Mini ellipticals can help you move more with your feet under your desk or while standing in front of the tv. Find out how many extra calories this can help you burn.
Something to note first is that there are standing and seated mini ellipticals. The seated ones are more popular but the standing models will typically burn more calories.
The average person can expect to burn around 53 – 91+ calories per 30 minutes of using a seated mini elliptical.
When using a standing mini elliptical, the average person can expect to burn around 77 – 132+ calories per 30 minutes.
These are very rough estimations but do give you an idea of what you can expect from these devices.
I will also go over more in-depth estimations for different body weights and time intervals, what details influence your results, and how to burn more calories with mini ellipticals.
Big influences in calories burned with mini ellipticals
Unfortunately, accurately estimating how many calories mini ellipticals burn is not easy. This makes it harder to get an idea of what your energy intake can be.
At the same time, you can still make your estimations somewhat better by learning what details influence your results a lot.
Knowing about these details can also help you make changes that increase the number of calories burned during mini elliptical workouts.
A few examples of details that influence your energy consumption with these devices a lot are:
- Weight: Throughout the day your body needs energy to function and move around. Generally, the heavier a person, the more calories they burn with activities like mini elliptical workouts.
- Standing vs seated: There are both standing and seated mini ellipticals. The standing models tend to require more energy from your body.
- Body composition: Two people can have the same weight but different amounts of muscle mass and fat. This matters because a certain amount of fat burns fewer calories than the same weight in muscle while using a mini elliptical.
- Intensity: The intensities of your mini elliptical sessions can vary a lot. Faster movements tend to burn more calories than slower ones.
- Resistance setting: Many mini ellipticals allow you to make rotations harder or easier. The harder you have to push, the more energy one rotation burns.
Estimations calories burned with a mini elliptical
While they are not perfect, MET values can be a good way to roughly estimate how many calories mini ellipticals burn.
These are numbers that indicate how physically intense certain activities are. You can then use the MET values in the formula below to get an idea of how many calories you burn per minute.
Formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
Unfortunately, I did not find good sources with MET estimations for mini ellipticals specifically. That being said, you can still make a few assumptions to get some idea.
For seated mini ellipticals like the popular Cubii brand, you can take the MET for sitting and fidgeting with your feet which is 1.8 (1). The reality will likely be a bit higher, especially at an intense pace, but this is not a bad estimation.
For standing mini ellipticals, you can take the same MET ratios of different stationary bike intensities and apply these ratios to the MET of moderate-effort standing elliptical usage.
Doing this results in a MET estimation of 2.6 for light effort mini elliptical usage and 3.5 for moderate effort mini elliptical usage.
The first two tables will show estimations for the calories burned when using the METs mentioned for different body weights and time intervals.
Additionally, you can also find a chart comparing using standing mini ellipticals at different intensities.
It is worth mentioning again that you should not take these estimations too seriously either. They are far from perfect.
Calories burned with a seated mini elliptical
Since the numbers below are for sitting and fidgeting with your feet, you can likely expect seated mini ellipticals like for example the Cubii machine to be slightly more intense.
Especially if you turn up the resistance and focus on pedaling at a fast pace.
That aside, the numbers below can still be helpful. Do keep in mind that these are the total calories burned in the time frames, not how much you burn extra.
|1 Minute||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||45 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|2 calories||27 calories||53 calories||80 calories||106 calories|
|2 calories||33 calories||66 calories||99 calories||132 calories|
|3 calories||39 calories||79 calories||118 calories||157 calories|
|3 calories||46 calories||91 calories||137 calories||183 calories|
Calories burned with a standing mini elliptical
Standing mini ellipticals tend to burn more calories because standing up requires more energy from your body. Especially with the extra balancing involved.
|1 Minute||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||45 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|3 calories||38 calories||77 calories||115 calories||154 calories|
|3 calories||48 calories||95 calories||143 calories||190 calories|
|4 calories||57 calories||114 calories||170 calories||227 calories|
|4 calories||66 calories||132 calories||198 calories||264 calories|
Calories burned at different mini elliptical intensities
There is a difference between casually using a standing mini elliptical while watching TV and really picking up the pace.
Below you can find a rough estimation of how much this difference is in a 30-minute time frame.
|Light Effort||Moderate Effort|
|77 calories||103 calories|
|95 calories||128 calories|
|114 calories||153 calories|
|132 calories||178 calories|
How to burn more calories with a mini elliptical
By now, you likely understand that you can influence how many calories a mini elliptical burns. More specifically, there are ways to get more results in shorter amounts of time.
As you can see from the tables above, really picking up the speed is one of these ways.
Pedaling more intensely on the mini elliptical tends to burn more calories.
Secondly, increasing the resistance setting on your mini elliptical can increase the number of calories burned per minute.
Keep in mind that you still need to be able to rotate the pedals at a reasonable pace.
Lastly, you can build extra muscle mass with resistance training exercises. This will help you burn more calories in your mini elliptical workouts and the rest of your day.
How long does it take to see results from a mini elliptical?
Burning calories may sound nice but you are likely interested in what this can do for you in terms of weight loss results.
While it is true that mini ellipticals can help you lose weight, there are still conditions. Your habits in areas like your diet need to be good enough to achieve results.
That aside, you can temporarily assume that all the extra calories burned come from body fat. This is often not accurate but does allow you to get interesting numbers.
A 155-pound (70 kg) person using a seated mini elliptical for 30 minutes a day can burn an extra 462 calories or about 0.13 pounds (0.06 kg) of body fat in a week.
If the same person keeps up this routine for a month (four weeks), they can burn an extra 1848 calories or about 0.53 pounds (0.23 kg) of body fat.
You can do the calculations for your own mini elliptical routine by knowing that one pound (0.45 kg) of body fat is around 3500 calories.
Is a mini elliptical good for burning calories?
While they do help to some extent, it is fair to say that mini ellipticals are not that great for burning calories either. There are definitely more effective options out there.
One benefit of mini ellipticals is that you can combine them with other activities you would do anyway. Adding a mini elliptical to your desk work or TV sessions does offer nice amounts of results over time.
On top of that, you can consider putting aside time for more intense cardiovascular or resistance training workouts. These can really help you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.