Do Under Desk Bikes Work?

Most of us barely get the chance to move around in our daily lives. Whether working in an office or studying at school, we’re always sitting. Most of the time, we don’t even realize the long hours we spend staring at a screen and sitting motionless, but the body keeps count.

If all those long hours of working still are starting to take a toll on your body, or if you simply want to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle, you’re in luck. In today’s post, we’ll look at different types of desk bikes and explore all the benefits and potential downfalls of using an under-desk pedal exerciser.

How Does an Under Desk Bike Work?

Under-desk bikes can come in various shapes and forms, and we’re not referring to a specific type of product when we’re talking about an under-desk bike. Some of these pedal exercisers are not even “under the desk” per se, but they are the desk itself! As long as it lets you pedal while sitting, it doesn’t matter if it has a fancy digital display or resistance settings.

Although the specifications and the main features may differ, there are mainly three types of under-desk bikes you can find on the market today.

Standard Under Desk Pedal Exercisers

A standard under-desk bike is what most of us will think of when someone mentions an under-desk bike. They are convenient and compact and the most affordable way to do pedaling exercises while working.

A standard under-desk exerciser has two pedals that are attached to a small body or legs and can be placed on the floor. These bikes can feature digital screens, different resistance settings, and noise reduction technology to keep things quiet as you pedal in the office.

Some of these devices, however, are as barebones as they can get. These under-desk bikes focus on the most crucial feature and bank on ease of use and portability. They can be foldable to make them easy to carry, and they usually require no assembly.

If you’re looking for convenience, standard under-desk bikes can give you all that and more. They come in a wide price range with many different features, and you have a wide range of products to pick from as they are the most popular types out of the ones we’ll cover today.

Office Chair Pedal Exercisers

Office chair pedal exercisers are probably the second most popular type of under-desk bike. If you’ve never seen one before, imagine a regular spinning bike without the handles, and the seat is a more ergonomically designed chair with back support.

The premise is quite simple: you replace your regular office chair with this one, and you get to pedal all day! In addition, an office chair bike is designed to be sat on as you pedal. As the standard under-desk bike may not work the best with all types of chairs, this is a strong advantage to consider.

Chair pedal exercisers can be a bit more clunky and expensive than a standard under-desk bike, and they’re not as portable, but they keep you in the best form possible while you cycle through a stressful work day. They can also be used as standing desk chairs as they are pretty tall.

Office Desk Pedal Exercisers

We can describe an office desk pedal exerciser as a stationary bike with a table instead of handles.

A desk bike, or a bike desk (depends on how you look at it), is the least common one out of the three options we’re covering today. This is due to the lack of versatility, as it is usually specifically designed for one purpose only: to pedal like there’s no tomorrow.

The desk portion of the machine, although a nice idea, seems like an afterthought. The whole thing is made of one piece, and the desk inevitably moves and shakes as you cycle. Therefore, you can get one of these for home use, and the desk portion can be used for light work on your laptop or watching a show as you work out.

Do Under Desk Pedal Exercisers Work?

Are the desk bikes good for you? The short answer is: yes.

For the long answer, we’ll now take a look at the scientific reasoning behind this, as well as the pros and cons of using an under-desk bike.

Are Under Desk Bikes Good for Your Health?

Here’s the thing: you can’t expect to get absolutely ripped or have washboard abs from using an under-desk bike. However, these devices can help you get the exercise your body needs to stay healthy and fit. You can definitely get a nice cardio workout out of an under-desk bike: it’s essentially the same as a stationary bike you use at the gym!

After a long day of sitting at the office, we ride a car, a bus, or a train to go home, and we sit some more until we get sleepy and go to bed. There’s almost no substantial movement in a routine such as this, let alone any exercise. Besides, most of us tend to underestimate the minimum amount of exercise we’re supposed to be getting each day. According to research, you need at least 150 to 200 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise just to prevent weight gain. If you’re planning on losing any weight, you need 225 to 450 minutes weekly!

Therefore, if we consider these facts, it’s safe to say that under-desk bikes do work: they help you burn calories and get the exercise you wouldn’t normally get, and they get you moving instead of sitting motionless all day.

The Benefits of Under Desk Bikes

There are many benefits to using an under-desk bike while you work. As we mentioned above, it can help you get your daily exercise and burn some calories, but what else can it do for you?

Better Blood Pressure and Heart Health

An under-desk bike can do more than help you lose a few calories. It can also promote your blood flow and stabilize blood pressure, which will positively affect your heart health and overall wellbeing. Moreover, it’s also a great way to prevent heart disease in the long run.

By keeping yourself moving during work, you get your heart rate up, giving your body an incentive to keep your metabolism moving at a sufficient pace. Science says that getting your heart rate up, even the smallest bit, will always pay off, so it seems like you can’t go wrong with investing in an under-desk bike no matter what!

Stabilized Blood Sugar and Reduced Risk of Diabetes

Getting an under-desk bike can improve your heart health and help you stabilize your blood sugar, and decrease your risk of type II diabetes.

An extensive study shows that cycling as an exercise is an effective way to fight diabetes. The same study also suggests that people who don’t have diabetes can reduce their possibility of becoming diabetic in the future by taking up cycling.

With all this in mind, getting an under-desk bike can be a great idea if you’re worried about your blood sugar levels or if diabetes is a prevalent condition in your family.

Improved Cognitive Ability and Mental Health

In addition to your physical wellbeing, regular pedaling exercises can help you reduce your stress levels and may even allow you to concentrate better. Keep in mind that not everyone’s the same, and some people may even find it harder to focus when doing physical activity, but keeping yourself active is a win for your mental health in any case.

Exercise helps your brain release dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that make you feel rewarded and happy. Additionally, regular exercise can help you improve your cognitive abilities significantly, and studies have shown that it can also improve your memory.

These are all the more reasons to get an under-desk bike, even if you believe that you’re physically fit. Not only you’ll be working your leg muscles, but the “muscles” in your brain as well, and your work productivity should benefit greatly from all these improvements as well.


As we’re at the end of our post, let’s remember some of the crucial points we’ve covered.

There are many benefits to using an under-desk bike. One of the most important benefits is improving your heart health. It can also help with circulation and blood pressure, and overall health.

Moreover, an under-desk bike can also be used as a prevention tool for diabetes. It’s an excellent way to motivate yourself and improve your memory.

All in all, we can safely answer the question “does an under-desk bike work?” with a confident “yes.” While an under-desk bike can not replace going to the gym or lifting weights, it can still be a great way to get your cardio workout in regularly, and last but not least, it can also improve your work productivity due to improved mood and mental health.

Lastly, if you still want to be more active but don’t like the idea of pedaling, you can get a standing desk chair, which should get you moving more. If you’re interested, you can find some of the best standing desk chair options in our buying guide.

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