Did you know there is workout equipment you can use while you work? You see, the more we work, the more we sit. The more we sit, the more health risks we encounter. According to David Frid, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, a person who sits at his or her desk all day, only to sit in his or her car and drive home, where he or she then sits in front of the TV, is at a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But working and working out don’t have to be mutually exclusive activities.
Frid encourages his patients to wear a pedometer and aim for the recommended 10,000 steps a day. He suggests sneaking in a walk at lunch or during break, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and even doing chair aerobics every couple of hours. But he admits it’s hard to combine physical activity with a desk job.
“In reality, there’s not a whole lot of options for somebody who is confined to a desk that are readily accessible,” he says. But he hopes that in the future, more businesses will embrace the value of fitness in the workplace, because it leads to healthier, more efficient, more productive employees. “From a public health perspective, the more we can make a work environment friendly for people to be physically active, the better our overall health is going to be,” he says.
The following fitness equipment allows you to work hard and get the benefits of exercise at the same time.
What if you could walk six miles while you work? Treadmill desks are gaining in popularity and they make the 10,000-steps-per-day goal a breeze. Treadmill desks come with a surprisingly solid desk top, which can be adjusted to the best height for your needs. Speeds range from 0.5 mph to 4 mph, and the device tracks step, distance, speed and calories burned.
When it comes to a cycling workout, all you really need are the pedals. With under-the-desk pedalers, you can get miles and miles of activity in without ever leaving your work area. You can adjust the resistance through knobs or magnets, and it’s quieter than you’d expect. Plus, it’s far less expensive than a stationary bicycle.
Under-the-desk steppers allow you to create a stepping motion while you sit with added resistance. They take up little space and some even come with an incentive: If you stop stepping while it’s plugged into your computer, your mouse and keyboard won’t work. This device operates at a pace equivalent to a brisk walk, and may burn 200 to 400 calories an hour for some.
Stop slouching and increase your fitness with a stability ball. These inflatable orbs are great for posture and challenge your core. But there’s no need to abandon your office chair completely. Even 30 minutes a day on the stability ball could be beneficial. And if you’re motivated to do squats or other stability-ball exercises during your lunch hour, it’s ready and waiting for you.
Hand weight balls
These weighted balls are small enough and flexible enough to grasp with one hand, yet big enough to hold with two hands and can conform to your grasp. They can range from about 1 lb to over 6 lbs. Aim to do repetitions of 10 or more while you sit.
Learn more heart-healthy exercises on Go Red.