One of the greatest drawbacks of a desk job in the 21st century is that you have to spend most of your time hunched over a computer screen. Sedentary work adversely affects your posture, flexibility, mobility, work productivity and can put you at increased risk of multiple medical conditions like back pain, stiffness, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an average healthy adult needs at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. While that doesn’t seem like much, most people are so caught up in responsibilities- a 9 to 5 job, commuting to-and-fro office, adhering to family needs- that is almost impossible for them to take out time for a workout. Others, like me, are downright lazy and dive into a couch as soon as they are done with their daily office ordeal.
As legit as some of these excuses are, some sort of physical exertion is still necessary. It is fundamental to your physical and cognitive health and should not be missed in any circumstances. Thankfully, most workplaces recognize that and allow employees to keep exercise equipment at the office, making the office a viable location for workouts. Some go even as far as having local gyms, onsite yoga, and Pilates classes, but that’s a topic for another time.
If you look at it, it only makes sense. You spend more time in the office than at your home and, in most cases, enjoy more privacy at the office than at your own house. Also, apart from their obvious benefit to your physical health, short bursts of physical exertion can help get the blood flowing, leading to improved concentration, which ultimately translates to increased productivity at work.
All you need for adopting an active lifestyle is some effective office exercise equipment. Given you get to choose from hundreds of thousands of products, this seems easy. In reality, however, the availability of these many products is a double-edged sword. You are spoiled for choice and constantly bombarded with lucrative, over-the-top advertisements, making it extremely difficult for you to make an informed decision. So be this guide! By listing down some of the best office exercise equipment, we intend to simplify this bemusing process for you as much as possible.
Best Exercise Equipment for Office
Before we proceed to listing down the products, it is only fitting that we discuss what makes a tool click as office exercise equipment. First and foremost, it should deliver an effective workout. The ability to offer a full-body workout is an added incentive, but not a requirement. What is a requirement, however, is the ability to be discreet. You, definitely, don’t want to disrupt office activities while you go about your business unless you are fed up with your job and looking for excuses to be fired.
For the purpose of this read, we have divided the products into 3 categories, namely:
- Good for core strength and posture
- Good for keeping the blood flowing
- Good for toning the muscles
Good for core strength and posture
As the name suggests, this category will feature the best office exercise equipment for building up core strength, aligning the spine, improving posture, and preventing back pain and stiffness.
As mentioned already, one of the greatest drawbacks of an office job in the 21st century is that you have to spend most of your time hunched over a computer screen. This leads to weakened muscles, frequent back pains, and can, potentially, wreck your posture. Given the demanding nature of office jobs, loss of core strength seems inevitable. It, however, doesn’t have to be this way because all of it can be avoided by simply swapping in your traditional chair for a balance/stability ball.
With a balance ball, you have no choice but to sit upright, because otherwise, you’ll rollover. This will, ultimately, engage your muscles and strengthen your core. To be honest, I am really surprised why Balance Balls aren’t as common as they should be because they are not only fun but also mightily effective as office chair exercise equipment.
If a balance ball is too flashy for you, you can always opt for a comparable balance ball chair. It is equally effective at improving back health and core strength. The ball chair was created with the purpose of promoting proper spine alignment, and preventing back pain and resultant soreness, making it one of the best exercise equipment for the office cubicle.
The micro-movements of the chair force you into engaging your mind and body, resulting in an increased level of productivity. So, if you are looking for an alternative to your cumbersome traditional office chair, look no further.
One valuable compact exercise equipment to have for the office is the Disk Wobble Cushion. The frisbee-shaped cushion can be added to any seat to add instability, and consequently, engage your muscles and strengthen your core. Like other similar products on this list, Disk Wobble Cushion can help relieve neck and back pain, and improve one’s posture.
Disk Wobble Cushion is particularly beneficial as in-office exercise equipment because it is affordable, easy to set up and use, and quite discreet. Once you are done, you can just deflate it and place it in the drawer. It is worth mentioning that the featured product doesn’t come with a pump, so you will have to make arrangements for that.
Good for keeping the blood flowing
Sedentary work for 8-10 hours can lead to a build-up of fluid in the lower legs, which can make your lower limbs appear swollen, flunky, or tight. The office exercise equipment featured below helps prevent that and also helps you lose weight.
If you work in a 6 x 6 Cubicle or would like to keep your new active lifestyle discreet, you can opt for resistance bands. These are incredibly effective and will, surely, be a great addition to your workout kit given they can be used for both upper body and lower body exercises. Resistance bands can be integrated into your Yoga, Pilates, and CrossFit routines to increase strength and flexibility.
While almost all resistance bands are similar in cost and attributes, we opted for Potok’s because they are latex-free. So, even if you are allergic to latex, you can’t really go wrong!
Pedal Exerciser is proof that exercise equipment doesn’t have to take up a lot of space to deliver a quality workout. It will conveniently slide under your desk, allowing you to tone your limbs in unison with completing your day’s work. As far as office desk exercise equipment goes, Pedal Exerciser is one of my favorites, because:
- It is discreet and inexpensive
- Fits under the desk
- Offers incremental growth- one can easily adjust the resistance level to meet his needs. With time, resistance levels can be increased as needed
It is worth mentioning that the pedal exerciser keeps the blood flowing and in doing so prevents the build-up of fluid in the lower legs induced by sedentary work.
All of the office exercise equipment featured on this list till now has been compact and discreet. Exerpeutic’s Desk Treadmill is neither, and still, it is one of the best exercise equipment for office workers. It redefines “working on the go”, allowing users to work in unison with walking. The machine has some notable advantages:
- Helps relieve joint paint
- Keeps the heart pumping and blood moving
- Helps you cut down on gym time
That being said, the machine is for a very select group of people who can efficiently carry out office tasks on the go. I, for one, am not one of those people. It is also worth noting that the Treadmill isn’t suited to cubicle use. Given its bulk and space requirements, an average-sized cubicle cannot accommodate the exercise equipment. That being said, it fits perfectly in an office gym scenario.
Yoga Mat as exercise equipment for the office is a no-brainer. Indeed, it is one of the first and foremost things that you should get, irrespective of whether you are a yogi or not. That’s because, other than its apparent use in yoga, the mat can be used for numerous other exercises like:
While you can’t really go wrong with your choice of product, we opted for Retrospec Solana because it is extra-thick, durable, Bpa-free, and easy to clean. It, however, does release a harmless odor initially, so it is best that you air it for a couple of days before first use.
Why walk when you can ride? Forget walking while working, FLEXISPOT’s desk exercise bike enables you to ride your way through work. While it inherits quite a few issues from the semantically similar desk treadmill, it is more pragmatic as an office exercise option, owing to:
- Relatively lower consumption of space
- Significantly lesser weight
- And most importantly, because I am biased towards bikes in general
All my nuances aside, FLEXISPOT’s desk exercise bike is, undoubtedly, one of the finest exercise equipment for office use. With its user-friendly pneumatic adjustment lever, it fits all sizes. It also supports my favorite quality in an exercise tool- the ability to offer incremental growth without the need for additional investment. With 8 resistance levels, you can work your way up to greater fitness levels.
If you aim to work out in your office efficiently and discretely, you cannot go wrong with Stamina’s 55-1602 Inmotion Elliptical. It slides under the desk, is easy to use, and will enable you to get a workout as you sit, without attracting any sort of undue attention. For its compact shape and size, the health benefits are surprisingly immense. Not only does the machine relieve stress, but it also keeps the blood flow going and prevents the build-up of fluid in the lower legs.
Stamina 55-1602 Inmotion Elliptical features adjustable tensions with a display monitor, that will come in handy as your fitness levels grow. It can be used while sitting or standing, although it is worth mentioning that the former depends on the height of your desk, and legs in general.
Almost 4 years ago, I tried my hands on a mini stepper and was pleasantly surprised by how good a workout one could get out of it. 4 years later, mini-steppers are one of my favorite exercise equipment for lower body workouts. For the unversed, mini steppers consist of 2 pedals that move up and down to mimic stair climbing motion, helping you tone your lower body and lose weight. You can also combine them with resistance bands for full-body workouts. Mini steppers are ideal exercise equipment for the office because of their compactness, and consequent portability.
Unsurprisingly, not all mini steppers are of the same quality. You won’t see too many mini steppers match or better the performance of Xiser’s Mini Stairmaster. The product sets itself apart with its durability (cast of airframe alloy), portability (weighs 14 lbs), and value per dollar.
Good for toning the muscles
While almost all the products listed above can help strengthen your muscles in one way or the other, the products featured below have “toning the muscles” as their sole objective.
When I think of workouts, the first exercise equipment that comes to mind is the dumbbell. Given how good a workout you can get with Dumbbells alone, that is hardly surprising. The dumbbells stand out because:
- They are relatively inexpensive
- They hardly consume space
- And most importantly, they can be used for an array of exercises. Indeed, their greatest selling point is their ability to improve upon pre-existing exercises to deliver a more optimal workout.
All of these qualities magnify the utility of dumbbells as office exercise equipment. Got a hard-earned break? Lift some weights. In the middle of a boring online meeting? Pump some iron. Going out for a walk? Carry them with you for full-body exertion.
MummyFit’s adjustable hand trainer is a great tool to strengthen your forearms, wrists, and hands-on the go. It is compact, and will easily fit into your office drawer, making it one of the best exercise equipment for the office desk.
Owing to its almost indestructible steel and nylon construct, and its wide range of crush resistance (55 – 154 lbs), MummyFit’s grip strengthener is one of the best hand trainers available on the market today. It is, also, totally safe to use, given the tool works with spring coil compression. Unsafe tools of a similar type work with the stretching of the coil, which can potentially lead to equipment failure and flying shrapnel.
3. Ankle Weights
While they may appear silly, ankle weights can help you burn a couple of extra calories, tone your quads and build up lower body strength. They do so by adding resistance to your passive everyday movements. Given the undeniable utility and the fact that your trousers will hide them, ankle weights are must-have small exercise equipment for the office.
So, how do you use them? Well, for starters, you just go about your business. Every now and then climb some stairs or perform some leg extensions and see them gains. If you are into yoga, Pilates, or dancing, just wear them during workouts for greater fitness levels.
4. Friendly Swede Stress Balls
Stress balls are proof that office exercise equipment doesn’t need to be depressing. It can very well be fun. Egg-shaped, colorful swede stress balls are anything but depressing. No prizes for guessing, they help strengthen grip, relieve joint pains, and train forearms and wrists. While these seem like significant health gains, they fade in comparison to stress balls’ main objective- relieving stress.
So, anytime a colleague triggers your inner Cersei or your boss is being irrational, just sit tight and squeeze the stress ball.
If you are like most people, you would like to monitor your progress every day. More importantly, you may want personalized workouts with step-by-step coaching. While you are at it, you may also want to hear songs. Fitbit’s Ionic Watch does all that and much more, forming your perfect workout partner.
The revolutionary tracker watch can:
- Use GPS to track routes and pace
- Track pulse
- Store and play over 300 songs
- Offer personalized workouts with step-by-step coaching
- Access your favorite apps
- Make payments on the go
- Run for 4 days on a single charge (varies with use and several other factors)
In today’s age of lengthy office hours, hyperactive social life, and shrunken “me time”, regular visits to the gym are almost non-viable. Hence, it is imperative that one get a workout whenever and wherever he can. In this regard, an office is a practical option because let’s face it, as much as we want to make our bosses believe otherwise, no one works 8-10 hours on a trot. We all take breaks! Indeed, by working out during these breaks, one can achieve greater productivity, and in turn, make up for these breaks.
In our quest to find the best office exercise equipment, we couldn’t help but stumble upon some fantastic budget-friendly options. If you’re looking to maintain your fitness routine without breaking the bank, you’ll definitely want to check out our detailed guide on the best home gym under $500. It’s a great resource to discover affordable yet effective fitness gear that can seamlessly blend into your office space. So, whether you’re outfitting your home office or just seeking budget-conscious exercise solutions, this guide has got you covered!
All you need to get started is some of the best exercise equipment to keep at the office. The products featured above present feasible options because almost all of them meet our requirements of being effective and discreet. It is worth mentioning that you can’t really choose between the products listed above. They work on different parts of the body and fulfill different objectives. So, your choice comes down to personnel bias and fitness requirements. If I had to choose one, for example, I would choose FLEXISPOT’s desk exercise bike because:
- I am biased towards bikes
- With my current physique, I could do well with a cardiovascular workout
The above example just goes on to prove that in the case of office exercise equipment, there is absolutely no one-fits-all solution. So, understand your needs and buy the product which you like the most (given, it fulfills that need).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the best exercise equipment for the office?
To each his own! There is no objective answer to this question. It all comes down to needs and biases. For example, if you want to lose weight, cardiovascular exercise equipment is the best for you. On the other hand, if you intend to tone your muscles, you may prefer dumbbells or hand strengtheners.
How do I keep fit in an office job?
You work out. As simple as that! You have two choices: dither Take breaks for short bursts of physical exertion while you are working or Work out before or after office hours. Personally, I prefer the former. Owing to long working hours, family responsibilities and a hyper-active social life, most people would find it difficult to take out time after office hours.
How much should I work out if I have a desk job?
According to numerous studies on sedentary lifestyle, people who work desk jobs 8 hours a day should try to exercise an hour every day. Similarly, people who work desk jobs for an average of 6 hours a day should aim to work out for 30 minutes every day.
Do under desk exercises work?
Yes! Under desk exercise machines can help you burn calories, albeit slowly. Using under desk elliptical, for example, you can burn 150 calories an hour. Although that’s a decent number, under desk machines can’t deliver an effective workout by themselves.