Do Mini Under Desk Ellipticals Help Weight Loss?

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Mini ellipticals can help you move more while seated in a variety of locations. Find out if they are good enough for weight loss.

Losing weight requires you to use up more energy than is coming in from what you eat.

Because mini ellipticals help you use a bit more energy, you can say that they have the ability to help you lose weight.

At the same time, you need to know that your habits in areas like your diet will influence your results a lot. Especially because mini under desk ellipticals are not the most effective for burning calories either.

If you have the time and your body can deal with them, you want to consider more intense workouts to lose more weight.

That being said, mini ellipticals can still be useful for being a bit more active during activities you would otherwise do almost completely static.

Can you lose weight with a mini elliptical?

Body fat is basically stored energy waiting to be used. The way you make this happen is by making it so your body needs more energy to do its work than is coming in from food.

That means mini under desk ellipticals work, at least to some extent, for losing weight since they increase how much energy your body uses.

On the other hand, these principles also mean that while you can lose weight with a mini elliptical, this will not always be the result.

If you have suboptimal habits in areas like what you eat, you could even gain weight while using your under desk elliptical more often.

Additionally, you also want to know how effective mini ellipticals are for weight loss compared to alternatives. There are only so many minutes in a day you can spend on moving more.

How much mini ellipticals help weight loss

Before going into how mini ellipticals compared to other activities, it is worth mentioning what weight loss results you can expect from this specific device first.

With the knowledge that one pound of body fat is about 3500 calories (one kg +-8000 calories) you can make some interesting predictions.

Do keep in mind that other areas like your nutrition will influence the actual weight loss results you get from mini ellipticals.

Additionally, the numbers of calories burned with mini ellipticals are rough estimations. Your actual results may vary due to a variety of factors.

There are also both under desk mini ellipticals like the Cubii brand and standing models.

A 155-pound (70 kg) individual who uses a seated mini elliptical for 30 minutes a day for 10 days burns about 660 calories during the workout. This comes down to around 0.19 pounds (0.08) of body fat.

30 minutes of using a standing mini elliptical at a light effort instead will burn about 77 – 132+ calories. Keep in mind that not all mini ellipticals are made to be used standing.

While the exact numbers are likely not perfect predictions, it becomes clear that using mini (under desk) ellipticals consistently can offer nice amounts of weight loss results.

Relevant mini under desk elliptical weight loss study

Knowing the theory and principles behind why and how mini under desk ellipticals can benefit weight loss is helpful but it can also be interesting to see how these things apply to real people.

One study divided 54 overweight adults working in sedentary desk jobs into two groups. The first group got ergonomic recommendations and workstation optimization.

The second group also got these things but also received access to a seated mini under desk elliptical.

They measured changes over 16 weeks in areas like weight, total fat mass, resting heart rate, body fat percentage, and indicators of work productivity.

The study observed that the group with the seated mini under desk ellipticals showed more improvements in health and productivity outcomes than the first group without these machines (1).

Calories burned mini elliptical vs other workouts

All the numbers sound and are nice but how good mini ellipticals are for weight loss compared to other tools and workouts still matters.

Knowing what kind of results you can expect from mini ellipticals is helpful but it is not the only important thing.

While using a mini under desk elliptical like the Cubii brand, you are not able to do other weight loss workouts.

Based on relevant MET values, some estimations are that a 155-pound person burns the following amounts of calories while doing the workouts for 30 minutes (2):

  • Using a mini elliptical (seated): 66 calories
  • Using a standing mini elliptical (light effort): 95 calories
  • Using a standing mini elliptical (moderate effort): 128 calories
  • Using a mini bike (moderate effort): 128 calories
  • Walking (3 mph/4.8 kmh): 128 calories
  • Using a standing mini stair stepper (moderate effort): 146 calories
  • Using a mini bike (vigorous effort): 176 calories
  • Elliptical machine (moderate effort): 183 calories
  • Stationary bike (moderate effort): 256 calories
  • Running (5 mph/8.1 kmh): 366 calories

These numbers are not perfect so you don’t want to panic if your weight loss results don’t align with your calculations.

At the same time, you do get an idea of how mini ellipticals compare to other options when it comes to losing weight.

Is a mini under desk elliptical a good workout for weight loss?

Mini under desk ellipticals like the Cubii brand models offer a light workout that can help you lose a small amount of weight.

That being said, the results will not be the most impressive. Especially not compared to the other workouts and gym machines available.

Even in a seated position, a tool like a mini bike pedal exerciser can help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.

Personal preferences aside, the main situation where you would choose a mini elliptical is to lose more weight while seated somewhere where intenser alternatives like the pedal exerciser would be too big or distracting.

At the same time, what you personally like doing should likely influence your workout choice.

More specifically, if you like using your mini under desk elliptical, you could find it easier to stay consistent with an exercise routine that includes it.

At least compared to other workouts you don’t like as much.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.