Elliptical machine keeps people active at desks

Elliptical machine keeps people active at desks

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The Cubii is designed to keep people moving while they're sitting down at work. (Source: WFLD/FOX) The Cubii is designed to keep people moving while they're sitting down at work. (Source: WFLD/FOX)

CHICAGO (WFLD/FOX) - A group of young entrepreneurs have come up with a machine to help workers get exercise without leaving their desks.

Cubii is an elliptical trainer that fits underneath a desk. It helps people burn calories and get blood flowing while they work.

It's the brainchild of three friends who were students at the University of Chicago.

"We realize that there's nothing designed for the office," said Shivani Jain, co-founder of Fitness Cubed. "I've used it while I was wearing dresses, and I'm wearing heels right now."

Arnav Dalmia, the CEO of Fitness Cubed, said they came up with the idea because he couldn't afford a treadmill desk, and his company wouldn't let him change the furniture in his office.

"The purpose of this is to keep you active while you're in the office," Dalmia said. "In no way is it trying to replace your gym time or your exercise time. Even if you go to the gym for 30 minutes a day, but if you're sitting inactive for long periods of time, it's still unhealthy to you, so that's what we're trying to change."

Jennifer Ventrelle is a certified personal trainer at the Rush University Prevention Center.

She said there's no harm in using the product, but she prefers people get up from their chairs and get moving.

"People say things like, 'I don't have time to leave my desk. I'm way too busy,'" Ventrelle said. "But you also have to think about your clarity and level of productivity when you're sitting there typing all day strapped to your desk."

The company said you can burn up to 120 calories an hour depending on your speed and resistance, but on top of that, it could help your mind be more productive as well.

"It helps you work better," Dalmia said. "It's an outlet that helps you focus when you're working."

In just three weeks, Fitness Cubed has raised $60,000 from pre-orders worldwide. They said anyone can benefit.

"Something we noticed was not just young people," Jain said. "Different age groups - a lot of older people who felt like their movement was restricted because of knee problems also expressed interest."

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