desk exercise equipment

The Best Desk Exercise Equipment of 2020

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It can be a struggle to get a workout in when spending a long day at the office. So, why not take the time to learn how you can squeeze in a workout?

It isn't necessary to quit your job to stay in shape. If you were to add up all the hours a day you spend sleeping, driving, sitting, eating, and watching videos on the internet, you might find that it's a lot of sedentary time.

Desk exercise equipment has been created to save you from this destructive cycle. This kind of stuff can help you keep fit and healthy even though you have to stay in front of your desk all day long.

Sitting at a desk for a majority of the day, it goes without saying that it might hurt your health. It may even seem like there is no reason to go to the gym if you're going to end up continuously sitting the day after. But don't fret because there is a solution!

I have spent a lot of time investigating the different offers when it comes to exercise equipment suitable for the the office. In this article, I will reveal all of my top recommendations for exercise equipment you can use at a standing desk or during a conference call.

Best Desk Exercise Equipment for 2020

In this list, I'll break down the categories of exercise equipment that might be suitable for you, along with a product example.

Yoga Mats

Manduka PRO Yoga Mat

These durable mats are great for doing stretches, meditation, and practicing yoga.

For this kind of product, I would recommend the comfortable and durable Manduka PRO Yoga Mat

Unlike other yoga mats, this ultra-dense mat will never fade, peel, or flake. The dense cushioning will protect your joints from jarring impact and provide a stable workout surface. Another thing that makes this mat attractive is its closed-cell surface. It doesn't absorb sweat, bacteria, or dirt, so you can easily keep this mat clean.

PROS

  • A dense and extremely firm mat
  • Good balance between cushioning and stability

CONS

  • Some have complained of a slippery texture

Posture-Improvement Stool

Seville Classics Active Balance Non-Slip Stool

This is a kind of stool that wobbles slightly so that you'll be forced to maintain your balance by using your core muscles. For this kind of product, I recommend the Seville Classics Active Balance Non-Slip Stool. This stool will let you seat yourself 10 degrees of center and can be used as a backless rocking chair. 

It's similar to sitting on an exercise ball, which some people also claim is beneficial. Adjust the Airlift ring lever to raise the level of the seat for working at a standing desk. The stool can help give you rest once you get tired of standing. The included half-dome cushion is made from reflexive foam for comfort, while the base is rubberized to prevent slippage.

PROS

  • Sturdy and comfortable
  • Easy to assemble and adjust
  • Light and perfect for the office

CONS

  • Cushion material can be slippery

Stability Cushion

These cushions are excellent to relieve back pain, joint stabilization, shoulder aches, and muscle strengthening. For this product, I want to recommend the SueSport Air Inflated Stability Wobble Cushion. This model comes with two discs and a one-hand pump.

 Created to improve coordination, flexibility, and balance and posture. Just sitting on this disk works your core.

PROS

  • Small and lightweight
  • Works well for lower back and posture

CONS

  • Inflating isn't easy for some

Ankle Weights

Adding a little bit of resistance to your legs is another way that you can boost your fitness throughout the day. For ankle weights, I recommend the Sportneer Adjustable Weights. These weights come with five removable sand pockets. You can reduce the weight by removing the inserts. 

You can wrap them around your ankles or wrists with velcro. These weights come one-size-fits-all with anti-fray trim. They're made out of breathable fabric that keeps you dry and increases circulation during use.

PROS

  • Comes with wide straps that won't twist
  • Includes a metal buckle instead of a plastic one

CONS

  • Not suitable for all wrist sizes

Hand Exercise Balls

Hand exercises can be useful for the prevention and reduction of arthritis pain in the hands. For this purpose, I recommend these Hand Therapy Exercise Stress Balls. These squishy gel balls are firm and covered in a soft-touch fabric. They're latex and BPA free and release no unpleasant smells.

They're an excellent solution to strengthen the wrist and hands after illness, surgery, or injury. Not only are these balls potentially good for your physical health, but they are also suitable if you're someone that tends to fidget a lot. These balls can help you reduce stress. This set comes with a mesh drawstring bag for easy carry, and when not using them in the office, kids also enjoy them!

PROS

  • They're high-quality stress balls
  • Extremely durable and great for injury relief

CONS

  • Not inexpensive

Fitness Tracker

Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch

What gets measured gets managed, and one great way to keep track of your fitness data is a fitness tracker. For keeping tabs on your energy levels, steps, distance, hourly activity, and more, I recommend the Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch.

You can use it to do things like control the Spotify app on your phone, add Deezer playlists and download Pandora stations. Not only that, you can receive text messages, calls, and smartphone notifications on your watch, as long as your phone is in the area.

One of the draw with this particular watch is that the screen is larger than those on other fitness trackers. It has about 6 hours of battery life, depending on how much you use it. Some of the included features are only available on Android phones, so you might want to consider that before purchase.

PROS

  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Design similar to an Apple watch
  • The screen has good contrast, even on a sunny day
  • Lots of third-party apps are compatible

CONS

  • Sometimes there are connectivity issues
  • You have to pay for the premium subscription for best features
  • There aren't many customization options

For more watches like this one, check my guide on the best fitness watches for men.


Balance Ball Chair

A balance ball chair works very similar to stability cushion or a posture-improvement stool. When used as an office chair, they say that sitting on a balance ball chair leads to increased energy and productivity. In that way, it's perfect for completing tasks at home or in the office. I recommend the Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair for this purpose. It promotes micro-movements and stimulation.

This ball chair is recommended for users who are about 5 to 5'll", and it can be used with most standard-height desks. When you purchase this chair, you get the ball, the chair base, four easy-glide wheels, an air pump, a support bar, and even an exercise guide to explain how you can get the most out of the equipment. After buying, you may need to reinflate the ball to get the ball stretched to its final size.

PROS

  • Straightforward assembly
  • A great solution if you experience back pain

CONS

  • Needs to be reinflated often

Under-desk Elliptical

DeskCycle Ellipse: Under Desk Elliptical

Keeping your feet in motion while seated can go a long way to keep you happier, reduce stress, and increase your productivity. To keep your feet moving, I recommend the DeskCycle Ellipse: Under Desk Elliptical.

This elliptical features quiet magnetic resistance settings so you can exercise without annoying your coworkers or family members. A precision flywheel enables the smooth pedal motion, and 17 precision sealed bearings.  The pedals are bidirectional, so you can row in whichever direction you choose.

This machine has eight calibrated resistance levels so that you can get a little more of a challenge doing a workout on your desk. This model also includes software to track your daily, weekly, and monthly activity. You can put the monitor up on your desk to see your progress. You can also log your activity in a free web app. You can get great exercise while taking a phone call, watching television, sending an email, or playing video games.

PROS

  • Easy to carry like a briefcase
  • Ideal for rehabilitation post-surgery
  • Whisper quiet

CONS

  • The rubber around the metal bar can deteriorate over time

If you're interested in more examples of excellent mini-ellipticals, click here.


Mini Exercise Bike or Desk Bike

Another option for burning some calories and keeping active while seated in an office chair or at home is a mini exercise bike. One of the best examples of these kinds of products is the Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike by Sunny Health and Fitness. This small stationary bike is very portable with a handle for easy carry. 

The magnetic resistance system is built to be quiet, with an 8 level micro tension knob. You can increase or decrease intensity to keep your workout fun and challenging.

This unit also comes with safety pedal straps that you can work with both your hands and feet. You can exercise on desk surfaces by lifting it and working the pedals with your arms. This model has a digital monitor that displays items such as speed, time, distance, calories, and ODM. With the convenient scan mode, you can keep these items continuously rotated on the display.

PROS

  • Simple assembly with a wrench tool to tighten bolts
  • Footstraps hold your feet securely
  • Quiet, so you will not disturb the people around you

CONS

  • May slide around if there is nothing to stop it
  • Depending on your height, your knees may hit the underside of your desk

For more excellent examples of bikes like this one, click here.


Desk Treadmill

Ancheer 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

No list of office workout equipment would be complete without the inclusion of desk treadmills. These units are ideal under a standing desk, allowing you to get some stimulating cardio exercise. I think the Ancheer 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill is an excellent choice for this purpose. You can either use this machine as an ordinary running treadmill, or you can fold the riser, transforming it into an ideal under-desk walking treadmill.

This machine has a powerful 2.25 horsepower motor that was built to be extra quiet with a multi-layer shielding. The high-tech running surface has extra-wide treads to support safety. And you can assess your progress in real-time with an LCD screen displaying time, speed, calories burned, and distance. Sync your phone with the included Bluetooth speakers to listen to music while you exercise. Or watch programs on your phone with the device holder. Lastly, this machine is easy to move with the transport wheels built into the base.

PROS

  • Easy setup
  • Sturdy but small footprint
  • Built-in anti-vibration feature to reduce noise

CONS

  • You can't fold the treadmill without unscrewing the armrests
  • No instructions for using the Bluetooth speakers

For more examples of treadmills like this one, click here.


Exercise Desk

Exerpeutic Exerwork 2000i Bluetooth Folding Exercise Bike

If you're looking for workout equipment that was built to keep in shape while you work, you might want to take a look at items such as the Exerpeutic Exerwork 2000i Bluetooth Folding Exercise Bike. This bike comes with 24 different preset workout programs. You can sync it via Bluetooth to your phone to make use of the free My Cloud Fitness app.

The desktop platform is an adjustable one, so you can tilt it, and adjust the height. This bike has a 400 lb weight capacity, with a durable steel frame. It comes with a thick Airsoft foam seat, an upgraded ergonomic backrest, and it can be folded when not in use for secure storage.

PROS

  • Solid construction
  • Quiet while exercising
  • Provides a wide range of resistances

CONS

  • May not be ideal for taller users
  • Not easy to move after assembled because of locking pin

Stretch Bands

Leekey Resistance Band Set

These kinds of bands are great for stretching and resistance when muscles are sore. The Leekey Resistance Bands Set can be used for multiple exercises and can withstand extreme force. You can use these resistance bands for strength training, assisted push-ups, and basketball tension training. Use them for desk exercises, squat assists, and dip assists. These resistance bands also come with a carry bag and a manual.

PROS

  • High-quality latex with four different sizes

CONS

  • Do leave a latex smell on your hands after use

Small Free Weights

alanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose

For doing some strength training exercises while on the job, some small free weights might do the trick. They're not the best for advanced weight training, but for desk exercise, they get the job done.

But you can do some basic strength training exercises with a set of dumbells on hand, like the BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose ones. 

These weights are made from cast iron surrounded by durable, neoprene. This material provides a secure grip and is kept from rolling with the hexagonal shape.

PROS

  • Neoprene coating stays secure in your hand, even while sweating
  • Cost-effective set of equipment

CONS

  • Some have had complaints about the stand

Hand Exercise Gyroscope

Parallel Halo Power Wrist Ball

These items are ideal for rehab when it comes to strengthening your forearms, grip, and wrist. These items are very compact, and you can take them practically anywhere, so they won't take up space should you bring one to the office for desk exercise.

For an example of this product, I recommend the Parallel Halo Power Wrist Ball. This ball is purely mechanical, not requiring batteries or any other kind of power source. If you're something that spends a lot of time on the computer, using this kind of ball can improve circulation, blood flow, and reduce joint pain.

PROS

  • Suitable for training your forearms
  • Doesn't require batteries

CONS

  • Some have had challenges learning how to use the gyroscope

Standing Desk

Varitek Full Electric Desk

Most of us sit too much during the day, and it can promote a sedentary lifestyle. Buying something like a standing desk or an adjustable standing platform, we can work without remaining seated all day. For this purpose, I recommend the Varitek Full Electric Desk. This kind of furniture is a must if you want to do desk exercise.

This model has a large workspace where you can keep your monitor and keyboard. It is built out of heavy-duty laminate and steel and can be assembled quickly without necessary tools. This item has three dynamic memory settings and can be lifted as high as 128 cm.

PROS

  • Only takes about five minutes to assemble and use
  • Super easy controls to use

CONS

  • Monitor holder doesn't fit most monitors

Choosing Desk Exercise Equipment

What are your goals when exercising? Are you trying to increase blood circulation, tone muscle, or burn calories? Are you trying to develop your lower or upper body?

Examine Your Environment

Before you can start exercising in your workplace, you're going to need to examine your working environment. Are you going to be able to use desk exercise equipment without disturbing the people around you? Where do you plan to store your exercise equipment after you purchase it? Will you have the floor space?

Consider Your Goals

If you want to do some cardio from your desk, but you are worried about how much you can do while still accomplishing your work. There are several kinds of desk exercise equipment that can help you with this.

If you want something a little more discreet, and to activate your core, you might look into something like a ball chair. A ball chair is one way you can improve your posture and core strength without anyone even noticing you're doing something to improve your health.

But before going out and buying anything, take a moment to examine your goals and environment. Do some research before diving right in.

Frequently Asked Questions

You have some trepidation about trying to get fit from work with exercise equipment, especially if it isn't something you've seen anyone else do before. Here are some of the answers to common questions people generally have on these topics

How to Get Started?

While you're sure that you want to exercise, the appropriate steps to take might be unclear to you. Keep in mind that diet plays a massive part in your overall fitness. Without a healthy diet, it can be challenging to engage in a more active lifestyle.

The next thing you need to consider is whether you'll enjoy doing the exercise you have in mind. You don't want to spend the money, investing in a piece of exercise equipment, to allow it to collect dust in the corner of your office. Imagine yourself using the computer before you purchase it.

The next thing you'll need to think about is how much money you're willing to spend on this purpose. Some equipment is very pricey, and you want to make sure your budget will allow it. To avoid overspending, you might want to name a figure and go from there.

What are the best types of Office Exercise Equipment?

There are several different kinds of machines you can use to workout at the office without being distracted from your work. Some products are small, hand-held items to help you increase muscle strength. Others are items such as resistance chairs, ball chairs, or exercise desks. These items can fit into just about any office space, they're discreet, and shouldn't disturb your working environment. Using these kinds of things is a more passive way to work your muscles while you're at work.

Desk treadmills are becoming more and more common in offices. These kinds of treadmills allow you to work at your desk or do any other type of work-related activity while walking in place. These treadmills tend to be more expensive pieces of equipment than other choices, so it's important to carefully consider whether or not you'll make use of one before buying.

How can I exercise at my desk?

Using any exercise machine mentioned in this article can help you get some exercise while still at work or home in your living room. The best kinds of equipment for office workers are those that are compatible with a coaching app, like a treadmill desk. Anything that allows you to track your progress during a cardio workout is advisable. This is one way you can set your fitness goals and work towards them.

Do under desk exercisers work?

Yes, items such as mini ellipticals and exercise bikes are great at promoting exercises similar to walking. Using one of these machines at home or in the office can improve overall fitness, burn calories, improve tone, maintain healthy joints, and improve circulation.

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