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After trying several popular treadmill desks, I've come to the conclusion that the idea setup would be an elliptical desk. An elliptical desk has several advantages:

  1. Elliptical machines are lower maintenance. There's no motor and there are a lot less moving parts.
  2. Elliptical machines are quieter.
  3. Elliptical machines offers lower impact exercise.
  4. Elliptical machines are less tiring. There is less perceived exertion when you use elliptical machines. 
  5. It is so much easier to type on a elliptical machine than a treadmill.

Right now I'm using one of those laptop holders on my elliptical machine. In terms of fluidity and ease of use, it beats treadmill desks hands down. The only downside is that the laptop holder is wobbly, and I'm afraid of going too fast and dropping the laptop.

I would gladly pay $1,000 - $2,000 for a well-made elliptical desk.

Right now, there are only two options and both are pitiful:

This elliptical machine office desk costs $8,000! And it doesn't even allow you to stand up. 

I've tried putting a mini elliptical machine under my desk. Unfortunately it is little more than a glorified stepping machine and does not offer the fluid stride length of a real elliptical machine.

My plea to you guys is:

  1. If you know of any good ways to modify an elliptical machine to work with a standing desk please let me know!
  2. If you work in the fitness equipment industry, please explore this option. Trust me, these things will FLY OFF THE SHELVES.

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A standing elliptical desk seems awkward to me. But I'd love to see it if you come up with something. If only I had 8K for that desk. 

I totally dismissed elliptical machines as well. That's why I spent so much time experimenting with treadmill and steppers.

I was very surprised when I found myself working really well on an elliptical machine.

For most people it will take 2-3 sessions on an elliptical machine to find their balance and rhythm. But once you find it, it is actually very smooth (if you find the right elliptical machine that fits your stride length, I think).

What do you specifically mean by an "elliptical device?" I work out at they gym and see a number of devices that could be called "elliptical." Some have a handlebar that you can use to assist in the exercise (forcing your chest etc. to do some of the work).

What prevents you from creating your own by buying an adjustable desk and using it with your elliptical.

Like bdrhoa said, I think it would be awkward trying to use a desk set up with an ellptical machine but might be worth you trying.

Hi Steve. When I say elliptical machine, I meant something like this. That's not the exact machine I have, but it is the type I'm talking about.

Of course, to make it fit under a desk, we'll need a version without the handle bars and the monitor.

It isn't easy to set this up myself because I don't know how to disassemble an elliptical machine so that I can keep only the bottom half and get rid of the top half. :)

I am familiar with that type of ellipctical device. I have used one like that when at the gym exercising.

One option might be to build your desk platform and cut the handles off the device. (Somewhat joking and somewhat serious).

I have been able to read books and study at times when on an elliptical trainer like that. Interesting idea about making one you could work on your computer at.

cut the handles off the device

That's actually pretty close to my plan Steve. =)

I won't cut it, but I might disassemble my elliptical machine and see if there's a way to put it together again without the handles.

One thing I noticed when using one of these machines at the gym is the height required to use one. I am sure you have taken that into account but am just saying in case.

I use my treadmill desk in my basement and am pretty sure I couldn't use an elliptical down there.

For me, the eliptical as a suplement to all those things is helpful. I use  http://jonsguide.org/best-proform-elliptical-reviews/  The eliptical is easier and it lets me read while on it. 45 minutes on an eliptical with a book burns a lot more calories than 45 minutes reading the book in my chair. Looking at that comparison, the 600 calories supposedly burned, even reduced by 31% is still helpful. So I wouldn't throw out the eliptical, just not expect too much from it.

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