I try to be very intelligent in my approach, so that I can make the best decision, but...
Experience is a great teacher, so I posted the two major shifts and decisions I made, at the end of this piece.

You can't afford to not do this, as the health effect of sitting too much is deadly.  Read Sitting Can Be As Bad As Smoking, for why I finally decided to highly, highly recommend this strategy.

Remember the criteria is that the machine must be very usable, in an excellent location, and a place where it will be used often!  (See Making Exercise Easy And Enjoyable.)
Do not be too ambitious, as that will most likely fade - get one that is easy and enjoyable first.

(There's lots of used equipment around that is considerably lower in cost.  And, of course, you should test it before buying.)


(I link only to the more inexpensive, so you can go from there on up the line if you wish.  All are 4 star or above, on Amazon.  If you can pick up a used one that is good enough and not just a junker, go for it.  Of course, more expensive ones will have better quality, so consider those carefully also.  See some of the measurements of the "footprint" size of the various types of equipment.)

Treadmill, most recommended, can move your body and read.  (most can be moved 
   (might make a little noise, but new ones don't make much), make sure not too short
   of a "track" (on the cheap ones)
Recumbent bike (takes more space, replace a chair in the room; all these bikes have a
    flat, comfortable seat [avoid the ones with smaller seat]) 

    Basic -Below $200 (22" x "54)
    With movable "arms", for upper body (caution here, if you want to read, arms
         might not be far enough apart...) - Consider instead the one below with stepper.             The pull bars are wider apart so there is enough room between them to hold a '               book or computer and just peddle  
    With movable arms and "elliptical" stepper (15 inch wheel only) - Below $400 - Sit
       or choose to stand, step, exercise arms - Versatile option (45 x 24), another
       alternative is under upright bike list .  Walmart Body Rider 3-in-1 Trio Trainer,
       $310, $5 shipping.  A bigger "step"/pedal is easier, plus big seat!
     With programs - About $280 and up.  For about $400, I bought the Schwinn 270
        Recumbent Bike - see comments in My Choosing, below this section. 

Upright stationary bike (the seat problem, uncomfortable, so buy softer, padded seat; 
     upright bikes may be harder to sit on and read.)

     Basic (31.5 x 18)
     Bike/elliptical/arms combo

The fitdesk approach (my emotional favorite as it seems pretty sexy and to offer all the
    benefits, though I picked another one) about $300 - it has a small desk so you can
    do work, etc.

Spin bike - Mostly for the avid, but you can do a "leisurely" movement for 5 minute
   breaks (again, the uncomfortable seat, so buy a soft cover…) 20" x 48.5"

Hideable, small alternative, under desk, or movable to anywhere:  If you can't have a
   machine sitting out, such as in the office and you want something that takes no
   space and makes no noise: Folding short peddler cycle. might not work as
   well as a machine you sit on.  Get a sittable one for home, for sure.

Factors: (Read the reviews, via the links above)

__ Height (make sure it fits your height if you are on either of the extremes)
__ Quality, soundness of construction
__ Comfort
    __ Seat particularly (get softer padded one if necessary)
    __ Want a back on it (to support back)
__ Meet the athletic level needs, for those who have been proven to have higher goals
    over the long term - don't be too optimistic!
__ Floor space - Where will it fit, replace a chair?
__ Storable, foldability if a factor
__ Heart rate monitor is a good feature available on many, as we want to get you up to
    at least 65% of "maximum heart rate".


Once I realized that I needed something to replace the alternative I never use (walking or marching around the house) and that I also needed to do more than just a little movement to break the sitting problem for health, I knew I needed to get a home alternative.  The key for me was that I could easily just read or use my iPad, so exercising (moving) would be "no sweat", so to speak. (I don't watch TV, so I could instead watch a video on my iPad or other small computer.)

As with many new things, low familiarity with the field, not knowing if machines would break or if I'd pick the wrong one, and trying to imagine the effects caused some confusion, so I "wrote it up" and let it sit until it all settled - and then bought the machine, from Amazon.  (I just decided that if something broke outside of the warranty period, I would just buy a new one and say "so what?!"  Or to quote my great mentor and idol, Alfred A. Neuman: "What, me worry?")

I'm 6'5", so I had to be sure to check the "height" on the checklist above.  I went and tried a few out (Sears) to get more of a feel for it.  (Before moving to this community where I am two blocks from a recreational facility, I had a treadmill for years, but I had never thought of getting on it for 5-10 minutes at a time besides my normal stint.  If I did not have the recreational facility that I use easily and often, I would select the treadmill for home, and, yes, I would put it in the most usable location, in front of the TV screen, despite it not being so pretty...).


The machine I bought was the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike (Amazon), as I felt more confident of it than the 230, for about an extra $100 or so. 

However, the seat was uncomfortable for me, so I bought a seat pad, which turned out to be far to small for the seat (oops!), which is 18" at the widest, so I managed to buy one that would barely fit across, though it didn't fit all the way back (but it stayed on and was ok) and left the smaller gel seat seating on top.  That worked.

In retrospect, it was not the easy, breezy machine I thought it would be, as I didn't like using it.  I should have bought a treadmill and only considered a recumbent bike if I could no longer walk on a treadmill. 

It sat there and sat there, though I know I would have used the treadmill alot.  The fact that you must "keep up" with the belt works alot better than pacing myself on the recumbent bike. 

However, when I became absolutely committed to NEVER allow myself to be in less that a "good" range of energy, I just made myself get on it for 3-5 minutes to pump myself back up to my Homeostatic Power Zone.  I will NOT tolerate letting myself spiral down or remain in a low energy state, as that is NO WAY TO LIVE!  To repeat, one should never allow oneself to live below the level of full fuctioning and feeling good!  So I use it as one of my Energizing strategies during my breaks (or I nap or rest if that is more appropriate).  The bike energizes me more than the breathing techniques or walking or other exercises - and it does it more quickly, although I also recommend very deep breathing to be combined with it. 

You can really get yourself going with a "high intensity training" (for 7 minutes or so) session.


The reclining bike was "ok" but not very usable for me.  And I didn't tend to bounce much on the rebounder, though it was nice at times. However, I needed something that forced the speed.  Only a treadmill fit that criteria.  I also wanted to have it be easy to just hop on it at various times, especially when I was dropping in energy.  But to spend much time on it, I needed to be able to do something else while I was doing it.  It faces the TV, so I can watch TV (I have no subscription so I can only watch movies).  So I either read a book or use my iPad (whereon I can type, using my SurfShelf Treadmill Desk ($40). I perhaps overbought, but I wanted something fairly powerful, ending up with a ProForm 2000 (I paid to have a professional put it together) .   [I also have a recreation facility, that is included in my HOA dues, two blocks away.]

Anytime I want to read or do many things on the internet, I hop on the treadmill (wearing my slippers with the rubber soles), and I type anything I need, using my Clamcase keyboard, which converts my ipad to a laptop, for easy typing! 

This works, all theory aside!  (The only criteria for doing anything lies not in the "idea of" but in actually getting the desired optimal results!)

(If I did more work at the treadmill, I would have considered the LifeSpan TR1200-DTS Treadmill Desk.  If I were still working in a private office, I would have it in a far corner, and just tell clients I use it to stay sharp during the day...)

Oh, I now use the Fitbit Blaze (black), instead of my Apple Watch, as I don't have to tell it when I go to sleep or start exercising.  However, I set the Sleep Cycle night time monitor on my iPhone and look at that every morning to see that I have a 100% sleep quality score, sleeeping on my new mattress and outragously expensive pillow ($200 if you don't catch a "sale").  (While we're at it, I use the Fitbit "smart scale", with body fat %, connected by bluetooth to the computer which graphs and records every weighing.)


An old comment:

Getting this solved a key problem of getting me into more movement, so I'm quite happy with this realization and having filled it.

And it kicked up my "steps" count recorded on the flex band monitor   substantially.  (Fitbit is a fancy step counter, with online tracking and intensity scores plus sleeping hours...and there are a few other things you can track.)

Making Exercise Easy And Enjoyable - This increases the odds of exercising hugely!  

From the web

Recumbent Exercise Bikes Vs. Upright Bikes - I agree!

What about "programs" to vary intensity

If I do not have a program built in, I will tend not to do the high intensity part of the exercise, which has huge benefits (see High Intensity Interval Training).  

Some machines have the capability of having a program automatically change the resistance or speed, so that you get a workout that includes the benefits of high intensity spurts

Given the benefits of those spurts to your overall health (and calorie burning during rest, later), I would recommend paying the extra money if you'll be using your machine for anything more than a convenient machine on which to get some movement. 


I now, as described in final section of this page, have a home treadmill, I can hop off and onto for quick refreshers and also regular exercise. 

The exercise bike flopped, for me. 

I do use the gym treadmill to warm up for my twice weekly fitness training.


If you don't have an easy means to exercise, even for 5 minutes during a break, you will not be likely to exercise. If the machine isn't where you normally sit a lot, it won't be used - so it has to be in front of the tv and/or be such that you can use it to read.

This is easy...and hugely time saving!