Fitdesk Review

Bike While You Work

FitDesk Bicycle Desk
FitDesk Bicycle Desk. Courtesy of

The FitDesk is an affordable, compact bicycle desk. If you find yourself being sedentary most of the day, this desk lets you use a laptop or engage in other activities while you cycle. Research is showing the health risks of sitting still too much throughout the day.

You can turn normally sedentary time into active time, burning more calories per day. For those of us who get much of our exercise from walking or running, a stationary cycle uses the opposing muscle groups—the quadriceps instead of the hamstrings and gluteus.

FitDesk v2.0 improved upon the original design. The desk area is adjustable. It has an adjustable armrest with contoured massage rollers. It has a seat back so you can choose to lean back or forward. It has a storage drawer for small items.

FitDesk as a Simple Solution for Inactivity

While I get in plenty of walking, I also spend most of my day working at the computer. I also don't give my opposing leg muscles much of a workout. The FitDesk sounded like a nice solution. First, the price was right, at under $250.

The FitDesk arrived in one box and only needed a couple of things assembled with the tools included. You need to attach the foam desk surface to the handlebars, and you need to attach the seat, pedals, and the legs it balances on. It weighs 47 pounds, so you may want help if you have to carry it upstairs.

For normal usage, the desk can be left standing, or you can fold it to take up slightly less space. The original FitDesk is 37 inches front to back and 18 inches side to side. FitDesk v2.0 and v3.0 are both 28 inches by 16 inches.

The FitDesk is meant to be used for a low-intensity workout, so the tension on the cycle doesn't go up very high. You want to be able to pedal while doing your normal work on the computer, gaming, watching television, or reading. It's meant not to be distracting, but to give you more activity. If you are looking for a bike workout to get your heart rate up, this isn't it.

The FitDesk has a weight limit of 250 pounds for the user. I felt it was pretty stable for my use. The seat is moderately comfortable. You don't need padded bike shorts to use it for 30 minutes at a time. I found it most comfortable to use for 15 minutes at a time.

Usage Computer

FitDesk comes with a usage monitor that shows your workout duration, distance, and calories burned.

Silent But Healthy

The FitDesk is pretty much silent to use, which makes it perfect to use in an office set-up or while watching entertainment. You can silently cycle while you do your normally-sedentary activities.

With the FitDesk, it's hard to use excuses that it's too cold, hot, wet, or windy to get in some activity as a work break. You can't say you're too busy, either. You can use it while on the phone, texting, answering email, writing, working on spreadsheets, or reading reports from others. Nobody really has to know you are actually using the cycle.

As opposed to a treadmill desk, I like being able to sit and cycle. It is easy for me to use a keyboard while cycling, as opposed to walking. Others may find walking slowly at a treadmill desk to be less distracting. I had no motion-sickness problem with the FitDesk, which can be a problem when trying to read while using a treadmill.

I usually slip into a pair of minimalist athletic shoes when using the FitDesk at home. But it will work with most shoes. Because you aren't raising your heart rate significantly, you don't have to change into any special workout clothing to use it. Unless you are wearing a tight or very-short skirt, any office or lounging clothes work just fine.

Comparison FitDesk vs. DeskCycle

The DeskCycle is a small pedal cycle you can place under your regular desk to pedal while you work. I preferred the larger range of tension I could get with the DeskCycle vs. the FitDesk. I also liked being able to use my regular computer set-up rather than a laptop.

Bottom Line on the FitDesk

I am very pleased with my FitDesk. I can use it in my home office without disturbing my husband. Every bit of activity helps.

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2 Sources
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  1. Owen N, Healy GN, Matthews CE, Dunstan DW. Too Much Sitting: The Population-Health Science of Sedentary Behavior. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2010;38(3):105-113. doi:10.1097/JES.0b013e3181e373a2

  2. Ando R, Kondo S, Katayama K, Ishida K, Akima H. Neuromuscular activation of the knee and hip extensor muscles during high-intensity interval and moderate-intensity constant cycling. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2019;44:64-69. doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2018.11.012