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For many of us, working from home is no longer the “new normal”; it’s just… normal. Whether it’s a few days a week or it’s every work day ever, working from home is here to stay. But for many people, even as WFH routines become the norm, it can be a challenge to figure out how to exercise when working from home.
The benefit of leaving the home for work is presumably getting more activity and steps in—even when that’s not the goal. When your commute is a 20-second walk to the office or desk, that can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle alone—even if you have a few home workout items sitting in the closet. Plus, with the daily commute gone, for many people, that also means the usual stop at the gym on the way home from work is bygone as well.
And while we should have more free time than ever given that our “commute” is now into the next room, for many of us, the time fills itself up without having to think about it—and not with exercise. In fact, many people are putting in more time working than ever now that they’re working from home, according to The Hill.
So, how to stay active while working longer hours than ever? Well, you could stick a rowing machine, stair climber, or interactive training mirror in the corner and spend dedicated time exercising daily during your lunch break, but are you really going to drop everything and use them as regularly as you should to justify the lofty investment? Maybe, but maybe not—and you don’t have to keep active during your work day.
For those of us looking to fit in some exercise when working from home but are spread thin as it is, the secret is to find ways to integrate exercise into active working time. We’ve got you covered with some great products that will help you do just that below. Just maybe don’t use this stuff while you’re actively on a video call, eh?
Flexispot Electric Adjustable Standing Desk
Sitting for long hours is terrible for your health. According to Yale Medicine, an overly sedentary lifestyle can exacerbate everything from diabetes to dementia, and even depression—and those aren’t even all of the negatives that start with the letter “D.” Fortunately, even for those of us who are proverbially chained to our desk for long hours each day, we have options. With this top-rated electric standing desk, you can effortlessly raise your workspace up to a standing height, and spending even a portion of your working time on your feet can do much to improve your health, especially if you also stretch, do toe raises, do squats, and execute other isometric or bodyweight exercises while on your feet.
Redliro Under Desk Treadmill Walking PadDown from $480
According to Very Well Fit, a person of average size and fitness jogging at five miles per hour for half an hour can burn up to 300 calories. So, the next time you’re going to be spending a half hour reading through a brief or listening in to a meeting (cameras off!), why not do it with a compact treadmill set up under that standing desk of yours? (Or off to the side of or behind your regular desk—that works, too.) This compact, low-profile treadmill can support users weighing up to 220 pounds, and it can have you running along at speeds up to 7.5 miles per hour. And when you’re done with the daily walk or jog, the wheels let you roll the unit away for storage under the couch or bed or in the closet.
FluidStance The Plane Standing Desk Balance Board
Whether you’re at your standing desk or just on your feet for a few minutes as you take a call or go through emails on your phone, make the most of that upright time by standing on this balance board from FluidStance. Doing so will help promote better balance, serve as a good low-impact core workout, and work the muscles in your legs and back.
Cubii GO Under Desk EllipticalDown from $300
Want to burn about 150 calories per hour just by sitting at your desk while working? Well, normally you can’t—unless you have this under-desk elliptical from Cubii. Per U.S. News & World Report, that’s about how many calories the average user will get with an under-desk elliptical, but the benefits don’t stop at that moderate figure: you’ll also improve leg strength and flexibility, enhance your circulation, and enjoy good cardio exercise while you tackle that overflowing inbox.
DMoose Resistance Bar for Physical Therapy
Spending hours every day typing away at your computer may be required for your job, but it can take a toll on your hands, wrists, and forearms, causing repetitive stress injuries that are painful and debilitating both acutely and chronically. Using this Resistance Bar from DMoose is an easy way to stave off injury and build hand and arm strength, too. It can be as simple as spending a few minutes every few hours twisting and bending the thick, easily gripped rubber tube to build grip strength, tone your forearms, and ease the pain of “tennis elbow.”
Trideer Yoga Ball Exercise Chair
This sturdy spherical-shaped chair from Trideer comes with a ring that sits on the floor and prevents it from rolling away, so you can focus on your work instead of worrying about tragicomically falling over backward when you rise momentarily and then sit back down. The chair requires you to keep your balance and maintain an upright posture, which, in turn, engages the core without having to think about it (or do crunches!). Of course, you can also incorporate sitting exercises while you draft a report, answer emails, or even listen in on a Zoom call.
Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands Down from $22
Resistance bands are about the most affordable—and most portable—exercise tool you can possibly find. Strap a band around your legs and you can do great exercises as you stand at your desk. Put a band around your wrists, and you can work out your triceps as you type just by keeping your hands separated from one another. They can be used for stretching, pilates, or strength training, and when not in use, they can be quickly stowed in a drawer.
Pro Fusion NSD Powerball
It can be a bit tricky to get the hang of using this handheld spinning device, but once you do, you can do wonders for your hand, wrist, and arm strength all without getting out of your chair. Using an NSD Powerball is one of the least invasive but most effective ways to exercise the many muscles of your fingers, hand, and lower arms. Plus, you can use this gyroscope-based exercise tool as casually or intensely as you want: spin slowly, and it’s just a fidget toy; spin ever faster, and you begin to get a solid strength training workout.
FlexiSpot Desk Bike Chair
It’s one thing to perch a set of pedals on the ground beneath your desk; it’s another thing when your desk itself is a bike. The Desk Bike from FlexiSpot offers a table space large enough for your laptop or paperwork strapped to a stationary bike that offers almost as solid a workout as most dedicated exercise bikes, so you don’t have to compromise the quality of your workout or your work. Sure, this is bulkier hardware than most of the other options on the list, but if you’re committed to working from home and staying in shape, it’s worth your consideration.
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