Pain Free Working

Desk Bike Guide: How To Correctly and Effectively Use It

Desk pedals, desk ellipticals, and under-desk bikes — these devices may be referred to by different names but they all have the same purpose: to help you exercise and stay active even while sitting at your desk. Having a desk bike can help you incorporate more movement into your days, therefore negating some of the ill effects of sitting for long periods or having a sedentary lifestyle.

Whether you’re someone who already owns a desk bike or you’re still considering getting one, this article is for you. Read on and follow these simple tips to know how you can use your desk bike correctly and effectively. 

How to Use Your Desk Bike Properly

Before you start pedaling off on your desk bike, here are some tips to help you out in using your desk bike in the correct manner. Follow these pointers and you’ll find yourself becoming a natural with your desk bike as you go along. 

Stabilize Yourself

Pedaling in an office chair that has caster wheels will be quite difficult. You’ll end up rolling farther and farther away from your device and your desk. Instead of scrambling to hold on to your desk, it’s important to ensure that the wheels of your chair are stable. There are office chairs available in the market that have a lock-in mechanism to keep the casters stationary. 

If your chair doesn’t have a lock mechanism, you can try to tether your chair to the pedal unit or replace the wheels of your chair with a locking variety. If those don’t work, you can ditch your wheeled chair altogether and switch to a stationary chair. 

Additionally, you can mark the ideal placement of your desk bike on the floor. That can save you time from having to figure out the positioning all over again if ever you decide to take your desk bike out and return it to your workstation. 

Pedal Downward

Pedaling downward can also help in keeping your chair and your bike in place. To do this, start by pushing down on the pedal when the pedal arm reaches the 1 o’clock position. Don’t apply too much force to the pedal when it’s at its lowest position. It’s also important to remember to point your toes forward as this position keeps your heels from hitting the floor. 

Start Out Slow

It’s important to start out at the minimum resistance level. This will give you the chance to get used to your device and pedaling downward, especially if you’re not a regular bike rider. Increase your resistance once you get used to pedaling. Your initial workouts should be no more than 30 minutes, otherwise, your muscles will end up sore. Once you get used to the pedaling and the resistance level, the more pedaling will become second nature to you. 

Sit Up Straight and Keep Your Upper Body Still

When pedaling on your desk bike, only your legs should be moving. Keeping your upper body and head still makes it easier to focus on what you have to do. It’s also vital to sit up straight as you use your desk bike. This can help in strengthening your core and reducing pressure on your spine.

Support Your Back

You might have to sit towards the edge of your chair in order to use your desk bike. Placing a lumbar cushion behind you can help support your back and keep you comfortable while you pedal.

Don’t Hit Your Knees

The number one concern among desk bike users, old and new, is hitting their knees against the bottom of their desks. If there isn’t enough clearance under your desk, you’ll end up with sore, injured knees. This issue can also plague taller individuals.

One way to counter this problem is to have an adjustable-height desk. An adjustable desk can give you, your legs, and your desk bike the exact clearance needed. You’ll also be able to keep your chair close enough to your table so that you can type and work without straining yourself. 

Another solution that you can do is to lower your chair. This can also provide space for your knees. If you find it difficult to type with a low chair, you can get an ergonomic keyboard tray to position your peripherals at a height comfortable for you.

Bottom Line

Cycling while working can take some time to get used to. There’s a learning curve to it; your muscles might become sore the first time, you may struggle to find a good position, you may find it challenging to pedal and do your tasks at first too, and so on. It takes a conscious effort to pedal as you work. The more you pedal, the more you’ll get used to it, and it’ll be easier over time. We hope that this guide has helped you out in using your desk cycle in the most optimal manner. 

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.