Whether you work from home or live in an office from 9 to 5, most likely you’re doing a lot of sitting. And it probably doesn’t stop with work—maybe your commute involves lots of traffic, or maybe after a long day you just want to dive onto your couch and binge-watch Netflix.
Unfortunately, all that downtime might be slowly killing you. Studies have linked too much sitting to an increased risk of health problems like cancer, diabetes, and even early death. But did you know that too much sedentary time can also impact your productivity?
Work Out at Your Desk
Even if you have the motivation or time to squeeze in a gym session after work, it’s hard to counter eight hours of continuous sitting.
Short, periodic bursts of physical activity can help get your blood pumping and carry more oxygen to your brain, which helps you to think clearly and focus better. You’d be surprised how much a little movement throughout your day can leave you feeling more refreshed and less grouchy by the time you make it home.
All of this doesn’t mean that you have to change jobs tomorrow—fortunately, innovative solutions to this problem have already been created.
Special office equipment has been designed to limit your inactive time at work so you can still burn calories, feel better, and stay productive.
You can also pair these office workout essentials with easy exercises you can do from your desk!
Desk Fitness Equipment
Below are several pieces of equipment available on Amazon that can help you stay fit at work, along with simple exercises you can practice discreetly right from your desk.
1. Under Desk Elliptical
This portable mini elliptical fits discreetly under your desk and can be used while sitting or standing. Whether you’re entering data, attending a video conference, blogging, or even at home watching a movie, this compact strider will help you burn calories and tone your legs without interrupting your flow.
The machine also features a monitor that will track your number of strides per minute, total strides, exercise time, and calories burned, so you can stay motivated to keep moving. Tension can be easily adjusted to fit your desired intensity level, and the resistance is quiet enough to not cause any disturbance if you work in an office.
2. Under Desk Bike
You don’t need to be outdoors to channel your inner Lance Armstrong. This mini exercise bike also fits conveniently under a desk and features 8 levels of tension to vary your workout. The pedal straps make it easy to use as a bike, but they can also serve as handles for an arm workout when the machine is placed on top of a desk or table.
The digital monitor allows you to track your progress by displaying your time, speed, distance, and calories burned. Like the elliptical, this machine features a quiet magnetic system, so it’s suitable even for your cubicle.
3. Standing Desk
You may have heard about these standing desks, as many offices have begun to take greater notice of their employees’ ergonomic needs. With its simple and smooth height locking mechanism, this adjustable standing desk allows for a quick transition from seated to standing position, so you can spend a little less time sitting without hurting your neck.
Having the option to stand while you work at your computer will increase blood flow and also improve posture, which ultimately leaves you feeling more refreshed and able to focus on work. The desk is large enough to hold two monitors side by side and features a small storage space for office supplies and personal items.
*If you work in an office, discuss your ergonomic needs with your supervisor. Items like these might be covered as office expenses!
4. Anti-Fatigue Balance Board
An anti-fatigue balance board makes the perfect accessory to your standing desk. This wooden rocker will strengthen your legs and core, while keeping your body active to improve focus, reduce fatigue, and relieve foot tension.
Its surface even features textured pressure points that gently massage sore feet, and with its ergonomic design you’ll be able to work comfortably and more productively.
4. Chair Balance Disk
While it might look like a frisbee, this disc cushion can actually be added to any seat to help strengthen your core and improve posture. The cushion is comfortable while also adding instability, which will engage your abs and core muscles.
The balance disk can be used almost everywhere for “active sitting,” including outdoors or on hardwood and carpet flooring (which also makes it a great meditation seat). It’s also been advertised as a great alternative classroom seat for children affected by ADHD, as it can help them to release excess energy and stay better focused.
5. Ankle Weights
A pair of ankle weights, combined with taking the stairs a little more often, can help you build lower body strength and burn extra calories while you go about your day.
This set from Gaiam consists of two 2.5-lb ankle weights that were designed for comfort. They’re also adjustable, so you can make sure they stay in place without being too tight. Ankle weights also make a great addition to your yoga, pilates, or other cardio routines.
6. Free Weights
Keep a set of light dumbbells near your desk so you can tone your arms while making phone calls or drinking your morning coffee. This set from Amazon is available in a number of different weights, ranging from 1-20 pounds.
Try to find the size that offers just enough resistance for you. Keep in mind you’re not training for a body-building competition at the office (and you’ll probably want to avoid getting too sweaty).
Cost: $16 (varies with weight)
7. Hand Exercise Balls
Staying fit at the office isn’t just about breaking a sweat—you should also take care to reduce stress and tension. These hand exercise balls help to strengthen grip and reduce stress, as well as train your forearms and wrists. If you type or write a lot at work, these can be great for relieving tension and alleviating joint pain.
Buyers can choose from three size options (extra small, small, or large). Their egg shape and compact design make them convenient for your desk and even on-the-go use.
8. Resistance Bands
Like dumbbells, resistance bands are discreet enough for your desk but can pack a powerful workout to help you tone your arms, chest, legs, and glutes.
The Tribe Resistance Bands set includes five bands that can be used in combination for a maximum resistance of 105 pounds. Each band measures 48 inches in length and they can easily be anchored under doors, desks, or with the ankle straps included in the set.
Keep Moving, Even at the Office
Getting fit isn’t just for the gym—you can stay active even in your workplace! Whether you work from home or in a busy office, there are plenty of tools to help you get moving.
Find what works for you to ensure that your healthy lifestyle endures even after you clock in.
Do you have any tips for staying fit at work? Feel free to share them in the comments below!