Studies have found that sitting for prolonged periods of time – like the 8-9 hours a day many people spend at their desks – has many harmful effects on health: reducing life expectancy and increasing the chances of heart disease, diabetes, mental health problems, and even certain types of cancer! It’s even been compared to smoking! Luckily, manufacturers of exercise equipment have come up with a bunch of creative ways to add more exercise into your life, even if you’re stuck sitting at a desk all day. Here are 10 clever fitness tools that will help you stay healthier and more active even while working, studying, playing computer games, or watching television:
1. DeskCycle Desk Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser
This compact and sturdy pedal exerciser fits right under your desk and allows you to pedal discreetly while you’re working. You can also use it with a chair while watching television, reading a book, or more.
2. FitDesk 2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar
The FitDesk 2.0, an exercise bike with an attached desk for working and peddling, gets rave reviews and is a great way to burn calories and get fit even if you’re stuck working all day long.
3. Gaiam Balance Ball Chair
Balance ball chairs like this popular and well-regarded model from Gaiam are not only a lot more fun than regular chairs, they can also help you improve your core strength and posture! Many users also report that they stay more alert, improving their productivity.
4. Garmin Vivofit Fitness Tracker
The Garmin Vivofit was ranked Best Fitness Tracker by The Wirecutter thanks in part to its super-long battery life (up to one year!), which makes it one of the most convenient trackers of its kind. For desk jockeys, couch potatoes, and other sedentary types, however, its most useful feature might be the insistent red band that appears in its display when you’ve been inactive for too long. Christina Bonnington of Wired.com described it as “the most motivating tracker” she’d ever tried.
Edit January 21, 2017: The Garmin Vivofit has now been replaced by the Garmin Vivosmart HR+, with even more great features!
5. Itopanda Dumbbell Alarm Clock
This alarm clock forces you to do 30 reps to shut it off. At less than 2 pounds, it’s not enough for a serious lifter, but can help novices start the day on the right track.
6. LifeSpan Treadmill Desk
If the FitDesk 2.0 intrigues you, but you prefer walking to cycling, check out the Lifespan Treadmill Desk! With speeds ranging from 0.4 to 4.0 mph, it’s a great way to do some gentle walking while working on your laptop.
7. MagneTrainer-ER Mini Exercise Bike Arm and Leg Exerciser
Another high quality and popular mini exercise bike that can fit under your desk. The MagneTrainer requires slightly taller desks than the DeskCycle listed above, but can also be used to strengthen your arms.
8. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Like the DeskCycle Desk Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser above, this elliptical trainer fits neatly under your desk or in front of your chair or couch to use while sitting down. Unlike the DeskCycle, it can also be used standing up, making it a good choice for people who want a home elliptical machine but don’t have enough room for a full-size one.
9. Trek Desk Treadmill Desk
If you liked the idea of the Lifespan Treadmill Desk, but balk at the price tag, this might be just the desk for you! This roomy desk is designed to fit over almost any treadmill and allows you to work comfortably while walking or gaming on your computer or laptop.
10. Work In Motion Exercise Resistance Bands
These resistance bands attach discreetly to your office chair and can be used to stay toned by doing curls or other exercises at work.
What is your favorite office exercise equipment?
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