Under Desk Elliptical Vs. Walking Pad: Which Is Best For Your Work From Home Workout?

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If you work from home, looking at your number of steps at the end of the night could be quite disappointing, since those who work outside the home, even if they have an office job, undoubtedly get more steps. This is because they have to travel some distance each day, even if it's just walking to their car or through an office building. In fact, according to Healthline, the typical office worker takes over 7,500 steps a day. Those who work from home may not be getting even close to this number, as the farthest distance they most likely traverse is from their bed to their desk.


Because of this, many of those who work from home choose to exercise while working. While there are many machines to choose from, two of the most popular include an under desk elliptical and a walking pad. Deciding between these two options will come down to factors like your budget, available space, and the amount of concern you have about health benefits.

What are the overall benefits?

It's important to keep in mind that, because you're going to be multitasking, your workout probably won't be as extensive as it would be if you were only focusing on exercise, whether you use an elliptical or a walking pad. This means that your heart rate will not increase dramatically and that you probably won't see a huge physical difference.


However, this doesn't mean that these at home workouts are pointless, as they can improve your health in a number of ways. Even just standing instead of sitting could increase your blood flow, and being more active will help you burn more calories than you would while just sitting at your desk. Also consider that, though the exercises may not have you drenched in sweat, they will increase both your heart rate and body temperature, which could cause you to drink more water, and staying hydrated could help you to feel better. If you often feel stressed or anxious, these exercises could also help you relax and may improve your mood. 

Under desk elliptical

The first option is an under desk elliptical. Basically, this is a set of two pedals that are used like a stationary bike while sitting at a desk. Because of their small size and ease of setup, these devices are great for those who don't have a large space or who want something that's easy to maintain. They will help you burn calories and possibly reduce stress while working.


There are a number of options on the market to choose from, all with different prices. However, don't expect to spend under $100. One of the cheapest choices on Amazon is from Sunny Health & Fitness and retails for $116.81, as of January 2023. This elliptical tracks your speed, calories, time, and distance while also allowing for eight different levels of resistance. Or, for $259 on Amazon, you could try out the DeskCycle machine, which is more compact and offers many of the same benefits as the other choice.

Walking pad

Another popular choice is a walking pad. While this option may take up more floor space, some types can be folded and easily stored underneath a couch or a bed. This choice may also provide more health benefits, as you'll be standing instead of sitting, which will increase blood flow. While similar to a normal treadmill, these types are completely flat and don't have a bulky front to them, so they can fit underneath your standing desk.


If you're looking for a top-of-the-range foldable option, there are plenty of choices on the WalkingPad website, where the cheapest option is on sale for $480 as of January 2023. There are also walking pads available on Amazon, though many cost around the $450 mark. Also take into consideration that you'll probably need to purchase a standing desk to make use of the walking pad while you're working. You can pick up a basic standing desk for around $70, and one of Amazon's middle-of-the-range options from Smug costs $147.96.

Which option should you choose?

When determining which of these two devices is the better choice for you, the most important thing to consider is your budget. An under desk elliptical is most likely going to cost you less than a walking pad, especially when factoring in that you may also need to purchase a new desk.


However, there are also some other considerations to factor in. First, determine whether or not you'd be able to multitask while biking or walking. Perhaps you'll find that sitting down and using the elliptical would be easier for productivity than standing up and walking on a pad. Second, factor in that a walking pad may be more beneficial from a health standpoint, since it requires you to stand up and move more. Finally, think about how much space you have to store the item. While an elliptical could most likely fit underneath your desk even when not in use, a walking pad is much larger and will need more consideration for storage.