Under Desk Elliptical vs under desk treadmill

Under Desk Elliptical vs Treadmill – Which Wins the Battle?

Two popular choices for home or office workouts are under-desk ellipticals and treadmills. Both offer unique benefits and cater to different fitness goals. This article will compare under-desk ellipticals and treadmills, examining their features, advantages, and drawbacks.

Under Desk Elliptical vs Treadmill: Which One is Better for You?

What is an Under Desk Treadmill?

An under-desk treadmill, also known as a walking treadmill or a treadmill desk, is a specially designed treadmill that is compact and designed to fit underneath a desk or workstation.

What is an Under Desk Elliptical?

An under-desk elliptical, a pedal exerciser, or mini elliptical, is a compact exercise machine designed to fit underneath a desk or workstation.

What are the Similarities between Under Desk Treadmills vs Desk Ellipticals?

Under Desk Treadmills vs Desk Ellipticals

Under desk treadmills and desk, ellipticals are designed to provide exercise options for individuals who have sedentary lifestyles or spend long hours sitting at a desk. Despite their different forms, they share some similarities:

Compact Design: Under-desk treadmills and desk ellipticals are designed to be compact and easily fit underneath a desk or in limited-space environments.

Multitasking Capabilities: Both options allow individuals to exercise while performing other tasks, such as working, reading, or watching TV.

Low Impact: Both under-desk treadmills and desk ellipticals offer low-impact exercise options. They are designed to minimize joint stress, particularly on the knees and ankles.

Adjustable Intensity: Most under-desk treadmills and desk ellipticals offer adjustable intensity levels, allowing users to customize the difficulty of their workouts.

Portability: Both options are typically lightweight and portable, making them easy to move and store when not in use.

What are the Differences between Under Desk Treadmills vs Under Desk Ellipticals?

Under Desk Treadmills vs Desk Ellipticals

While they share the goal of promoting movement and activity during work or other stationary tasks, there are several key differences between under-desk treadmills and desk ellipticals:

Types of Exercise: Under-desk treadmills allow for walking or light jogging while working. On the other hand, desk ellipticals provide an elliptical motion for the legs and are primarily focused on lower body exercise.

Impact & Intensity: Under-desk treadmills offer weight-bearing exercise where users walk or jog on a moving surface. This weight-bearing nature provides an impact on the joints. On the other hand, desk ellipticals offer a low-impact exercise experience, making them gentler on the joints.

Range of Motion: Under-desk treadmills have a larger range of motion. Users can take full strides while walking or jogging. Desk ellipticals have a smaller range of motion, as users pedal in a circular or elliptical motion.

Size and Space Requirements: Under-desk treadmills are typically larger and require more space than desk ellipticals. On the other hand, desk ellipticals have a more compact design with smaller foot pedals that can fit comfortably under a desk or workstation.

Are under desk ellipticals worth it?

Under-desk ellipticals can be beneficial for reducing sedentary behavior and increasing physical activity for people who are sedentary for long periods and unable to exercise otherwise.

Benefits of an Under Desk Elliptical

Under Desk Elliptical

Low-impact: An under-desk elliptical does not put much stress on your joints, as your feet never leave the pedals.

Easy to use: An under-desk elliptical is simple; you must place your feet on the pedals and start moving.

Works more muscles: An under-desk elliptical works not only your lower body but also your core and upper body muscles.

Quiet: An under-desk elliptical does not make much noise, as no motor or belt is involved. It is ideal for use in an office or a shared space.

Does not require electricity: An under-desk elliptical does not need to be plugged in, as it runs on batteries or is self-powered by your pedaling.

Drawbacks of Under Desk Elliptical

May only fit under some desks: An under-desk elliptical may be too tall or wide to work under some desks, especially if they have drawers or cabinets underneath. You must measure your desk height and clearance before buying an under-desk elliptical to ensure it will fit.

May cause knee clearance issues: An under-desk elliptical may also cause your knees to hit the underside of your desk, especially if you have long legs or a low desk.

May not provide enough challenge: An under-desk elliptical may need to offer more resistance or intensity for some users, primarily if they are used to running or doing high-intensity workouts.

Does not work upper body: An under-desk elliptical does not work your upper body as much as a full-sized elliptical machine, as you do not have moving handles that you can push and pull with your arms.

Are under-desk treadmills worth it?

Under-desk treadmills can be used under a desk to increase physical activity and health while working. They have some pros and cons that you may want to consider before buying one.

Benefits of Under Desk Treadmill

under-desk treadmill

Simulates walking or running: An under-desk treadmill mimics the natural motion of walking or running, which can be more enjoyable and satisfying than pedaling on an elliptical.

Higher calorie burn: An under-desk treadmill can help you burn more calories than an under-desk elliptical, as walking or running requires more energy than pedaling.

Improves circulation: An under-desk treadmill can improve blood circulation by increasing heart rate and pumping oxygen-rich blood. It can help prevent blood clots, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure.

Can be used without a desk: An under-desk treadmill can also be used without a desk, as you can stand on it and walk or run as you would on a regular treadmill. It can give you more freedom and flexibility to exercise whenever and wherever you want.

Drawbacks of Under Desk Treadmill

Bulky: An under-desk treadmill is larger and heavier than an under-desk elliptical, as it has a motor and a belt that take up more space.

Noisy: An under-desk treadmill can make more noise than an under-desk elliptical, as the motor and the belt create some sound.

Requires electricity: An under-desk treadmill needs to be plugged in, as it runs on electricity. It means you will need to have an outlet nearby.

May cause injury or falls: An under-desk treadmill can pose some safety risks, as you may trip or fall off the belt if you are not careful or attentive.

Comparison: Under Desk Elliptical vs Treadmill

A table summarizes the main differences between the under-desk elliptical and the treadmill in size, weight, noise, price, performance, and safety.

Under Desk TreadmillDesk Elliptical
Cost$217.99 – $1999$97.99 – $369
Size177 – 980.20 in2173.46 – 434 in2
Heights suitable forBased on standing desk height rangeBased on desk height having adequate knee clearance
Average calories burned150 per hour160 + per hour
Noise levelsLow – moderate (6 – 70 dB)Low
40 – 162 pounds
7.71 – 37 pounds
Weight capacity200 – 400 pounds220 – 350 pounds
Maintenance levelsModerateMinimal
Can be used without a deskYes, if not a treadmill workstationYes
Workout intensityLow – highLow – moderate
Warranty1 Year1 Year


Under desk treadmill vs elliptical are two different types of exercise equipment that can help you stay active and fit while working at a desk. They have pros and cons and may suit different needs, preferences, and budgets.

An under-desk elliptical is a low-impact, easy-to-use, and quiet device that works more muscles and does not need electricity. However, it may only fit under some desks, may cause knee clearance issues, may not provide enough challenge, and does not work the upper body.

An under-desk treadmill is a high-impact, high-intensity, noisy device that simulates walking or running and improves circulation. However, it is bulky, heavy, requires electricity, and may cause injury or falls.


Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about under-desk elliptical vs. treadmill:

Are under-desk treadmills worth it?

Under-desk treadmills can be worth it if you want to burn more calories, improve your circulation, and simulate walking or running while working at a desk. However, they can also be expensive, noisy, and risky, so you need to weigh the pros and cons before buying them.

Are under-desk ellipticals worth it? Under-desk ellipticals can be worth it if you want a cheap, quiet, portable device that does not need electricity and works more muscles than a treadmill. However, they can also be unsuitable, ineffective, and boring, so you need to try them out before buying them.

What is the best under-the-desk treadmill?

The best under-the-desk treadmill depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. Some popular models are the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill, the Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill, and the RHYTHM FUN Treadmill Under Desk Treadmill.

Under desk elliptical or treadmill?

Under-desk elliptical or treadmill is a personal choice that depends on what you value more in under-desk exercise equipment. If you love low-impact, easy-to-use, quiet, and electricity-free, go for an under-desk elliptical. If you value high-impact, high-intensity, realistic, and circulation-boosting, go for an under-desk treadmill.

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