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We’ve all been spending a lot of time working from home lately, and that makes it tough to keep active throughout the day. Even if you aren’t clocking into a traditional nine-to-five job at a Fortune 500 company every morning, it’s virtually impossible to avoid desk work altogether. Thanks to an endless number of bills that need to be paid, letters that need to be written, and forms that need to be signed, desk jobs are a curse that many of us face each morning.
This reality is unfortunate, not only because sitting at a desk for hours on end can be mind-numbingly boring, but also because it’s bad for your physical health. It’s been proven time and time again that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a seemingly endless number of health problems including heart disease, depression, and muscular atrophy.
The likelihood of developing one of these ailments only grows the more you stay seated, which has sinister implications for those of us who spend most of our days behind a desk. Enter the “bike desk”—an incredibly simple yet ingenious solution to getting exercise while your working either at home or at the office. These contraptions operate exactly as they sound, by allowing you to either passively or actively workout while you get work done. It’s the definition of a win-win scenario, and there are a variety of bike desks to choose from depending on your specific needs.
So, whether you’re trying to add some activity throughout your day or replace gyms if yours is currently closed, here are some of the best and most productive bike desks money can buy ahead of the holiday season.
Exercise equipment is rarely cheap, so it should come as no surprise that exercise bikes with fully functional desks attached to them may be a little more pricey than their desk-less brethren. Still, if you want to stay fit without devoting an extra hour or two each day to a gym that almost certainly contains no desks, these combo gadgets are likely worth the investment. This simple bike desk is ideal for professionals who want a simple-yet-effective way to workout or even relax while they tackle either a literal or metaphorical pile of work in front of them.
Ideal for working on paper, a laptop, a tablet, smartphone, or virtually any other device, this bike features a state of the art high torque three-piece crank system, which makes it easy to quickly adjust the resistance level to match your workout needs. It comes with a heart pulse monitoring and a “double drive” transmission system that ensures you’ll be able to stay on top of your fitness stats and stay on track to meet your goals, and it even folds down neatly so you can move it from room to room with the attached transportation wheels.
Perhaps most importantly, this bike is extremely comfortable, thanks to a 1.5-inch AirSoft seat that provides enough padding for extended workout sessions. This seat also brings aerodynamic healthcare technology that allows air to breathe through the fabric so you won’t have to worry about sweat build-up.
It even comes with an adjustable sliding desktop, can support up to 300 pounds of weight, allows for 8-level tension resistance, and boasts a fully functional LCD computer that allows you to monitor everything from calories burned to time, speed, heart rate, and more. At just over $200 for the basic model, it’s actually not too expensive to start getting fit while you’re busy working in the office or at home. If you do want more functionality, however, an extra $100, you can add workout programs and Bluetooth support to the bike.
You’d be excused for thinking that when it comes to something as seemingly simple as a bike-desk combination, there isn’t much room for variety, but you’d be wrong. Depending on your work and exercise needs, some bike desks may be more suitable than others for you and your family. This FLEXISPOT bike desk offers a bit more functionality than the Exerpeutic at our number-one spot, but it’s significantly elevated price bumps it down to the runner-up position since most people will likely not need all of the bells and whistles this bike has to offer.
Meant to act primarily as a standing desk (which also aids in circulation and productivity), this all-white gadget offers whisper-quiet peddling that makes it ideal for using at home while you’re watching a show or trying to concentrate on your work. In fact, a major downfall of most bike desks is that the peddling sound can be distracting, and this bike desk does away with that issue once and for all. It’s fully adjustable—meaning that anyone who falls within the height range of 5’1” and 6’2″ will be able to enjoy a workout while getting their work done—and there’s a user-friendly pneumatic adjustment lever that moves the desk bike seat up or down with a gentle press, meaning you won’t have to worry about using cumbersome pins or knobs in order to get the job done.
Another added bonus is that the actual desk of this bike desk is uniquely large, so you’ll be able to fit everything from papers and laptops to iPads and smartphones right on the desk simultaneously when you multitask. Finally, since there are only a few individual parts, this bike is extremely easy to setup, unlike some competing models that often require expert installation (or at least a skilled sibling).
Bringing things back down to a slightly more reasonable price point, we find this FitDesk bike, which offers a wide range of features that make it a great choice for those who are perhaps more concerned about exercise than desk work. Although the desk is notably smaller than most, this bike is super quiet and features a high velocity flywheel that allows its user to select a variety of intensity settings for their workouts.
The desk—although relatively small—features a unique non-slip surface so you won’t have to worry about sliding papers or phones, and there’s a built-in tablet holder that makes it supremely easy to watch movies or read eBooks while you’re working out. There’s also an all-purpose easy storage tray for miscellaneous items and massage rollers that are positioned to make typing while exercising surprisingly comfortable.
You’ll have full access to a digital resistance meter that tracks your mileage, calories, and time, and the seat-back is fully adjustable and extendable so you’ll be able to sit in either an upright or semi-recumbent position (or any position in between) for the duration of your workout.
Things just got serious (albeit expensive) again. We return to Flexispot for out final option on this list. The Deskcise Pro makes multitasking easier than ever by offering a large and multilayered non-slip platform that can hold a tablet or book, and you’ll be able to customize the height of the tray from 37.5 to 41.25 inches using a simple knob.
There’s a LCD monitor that allows you to track calories burned, distance, and time, and the flywheel can be adjusted in order to attain your ideal workout ranging from light movement to a full-fledged cardio exercise. This bike is also incredibly comfortable, thanks to a sliding seat rail system that offers easy adjustment and solid locking. It’s not the most advanced option on this list, but it’s a solid choice—even if it’s expensive compared to the rest of the options.
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