Cubii Review: Is Seated Cardio a Thing?

Cubii Review: Is Seated Cardio a Thing?


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Cubii is an elliptical exercise device that can be used while seated. The brand claims that their product "enables a full-body workout experience from wherever you love to sit."

But are seated, low-intensity workouts actually good for health or are they a waste of time? Can Cubii cause weight loss? Which Cubii device offers the best value? And what retailer sells Cubii for the best price?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze medical research to give our take on whether seated, under-desk "workouts" can actually improve health or if they're a waste of time and money.

We'll discuss whether Cubii can support weight loss, which Cubii device is the best deal and how Cubii compares to a treadmill desk.

We'll also feature real, unsponsored Cubii user reviews and provide a cost comparison highlighting the retailers selling Cubii for the best price.

Are Low-Intensity Workouts a Waste of Time?

Many consumers who are considering the Cubii are probably thinking: can using an exercise device from my couch really improve my health?

Low-intensity workouts are defined by the Cleveland Clinic as workouts that increase heart rate but still allow you to have a conversation. Typically the heart rate stays below 50% of its maximum capacity.

We would consider Cubii to be a low-intensity exercise device, although this will vary based on the fitness of the user.

A medical review published in the Sports Medicine journal found that low-intensity exercise improved physical and mental health in older adults, with depressive symptoms decreasing by 29%.

A 2022 clinical trial found that low-intensity exercise improved fatigue.

While the methods of exercise were different in the linked trials than the Cubii provides, we consider the Cubii likely to improve health in sedentary individuals, because medical research suggests that increasing movement and heart rate has positive health effects.

For individuals who already regularly engage in low-intensity exercise like walking or hiking, the Cubii may be a waste of money.

But can Cubii cause weight loss? We'll review in the next section.

Does Cubii Cause Weight Loss?

We can't find any clinical trials testing the effects of Cubii on body weight, but any type of exercise can support weight loss assuming that calories consumed don't increase which can have a counteracting effect.

A 2019 medical review examined the health benefits of indoor cycling, which is similar to indoor seated elliptical use, and one of the results tracked was weight loss. In all nine clinical trials analyzed in the study, participants performing indoor cycling exercises lost weight on average.

High-intensity exercise tends to cause greater weight loss because it burns more calories, but low-intensity exercise like Cubii can be a great weight loss option for older patients or those who aren’t physically fit enough yet for higher-intensity exercise (like a patient who is obese or has a lung condition).

Another potential benefit of Cubii for weight loss is that it the device can be more comfortable to use than intense exercises. Higher-intensity exercises like sprints can be physically uncomfortable, even for trained athletes, and this can lead to people quitting altogether.

We would recommend that patients with pre-existing health conditions get a doctor's clearance prior to using Cubii.

But how do real users rate and describe their experience using Cubii? We'll review in the next section.

Real People Try Cubii

A YouTube creator named "TailHappyTV" published a thorough review of Cubii with over 80,000 views that analyzes its features, compares it to other home exercise brands like Peloton, and shares overall thoughts about whether or not it's worth the money:

The popular "Insider Business" YouTube channel with over 7 million subscribers also reviewed Cubii in a video that's only 90 seconds long:

Which Cubii Model is the Best Value?

Cubii sells a variety of devices ranging in price from $199 to $449 at the time of updating this article.

Cubii Total Body+ is the most expensive model, retailing for $449. 

This device combines the cardio from the elliptical with a rowing machine, so it offers the ability to engage in more intense exercise. This may be the best choice for consumers looking to lose weight or seeking greater cardio benefits. 

Cubii JR2 is the cheapest model, retailing for $199.

We consider Cubii JR2 to be the best value. Given that the purpose of Cubii devices is to increase calories burned and facilitate exercising from home, purchasing the cheapest one seems to be a logical choice (especially for those without much exercise tolerance).

We haven't come across any clinical trials showing one Cubii device to be superior to another, and since all Cubii devices can increase heart rate and calories burned, it seems to make sense for most consumers to go with the cheaper option.

Where to Get the Best Price

Cubii devices are sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for the JR2+ and Go models:

Cubii JR2+

Walmart: $248 (third-party seller, link)

Best Buy: $249 (free shipping, link)

Amazon: $205 (free shipping, link to Amazon listing)

Cubii Go

QVC: $299.99

Walmart: $299 (free shipping – link)

Brand website: $299 (free shipping, link)

Amazon: $299 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Cubii is priced within a narrow range at all retailers, but the brand's website, Walmart and Amazon appear to be the best options at the time of updating this article.

Cubii vs. Treadmill Desk

Treadmill desks are one of the most popular at-home exercise devices. They operate on the same principle as the Cubii; reducing hours spent sedentary to improve health.

There is extensive medical research on the effectiveness of treadmill desks for improving overall health. A medical review published in the Preventative Medicine journal analyzed whether standing and treadmill desks could improve the health of individuals with sedentary office jobs.

The study authors found that treadmill desks were more effective than standing desks. Those using treadmill desks experienced improvements in HDL cholesterol levels and postprandial (post-meal) blood glucose levels.

A 2017 clinical trial found that intermittently using a treadmill desk significantly reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared with a traditional seated desk. This suggests that treadmill desks may prevent chronic stress.

Based on the available research, we would recommend a treadmill desk over Cubii. Both devices are likely to improve the health of sedentary individuals, but treadmill desks involve the whole body and may improve blood flow further.

There is also more medical research on treadmill desks than Cubii, which is a novel device that doesn't appear to be clinically tested.

Funmily Treadmill Desk (link to official Amazon listing) is our top pick for a treadmill desk because it has excellent Amazon reviews, is height-adjustable and costs less than the Total Body+ model of Cubii.

Real Customers Review Cubii

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

Cubii JR2 (the same model we recommended) is the most-reviewed Cubii device on Amazon at the time of updating this article, with over 2,000 reviews and an average review rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Jen C" who claims the product has improved her quality of life at her desk job:

"It is wonderful. I can now pedal while I type, read emails, and sit on Zoom meetings. I feel like I have a bit more energy when I leave to go home at the end of the day...I feel like I'm doing something and it helps me to get motivated to do even more after work. Would recommend, especially when stuck at a desk most of the day."

The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from an anonymous Amazon Customer who disagrees with the marketing claims made by the brand:

"Bad marketing about this machine being 'digitally connected', nothing about it is digitally connected. It is a regular exercise bike, and they just have an app where you can manually enter data. This should be more explicit in the item description."

Cubii Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of Cubii in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Can make working from home healthier
  • Usable by people of all ages and fitness levels
  • May help with weight loss
  • Less expensive than most gyms after one year of use
  • Mostly positive online customer reviews
  • Low risk of injury

Cons:

  • Doesn't appear to be clinically tested
  • Seems inferior to treadmill desks for overall health
  • Cheaper models require manual data input

Cubii FAQ

What muscles does the Cubii work?

Because it’s an elliptical device, the Cubii will work the quads, hamstrings and calves primarily. It’s a lower-body workout that will engage the leg muscles.

Does Cubii work?

The Cubii is likely to be effective for reducing sedentary time, and burning calories, if it’s used regularly. However we don’t believe it’s the best workout product for these outcomes; a treadmill desk would be better in our opinion.

Does Cubii burn calories?

Cubii is a low-intensity exercise machine, so it does burn calories. Any type of movement burns calories. Even walking is an effective way to burn calories.

Cubii hasn’t published any research regarding how many calories are burned per hour using their devices.

Is Cubii good for seniors?

We believe that Cubii is likely to be a good option for seniors, because it’s a low-impact and low-intensity form of exercise. Seniors tend to be more sedentary than younger adults, and the Cubii can help them be active for more hours of the day, even when sitting on the couch.

Because it’s low-impact, the Cubii may be less of a risk for joint injury than more intense forms of exercise like jogging.

Can you stand on a Cubii?

We don’t recommend trying to stand on a Cubii and use it like a traditional elliptical machine. This is not what it’s made for, and doing so can increase the risk of falls and injuries.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

The Cubii is an innovative exercise device, and we support the development of any product that can improve the fitness and reduce the sedentary time of Americans.

Given that the device is likely to increase heart rate and would be categorized as low-intensity exercise, we consider Cubii likely to improve health in sedentary individuals, and it may be an especially good option for individuals with joint pain because it's low-impact.

For a healthy person, we think treadmill desks are a better option because they get the body out of a seated position and there is a significant amount of medical research suggesting that treadmill desk use improves health.

Cubii JR2 is our recommended model, because it's the cheapest option and we haven't seen any convincing evidence that the more expensive models are superior.

Cubii Total Body+ is the best option for those seeking a more intense workout because it comes with a rowing machine, but it's more than twice the price of the JR2.

For consumers looking to purchase a Cubii, the brand's website, Walmart and Amazon currently have the best prices.