Under Desk Exercise: Get Fit While You Work
Stuck in the Office? Try Under-Desk Exercise
When I started spending long hours at my desk, I started noticing a corresponding increase in my waistline. And when I started working from home, it only got worse, since my morning "commute" no longer even included the short walk from the parking garage to my office and back again. I've recently been trying to add fitness back into my regime with under-desk cardio machines and some simple exercises. Since I'm still stuck at a desk most of the day, I've been trying to get out more during lunch and try under-desk exercise while I'm pounding the keyboard. Here are some tips and tools I've been discovering.
(Update: I've given up under-desk exercise in favor of my new FitDesk exercise desk/bike. See below for more information!)
(Image: TrekDesk available on amazon. See link below.)
Mini Exercise Bikes - Pedaling is a great under-desk exercise
If you want an aerobic exercise you can do at work, under-desk bicycles are great. They slide right under your desk, so they don't take up any extra room. I love these contraptions because pedaling is a great under-desk exercise to do while you're on the phone or on the computer.
Under Desk Exercises
Stretches and exercises that don't require any equipment
These are some simple at-desk and under-desk exercises I found online. They're quick, easy to do, don't require any equipment and will help you sneak a little exercise into your day even when you can't get away from your desk. You'll find more at WebMD, which also offers this good advice:
"Don't let fear of embarrassment keep you from exercising at work. Chances are, your co-workers will admire your efforts rather than be amused."
Easy Desk Exercises
- Sitting in your chair, lift one leg off the seat, extend it out straight in front of you, hold for two seconds, and then lower your foot until it's just above the floor and hold for several seconds. Repeat 15 times on each leg.
- Place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat. Hold for a few seconds. Repeat 15 times.
- Sit up straight and try to touch your shoulder blades together. Hold and then relax.
- Hold the seat of your chair and extend your legs straight out in front of you until they are parallel to the floor. Flex and point your toes five times. Release, and then repeat.
(Image of stretching poster provided by amazon)
Under Desk Mini Elliptical Trainer - Mini elliptical fits right under your desk
If you prefer elliptical machines to bikes, you might prefer this under-desk elliptical trainer.
Compact Under Desk Stepping Machine - Stamina InStride Electronic Stepper
They also make mini steppers to fit right under your desk at work or at home.
FitDesk - Desk exercise bike won't fit UNDER your desk because it IS a desk
The FitDesk exercise bike doesn't exactly belong on this page because it doesn't fit under your desk - it IS a desk. But I'm adding it here because I think it will appeal to many people who want to exercise while working. This is what I now use while working at home. Whenever I'm on Facebook, checking email or writing articles, online, I'm on my FitDesk. And I've lost 30 pounds without dieting!
It's great for work-at-home moms (or dads), Facebook addicts, or anyone who spends a lot of time on the computer and has room in their home or office for a lightweight, portable exercise desk. It's a great way to get fit while getting the job done. I absolutely love mine!
Fitness 9 to 5: Easy Exercises for the Working Week - A book with suggestions for keeping fit at work
If you can't get away from the office and need more than a few stretches to get back in shape, this book details plenty of exercises and stretches you can do at your desk and in the office.
Exercise Ball Chairs - Just sitting on these balls can provide some exercise
Sitting in a chair isn't exercise, but if you sit on an exercise ball instead, you'll be using some of your muscles just while sitting. Exercise ball chairs promote flexibility, coordination and tension release.
Working On the Ball: A Simple Guide to Office Fitness - This book can give you more information about exercise ball chairs
If you're planning to get a balance ball chair, this book can help you learn how to get the most from it. The authors give you tips on using "active sitting" techniques to improve your health while working.
TrekDesk - Walk while you work
If you want to put some really BIG exercise equipment under your desk - like a full-size treadmill - you might need a new desk. TrekDesk is the answer. This desktop attaches to almost any treadmill and will give you a new way to work out while you work.
The desktop measures 72 x 34 inches and includes a manuscript holder, file folder, and two cup holders. It adjusts to fit any user between 5'4" and 6'4" tall and can hold up to 55 pounds of equipment.
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