per minute. Especially relevant, these men would lose about 3.5 pounds if they used the desk elliptical for one hour each day for one whole year. Finally, among the men, there was most interest in using the desk elliptical for watching TV, reading, and doing computer work.

Calories expended by women
Next, women expended a median of 144 calories per hour while using the sitting elliptical. Moreover, this was 76 calories per hour more than they expended while sedentary. Incidentally, the women used the sitting elliptical at a rate of 75 strides per minute. Especially relevant, these women would lose about 8 pounds if they used the sitting elliptical for one hour each day for one whole year. Finally, among the women, there was even greater interest in using the sitting elliptical for watching TV, reading, and doing computer work.

Question. Are there guidelines on how to use desk elliptical exercisers?

Answer. First and foremost, to get the most out of the desk elliptical, use proper form. In fact, that is key to a safe and effective workout. Manufacturer guidelines recommend that users sit in a chair that has a slight backward slope, allowing the user to lean back slightly. Also, use a chair that’s not going to move around as you use the desk elliptical. To be sure, put a mat underneath your chair or use a heavier chair.

The back of the desk elliptical (which is the side nearest your heels) should be placed roughly 8 to 10 inches from the front of the chair. As a result, your legs are slightly extended during the workout. Next, when a foot is in the “up” or “highest” position, its corresponding thigh should be roughly parallel to the floor, with the knee and lower leg forming an angle of approximately 110 degrees.

Most of all, as you use the desk elliptical, hold onto the sides of the chair and brace your abdominals throughout the movement. As a result, your leg muscles get isolated which prevents compensatory movements that bring your upper body into the exercise.

Question. How do desk elliptical exercisers help while in rehab or recovering from injuries?

Answer. Desk elliptical machines are easier on your joints than under desk pedals. Consequently, they are best for anyone who had a hip or knee replacement surgery. The natural oval movement of the machine ensures that your hips, knees, and ankles stay properly aligned, preventing more wear and tear on your body. And, because many knee injuries are a result of weak quads, a daily low-impact activity, like working out on the desk elliptical will help to strengthen those muscles.

Next, desk elliptical machines can increase blood flow to knee cartilage and strengthen the muscles around the knees. This helps keep your knee joints healthy. In addition, desk elliptical machines strengthen your quads, hamstrings, and ankles – all of which helps your knees. By having your feet always pressing into the pedals protects your joints from twisting. Furthermore, it also improves balance and keeps your body in alignment.

Question. How long should you use desk elliptical exercisers?

Answer. While there is much to gain from using desk elliptical machines, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, the under desk elliptical should not become a distraction that causes your work performance to suffer. In fact, it’s best to use the desk elliptical only with a light workload and you have the time to get a little bit distracted. But, under a moderate to high workload intensity, it’s best to not use the desk elliptical.

Next, using the desk elliptical at work for the first time, you are bound to get tired and that may interfere with your work performance. So, cut back and very slowly get used to using the desk elliptical at work. On the other hand, if you are home and watching TV, there is nothing better than using the desk elliptical to burn some calories and benefit from watching TV.

Question. How do desk elliptical exercisers compare with other desk exercise machines?

Answer. First and foremost, desk elliptical machines produces a walking action. Consequently, the joints relax during the exercise. In addition, these elliptical machines don’t put too much stress on the legs.

As a result, these elliptical machines have a lower impact than a sitting stepper. Specifically, the sitting stepper motion requires pushing down on pedals against hydraulic resistance. Consequently, there is greater stress on the knees but a better lower body muscle workout.

Finally, under desk pedals have a greater circular motion of the lower legs and hence more movement of the knees than these elliptical machines.

Question. What should you look for in a desk elliptical machines?

Answer. First and foremost, itemize what you want from a sitting elliptical machine. For example, the list below gives you a start.

First, how much physical space is there for the sitting elliptical?

Second, does the sitting elliptical need to keep track of workouts?

Third, is the sitting elliptical going to be used for exercising your legs and/or arms?

Next, how much are you going to use the sitting elliptical every day?

Finally, are you going to use it under a desk at the office or under a table at home?

Indeed, answers to these questions and others will help guide you to the sitting elliptical that’s best for you.