Office workers spend over 40 hours a week at their desks. But do you know what happens to your body when you spend that much time sitting down?
Well, sitting for extended periods of time is associated with several health hazards, including heart disease, muscle degeneration, poor circulation in your legs, a bad back, and more.
Luckily, even if you’re tied to your desk, there are several ways you can get a quick workout in. These days, you can get workout equipment to use at your desk and many of them are affordable, portable, and won’t take up too much space.
We’ve scoured the market to find the best exercise equipment for desk jobs that will allow you to get your body moving whether you’re busy typing or in the middle of a conference call.
Choosing the Right Exercise Equipment For You
There are two main considerations when deciding which fitness equipment will be suitable both for you and your work environment.
First, you need to think about your main objective. Do you want to improve muscle tone, burn calories, promote blood circulation or lose weight? Consider your main area of concern; is it your lower or upper body?
Secondly, think about the environment that you work in; do you need something portable, something quiet, or something that fits under your desk?
Thinking about these things will help you to narrow down your options and focus on a piece of equipment that will help you achieve your goals without the need of a personal trainer.
Here, we focus on three different types of equipment:
- Under desk exercise equipment
- Exercise Chairs and Resistance Chairs
- Standing Desks
Some of these will be more suitable in an office environment, while other equipment may help you survive working from home. The aim is to find something that will offer you the best results, while fitting comfortably in your workspace.
Under Desk Exercise Equipment
This equipment can be easily stored at your desk or under your desk, and covers both lower and upper body exercises.
Under Desk Elliptical
Under desk ellipticals are basically pedal machines that you can use under your desk. You just need to slide it under your desk at the most comfortable position for your posture, place your legs on the raised pedals and you’re all set.
As mentioned before, there are many health problems that evolve when you sit for long periods of time, such as obesity, heart risks, and metabolic diseases. Therefore, when you use an under desk elliptical or treadmill desk, you will be getting some sort of activity and promote blood circulation.
Using your Under Desk Elliptical Correctly
Your desk chair should be comfortable and tall enough to allow your legs to reach the elliptical. Your posture should be straight, and your desk should be high enough for your knees not to thud against it.
Our 5 Top Picks
1. FITDESK UNDER DESK ELLIPTICAL
This elliptical has a low pedal rotation height, meaning that you won’t thud your knees against your desk. It is very compact, and easily fits under your desk at just 25 inches in height. This elliptical comes with magnetic resistance control, allowing you to adjust the resistance, as well as a foot-shifter, so you can adjust it hands-free while you work.
The well-balanced and high velocity wheel means that you can efficiently pedal for long periods of time while not generating lots of noise. The product comes with a detachable display panel which you can place at your desk, and handily track your progress.
2. STAMINA IN-MOTION ELLIPTICAL TRAINER
This elliptical trainer has a multifunctional monitor tracking your fitness progress, providing you with calories burnt, stride count, time spent, and strides per minute. It also allows you to change exercises and activate different muscles in your legs as you are able to reverse the pedalling direction.
3. DESKCYCLE DESK EXERCISE BIKE PEDAL EXERCISER
This under desk exerciser has a pedal rotation of just 10 inches, so you can use it under shorter desks without banging your knees. You can calibrate it to different resistances, from easy to heavy resistance, depending on your preferences.
First quality components are used in this machine and mechanism, with its electronic display that shows you the distance travelled, calories burnt, pedalling speed, and time spent – result!
4. IFIT MINI ELLIPTICAL/STEPPER
This mini elliptical can be used under your desk, as well as for stand up exercises. The machine can be adjusted to three positions, adapting it to sitting and standing positions. The wheels are secure with the inbuilt rolling chair lock, and the large rollerblade wheels ensure a quiet operation while being resilient to wear and tear.
The monitor will display calories burnt, speed, distance travelled, and time. You can easily adjust the resistance from easy to hard with a tension knob.
5. SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS SF-B0418 MAGNETIC MINI EXERCISE BIKE
This lightweight and compact design is very portable, and its patented magnetic mechanism allows for noiseless and smooth operation. The micro tension knob gives you eight levels of resistance adjustment.
You can adjust your preferred intensity from easy to hard, and the LCD screen, which runs on batteries, will display calories burnt, ODM, distance, speed, and time.
Exercise Chairs and Resistance Chairs
There are various models of exercise chairs, some which will replace your existing office chairs, while others are attachments that turn your regular office chair into an exercise or resistance chair. These types of chairs were originally designed for therapy and rehabilitation of people with mobility impairments, but now everyone can reap their benefits.
Our 4 Top Picks
1. CHAIR GYM TOTAL BODY WORKOUT
This exercise chair is the best for people with desk jobs that want to have an easy access to exercise and want to promote weight loss, agility, and movement. The bands in the chair will give you three resistance levels, from beginner to advanced, so you know you’ll be getting a proper workout no matter your fitness level. The Chair Gym comes with two different strength bands, which you can combine to get a full body workout, including arm and leg exercises.
Another good thing about the Chair Gym is that you can use it anywhere. You can replace your office chair if you are looking for a straight back chair that doubles as a mini gym, or fold it in the corner when you’re not using it.
2. OFFICEGYM THE OFFICE CHAIR TRAINER
The OfficeGym trainer attaches to your own work chair, so you are able to keep the seat that you’re used to – especially good news if you have an expensive ergonomic office chair. It has been professionally designed and crafted so the office exercise equipment can transform your chair into an office gym or fitness center, allowing you to strengthen and tone your muscles, along with burning calories right at your desk.
The OfficeGym’s “arms” are made of aluminium and can be placed in the down or up position, accommodating themselves to your desired exercise. The main body is fiberglass and nylon, making it high-quality and long lasting. The package comes with three different weights, making it great for varied strengths, so everyone can get a well designed workout no matter their fitness level.
3. ISOKINETICS INC. ADJUSTABLE FITNESS BALL CHAIR
This fitness ball chair gives you a different sitting experience than your regular office chair. If you are looking to improve your fitness while being at work, then this is a great chair as it is designed to force you to sit up straighter, strengthening your core and improving your coordination and flexibility.
The fitness ball is secured with a robust steel frame, so you don’t need to exert any extra effort in keeping the exercise ball in place. This chair is also mobile, with rolling wheels and hooded casters, ensuring easy gliding on all floor types.
The back support is comprised of polypropylene foam, offering comfort and convenience, and you can adjust the chair at four different height settings, making it ideal for different desk heights.
4. THE RESISTANCE CHAIR EXERCISE SYSTEM
With this resistance chair, you can get a full body workout while still being comfortably seated. By devoting a few minutes every hour, you can improve your balance and exercise your abdomen, legs, back, and shoulders.
The Resistance Chair comes with several accessories, and we recommend the Freedom Flex Shoulder Stretcher, as it will help maintain flexibility in your shoulders, while also improving your resistance to psoriatic arthritis and frozen shoulder syndrome.
As sitting at your desk for long periods of time can be dangerous to your health, a standing desk can be a great solution. People that have made the switch to standing desks experience a wide range of benefits, including weight loss, higher energy levels, reduced neck and back pain, better mood, and increased productivity.
Our 4 Top Picks
1. JARVIS STANDING DESK
When it comes to fitness and affordability, this is undoubtedly the best desk on the market. You can alter the desk frame height from 23.25 to 48.75 inches, making this desk suitable for people of all builds and heights. Another great feature is that you can pre-set four different desk heights, so you can alter the height just by touching a button.
Prolonged standing can wreak havoc on your feet and back, and the desk mat cushions them against any burden. We also recommend not standing in a single position for long periods of time, but moving around, stretching, and sitting on a high stool from time to time. Just keep moving!
2. VARIDESK PRO PLUS 48
This standing desk comes fully assembled and ready-to-use. You can place this add-on on top your regular work desk, instantly transforming it into a standing desk. Staying in just one position all day long (be it standing or sitting) can end up being detrimental to your body, but with this desk you can easily and quickly change the position, allowing you to move during your work day.
The working area is ample at 48”, and is divided into two tiers. You can place your monitor or laptop on the highest tier, leaving the lower one for your mouse or keyboard. You can adjust the height to a maximum of 11 settings, making this a great choice for people of all heights.
3. ERGOTRON WORKFIT-T
This desktop workstation weighs under 60 lbs, while still being strong enough to withstand up to 35 lbs of weight, including your computer, accessories, books, etc. It comes with a two-tier surface, but it’s still compact enough to save space due to its linear vertical adjustment.
The levers are simple to operate, and users of all heights and builds can comfortably use it, as you can adjust it to a height of up to 15” above the work surface where the Ergotron WorkFit has been placed.
Most desktop extensions can only be adjusted to a set height, but the Ergotron WorkFit has been designed to meet the ergonomic needs of all people, including tall ones with their 15” height extension. The gap between the two tiers ensures that you maintain your body at the correct posture, whether you are standing or sitting.
4. HALTER ED-600 STANDING DESK
This standing desk has been specially designed to address posture, mobility, neck, and spine issues at your workstation, boasting befitting ergonomics and an exemplary layout. You can find a lot of similar standing workstations which also come pre-assembled, but the Halter ED-600 stands out as it uses gas-spring technology and comes with squeeze handles, making adjusting the height super quick and easy.
Squeeze the handles to reach the desired height, and then you just need to let go, as the work surface will auto-lock. Therefore, you can continually change the position to allow you to sit or stand, reducing strain on your eyes and body.