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If you spend most of your day working at your desk, then it’s a good idea to get a little exercise in while you do so. Standing desks can be helpful, but there are alternatives if the idea of standing on your feet all day makes you shudder. There are a number of great exercise options that can help with your posture, flexibility and mobility. If you’re worried about having space for the best desk exercise equipment, you don’t need to fret. Everything on this list can fit in your office easily and help with your fitness journey.
These discreet pieces of equipment can alleviate the stiffness and pain that come with a sedentary job. Our picks can help all desk workers to incorporate more movement and strength into their daily routines.
One of the worst parts about sitting at a desk for 8 or more hours a day is the fluid that accumulates in the lower legs. This can make your legs appear swollen and, in my experience, feel kind of funky and tight.
A foot pedaler, desk stepper, compact desk exercise bike or desk elliptical can encourage blood flow and prevent fluid buildup throughout the day. This pedal exerciser is inexpensive and has good reviews. You can fine-tune the speed level and intensity of your workout, and the textured pedals ensure your feet won’t sleep off the desk cycle.
If you want a more substantial workout than just a food pedaler or desk bike for desk exercise, check out this . Compression socks can also help with leg swelling.
One thing is for certain: Sitting all day wrecks your posture if you aren’t careful. A less obvious side effect is decreased core strength. You don’t use much of your core while hunched over a computer, so your muscles can start to weaken over time.
A stability ball can fix both your posture and weak core muscles. When you use a balance ball chair in place of a regular desk chair or office chair, you’re forced to sit upright and engage your core to avoid rolling or tipping over.
You can use a regular exercise ball like the one from Vive, linked below, or you can opt for a full-on balance ball chair, like .
Your hip abductors include all the muscles that move your legs away from the midline of your body. These muscles are also partly responsible for rotating your hips. Slip a mini resistance band around your legs, just above your knees, and push against the resistance for a leg exercise to strengthen those important muscles.
If you have a moment where you don’t need your hands, you can position a mini band around your forearms and press against the resistance to strengthen your shoulders.
This Gaiam mini band kit comes with light, medium and heavy resistance levels so you can continually progress.
You might feel a little silly wearing ankle weights at your desk, but you won’t be sorry about having these in your desk exercise equipment arsenal when your quads are toned and strong! Ankle weights truly don’t get enough appreciation: They’re so versatile. Wear them while you work and occasionally perform a set of leg extensions (keep your thigh planted in the seat and lift from the knee).
These adjust from one pound to five pounds, so they’re perfect for all fitness levels. Start with one pound and do a few sets of 10 to 20 leg extensions. You can keep working your way up in weight and reps. Aside from the strength aspect, leg extensions can help keep your blood flowing and prevent fluid buildup in your calves and ankles.
Balance is one of those skills that most people don’t know they lack until they’re forced to use it. If you have a standing desk, a balance board is a great tool for engaging your core, glutes, thighs and calves throughout the day.
You might be surprised to find that the muscles around your ankles and knees are sore when you start using a balance board, like this one from Revolution that has a grippy upper deck and an adjustable air cushion.
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