Exercise Desks, Ergonomics and Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle where you work for over 40 hours a week – mostly sitting at your desk – can put a serious strain on your body. Long periods of sitting reduces blood flow to your legs, which increases your health risks and is a strain on your body.
Every year, we set resolutions to take better care of our health, but toward the end of January, the excitement wears off. When the busy season rolls around, reducing stress and taking care of your health should become an even higher priority, but too often it gets put on the back burner.
You can make simple improvements in your health by investing in some exercise equipment for your office. There are so many options to help get you moving during the workday. In this article, I will share some of my experiences with office exercise equipment and other ways to move during the day that are easy to implement.
Here are a few options to improve your health while at work:
Stand Up Desk
Stand up desks are life-changing. Using a stand up desk encourages the natural movement your body requires, reduces strain on your body and improves your blood flow, which helps reduce health issues. You can adjust the desk to your preferred height level for optimal comfort. Standing is a great way to improve your health and keep your posture in check.
In our office, we invested in the Evodesk. We are much more productive and have less pain in our bodies. I have historically had problems with back pain. Using my stand up desk has dramatically decreased my chronic back pain caused by prolonged sitting at my desk. When I feel my back start to tense up, I adjust my desk to the standing position. I can feel the difference within minutes. Plus, when I am standing, I can do some stretches and move around.
Ergonomic Office Chair
Let’s be honest. You will want to sit at your desk sometimes even if you have a fancy stand up desk. For this reason, you should invest in a quality ergonomic office chair. I have one from Office Depot. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you should invest in a quality chair.
When sitting at your desk, the most important thing is to keep good posture. After many visits to the chiropractor and physical therapy, I learned much of my back pain is caused by poor posture and sitting at my desk for too long. I went to physical therapy to learn exercises to correct my posture. One big thing I was doing wrong was not sitting correctly in my chair. To get the benefits of sitting in an ergonomic chair, be sure you are using proper posture and sitting back all the way to get the support it was designed to provide.
Standing Desk Mat
Investing in a standing desk mat can help you work on balance, stretch or massage your feet. If you don’t want a mat but want a quick foot massage, one of my favorite hacks is to use a lacrosse ball to give yourself a quick massage and foot rub. Great for stress relief and free foot massage!
Under Desk Treadmill, Elliptical or Bike
Talk about being efficient. These pieces of equipment fit discreetly under your desk so you can exercise while you are working. I researched these options to learn about some of the benefits, since I have not personally used them in my office. The prices vary greatly, but they all look like great investments and seem to be equally beneficial. The key is to determine how much you are willing to invest and figure out what exercise you enjoy. If you love it, you will be more likely to commit to using it.
Some of the benefits of using under desk exercise equipment include improving your mood, reducing stress, and increasing creativity and productivity. Another bonus is that all the exercise will help you maintain healthy body weight. Here is a breakdown of three options for under desk equipment.
Incorporating a Treadmill Desk into your office can be a great way to increase your daily fitness. You can buy the desk and treadmill together, or if you already have a standup desk, you buy them separately.
Under Desk Elliptical
An Under Desk Elliptical allows you to add some extra movement into an otherwise stationery day. It is effortless. You can exercise throughout the day without thinking about it. It helps you keep your posture correct and fits discreetly under your desk.
Under Desk Bike
The Under Desk Bike is very similar to the elliptical. It has the same benefits. If you are more of a biking fan, this is a good option for you.
Hydrate, Stretch, Meditate
There are plenty of free ways to invest in your health and reduce stress. When it is time for a break, get up from your desk and walk around. Get some water or a healthy snack. While you are up, do a few stretches to help correct your posture and relax your muscles. Simple stretching and focusing on good posture are critical to avoid those problems.
Use an app for a quick workout or yoga in the office. You can also try meditation to recharge your energy. I use the Headspace app, which makes it effortless. You can choose a three-, five- or 10-minute guided meditation. Taking short breaks throughout the day for a few minutes every hour adds up. It also helps you avoid crashes in your energy level.
I bought a Peloton bike last year. I begged my husband. He finally gave in and let me buy it. The Peloton is a big investment, but it makes sense if you will commit to riding it at least two times a week. It was a no-brainer for me because I love spin classes and can’t always find the time to get to a class. Not to mention, the convenience of having it at home instead of spending the time driving back and forth to a gym.
I get a boost of energy in the morning and I’m back to my desk in under an hour. When I ride my Peloton, it forces me to work much harder than I would on my own. It keeps me disciplined and I try to improve my performance each time.
Habits For Success
Now that you have some ideas of options available, be sure to set yourself up for success. An easy way to establish a new habit is to set a reminder or alarm to get up to stretch, walk or exercise every 60 to 90 minutes throughout the day. A quick five-minute spurt of movement can lift your mood and restore your energy level without losing focus. Short breaks and exercise throughout the day are more beneficial than a single one-hour workout session. Even a quick 20-minute workout in the morning will energize you throughout the day.
Some days are hectic, and you may feel you cannot reasonably take a break every hour. This is where an exercise desk can come in handy. Choose an option to help you exercise without leaving your office. These are the days that you need exercise the most because you are tense and stressed with a heavy workload.
You don’t have to go to a fancy gym or class to get results. Make it easy to get a little exercise from the comfort of your office. Invest in exercise equipment to help make working out effortless and fun. Create a plan, make sure it is something you will enjoy doing, schedule it on your calendar and set the alarm on your phone. Do whatever it takes to create new habits for your health.
It’s much easier to commit to doing something if it’s something you enjoy. Get a buddy to keep you accountable, even if they are not in your office. There are lots of apps for tracking your progress, too. Reward yourself for following through. Keep it simple. Make time to move your body each day.