Do Under Desk Bikes Work? (Yes, Here’s Why)

do under desk bikes work

As a whole, under desk bikes help keep one active while in the office or working from home, without necessarily leaving their desk space. But, most importantly, they are the best option for keeping fit when one is under pressure and deadlines that leave minimal time for the gym.

Basically, the under-desk bikes are mini-bikes, with technically just the crank arm engine and the pedals without the rest of the bike body. Therefore, it has no handlebars, bike frame or other parts of a typical bike.

How Effective are Under Desk Bikes?

Well, under desk bikes are not as effective as other bikes or fitness equipment. Therefore, you cannot replace your gym time with mini-bikes and decide that you will still do fine. Sadly, you can still increase your body despite having the bike in your office.

Primarily, having the bike in your office does not necessarily translate into working out throughout your day, which is why the bike may not be as effective. Actually, research from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine indicated that people would cycle for less than 5 minutes at a time in the office.

Nonetheless, a minimal workout is always better than no workout at all. Usually, even if you will take the pedalling for 3 minutes at a time, this will translate to an increased heart rate. The increase in heart rate translates to an increased breathing rate. Then, the end result is active cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Does under desk bike help lose weight? the under-desk bike may not be the best option for weight loss goals. Nevertheless, it will prevent you from gaining excess weight that you would just sit passively on your office desk. Therefore, the bike is effective in helping with bodyweight checks.

Does an under-desk bike keep you pepful? I also love the fact that the bikes actually help keep one more active by providing an amazing channel for boredom. Thus, you find that you work longer and more efficiently when your feet have the option to pedal at will.

For example, a middle school teacher in South Carolina installed the under-desk bikes on all the student desks, and they seemed to concentrate better. They stopped fidgeting in class, which always happens when kids are bored (this could be after only 30 minutes in class). Therefore, they were more productive, which means that her method was effective.

According to BBC News, the teacher said that she felt that this was the best way to get her school kids to concentrate better, given that they had to sit for a whole day.

Over and above that, the under-desk bikes are the best innovation for keeping warm, especially during chilly days at work or school. Even after a morning run or exercise at home, getting to work on a snowy and icy morning still gets you cold. However, an awaiting exercise bike at work will get you feeling better and, of course, get you off the numb fingers.

How Many Calories Do You Burn in an Under Desk Bike?

You may burn approximately 100 calories on an under-desk bike on an average day. However, there are users who claim to burn up to 600 calories in a day, which is possible if you are active for at least 10 minutes at a time for 6-7 times a day.

Luckily, most under-desk bikes come with a calorie-burning reader, which indicates your progress on the bike.

Under Desk Bike Benefits

The under-desk bike has multiple benefits, which often overrule a few disadvantages. These benefits include the following;

  • It helps diversify your office activities, work and exercise simultaneously.
  • The bike is excellent for refocusing excess energy to prevent fidgeting during long working and school hours.
  • Since cycling is a cardiovascular exercise, it helps maintain the heart, lungs and other related organs healthy.
  • Cycling while working is a fantastic way to keep warm during frosty days in the office and school, preventing piercing numbness. In addition, this keeps the fingers active instead of leaving the body cold.
  • Cycling under your desk may not burn as many calories as an outdoor or fitness bike, but it definitely burns some calories. A daily calorie-burning exercise will definitely keep your calories and weight in check.
  • It helps remain active despite managing an excessively tight work schedule.
  • The under-desk bike is more portable than a complete bike, hence great for a mobile office.
  • The value bike is less expensive than complete stationary bikes.

Under-Desk Bike Cons

Let’s get down to the downside of getting an under-desk bike;

  • Under-desk bikes are noisy, especially the cheap options. You have to invest in more expensive options to avoid the noise.
  • They make you change your comfortable sitting position. Sometimes the compromised position may end up causing joint and lower back injuries.
  • It makes you sweat, which is uncomfortable, especially in an office setting.

Is an Under-Desk Bike Worth It?

Yes, the under-desk bike is definitely worth it, especially if you buy one that is not too expensive. In addition, it will help incorporate exercise into a busy work schedule, which ensures that you don’t compromise your fitness in the process.

Also, the under-desk bike is worth it if you do not consider it your gym escape plan. It will work great for your busy days, but it is perfect when it is only additional equipment for your fitness schedule. This means that you have a more intense workout plan other than the office desk bike.

Last but not least, the under-desk bike is an excellent idea for school kids, as in the case of Teacher Bethany Lamberth. It helps with higher concentration levels, which will positively impact their academic results.

Tips for Using the Under-Desk Bike

True, the under-desk bike can be uncomfortable, especially when using it for the first time. It could even discourage you from using it more frequently, and even regret buying it. However, you can avoid these challenges and only enjoy the reasons for which you purchased the under-desk bike. But how? By using the following tips;

1. Identify a Suitable Under-Desk Bike

In general, there are two types of under-desk bikes; one is attached to a desk, and the sitting position is that of a bike saddle. The other option only features the pedal area of a bike, which you install under a regular desk.

If you spend long hours working at your desk, the pedal bike for under-desk installation is the best option. This is because it helps you maintain your comfortable working position, especially when well-installed.

On the other hand, consider the bike attached to a desk if you spend a shorter time working. You will get better cycling benefits because the cycling position is more convenient, and you won’t be at the desk for long hours to compromise your health and comfort.

2. Your Height Vs the Desk and Bike Height

For tall people, you may find your knees knocking on the underside of the desk during pedalling if you get a regular under-desk bike. Therefore, you may have to adjust the height of your desk. Alternatively, go for a shorter bike option, which will give you sufficient cycling space.

3. Go for a Bike with Resistance Options

Just as with regular stationary bikes, the under-desk bikes have resistance options. Always consider a bike with resistance levels, and more at that, to optimize your exercise when you want to burn more calories.

4. Lock the Bike to Your Chair Wheels

One of the most annoying things about an under-desk bike is that it keeps moving away from the desk. However, you can lock the rear part of the bike under the chair wheels, which will keep the bike still and more efficient.

5. Don’t Go for the Very Cheap Options

‘Cheap is expensive’ is a saying that finds meaning in several products and services. From my research, I have realized that users complaining of noise and undesirable characteristics of the under-desk bike got very cheap ones. 

So, if you want a silent exercise under your bike, less friction and sturdy equipment, invest in a quality under-desk bike.

Don’t get me wrong; a cheap under-desk bike doesn’t have to be disappointing. However, you have to check the characteristics and reviews on the bike to ensure that it will be of excellent service.

6. Continue with the Gym

If you already have an exercise plan, do not ruin it simply because you now own an under-desk bike. Also, you need to have one in place even if you don’t have it yet. This means that the under-desk bike is not a fitness plan at all but just a way of enhancing your fitness plan.

Therefore, always get a full exercise that will keep you toning, shedding weight and fit whenever your time allows.

Final Word

Do under-desk bikes work? Yes, they do. They are an innovative way of getting sweaty when your schedule doesn’t allow for fitness time. However, it is even better when you only use it when busy and get back on an intensive exercise schedule when you can.

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