Work at Home Fitness Options

I am new to the work-at-home scene, but not new to desk-bound office work.

Tons of articles tout the benefits of finding excuses to get up from your desk and walk about. Others urge people to focus on early wake-ups and get to the gym before work. And gym classes reflect that plenty of people can only get to the gym after work.

Today I am focusing on what we can do while actively working.


Bottom line: we the people need to work and not get fluffy. We know that we need to work out, but days are short. We need more office-friendly options when our work is more intellectual than physical.
Luckily, manufacturers and designers are making products that will hopefully meet our needs. What do we need? We need deskercise options. WHAT?! Yep, desk + exercise = deskercise.


Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links; I may earn a tiny commission from purchases.

Deskercise equipment is evolving pretty quickly. I just read an article about The Best Equipment for 2018…but it doesn’t even mention cycledesks, or leg swings. In fairness though, I didn’t know about cycledesks and leg swings either until I started to really dig deep.

Standing desks are the internet’s go-to products for calorie burning while emailing. I had a standing desk at home once…but I ended up taking my laptop to the couch more often than not. When I had that desk I was in college, and I supplemented my need to walk by parking in the furthest lots and always taking the stairs on campus.

But I’m not in college anymore. I don’t work in an office anymore. I work at home now, and what’s a medium-fit gal to do?               *refills wine glass*

combines a laptop workstation with an exercise bike

  • Honestly, I think I’m going to buy myself a cycledesk. It’s an all-in-one device that combines a laptop workstation with an exercise bike. An acquaintance got one recently and loves it. And it’s actually just what I was looking for, because I want to sit occasionally (no treadmill desks) and I want that sitting to be beneficial; I need real motion. Cycledesks enable sitting, moving, and standing.

This white cycledesk is just plain pretty, and would easily fit in with my decorating style (my style is “buy all of the white furniture”), but the price point is a little out of reach. Yes, I could save up for it, but I want a bike sooner than later. Besides, some of the reviews remark on its heaviness. I don’t want heaviness if I want to carry the cycledesk upstairs to my bedroom, or carry it down to the TV in the basement.

I am mostly looking at this cycledesk. It’s not as pretty, but it partially folds and looks like it’ll be easier to move up & down stairs once assembled. After studying the photos, I want to assemble it without the side handles and without the back (I rarely use chair backs). I’m sure it’s possible, I just need to get my hands on the product. Update — It’s possible and I did it.

we took turns trying it

But what about the office workers? I can’t work from home. I understand, I’ve been there too! Can you change your chair?
If so, you may be ripe to inflate an exercise ball at your desk. An old co-worker did this, and while we laughed at him initially, he was obviously happier on his ball, and we took turns trying it when he wasn’t using it. Even some of Mister Jupiter’s former office mates got proper ball chairs, that they also loved. Or maybe you would be well suited for an active sitting chair. I wish I knew about those when I was a director at a small TV station. The chairs in the booth were too low for petite operators so I did a lot of my work standing hunchbacked or in a super-wide low stance.

No, I can’t change my chair. It’s great for my posture, or I just love it. Sounds like an under-desk cycler might be your best best.
Some are close to $200 with faithful users, like this bike-pedal exerciser. And others are under $50 with plenty of good reviews too. If I were bound to a specific chair and desk I would certainly buy one! All of these options above are excellent for people who need their hands at work. (Quick note, price ranges may change after writing)

Those seem a bit intense. I want something subtle. That’s understandable. How do you feel about moving your feet under the desk?
Foot swings are essentially fidget spinners, but for feet. So far I have found strap styles and small apparatus versions. You probably won’t sweat, but burning one calorie is better than burning zero. This may work better to improve focus than as an exerciser. Bonus: if you find that having busy feet helps you focus, check out this affordable foot fidget for kids (that is if you have kids at home who may also benefit).

8kg kettlebell by my water bottle

Actually, I want to work on arms and upper body. If you read more than write, if you can easily walk away from the desk, or if you take in a lot of speakerphone calls these hands-only options might be your best bet.
You can always move around some hand weights, or leave a small kettlebell at your desk. I keep an 8kg kettlebell by my water bottle, and this makes it easy to do some seated presses when my hands are free.

Other deskercise options include resistance bands, ankle weights, and stability boards. While I like options, none of those work for me, at least not while I am actively writing. Just because they don’t work for me doesn’t mean that they won’t work for you!

more likely to do it

  • While I was reading all of the articles below, I found one bit of advice from Spark People especially useful for work at home folks like me. Wear your favorite work-out gear, because if you dress like you’re going to move then you are more likely to do it.

Sources that I read but didn’t quote or paraphrase:

Are you an office worker? Have any of the devices above really worked out for you? Are others gathering dust? Let me know!

Author: Tracey

Tracey has a bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She loves editing, riding bikes, and cooking for her family.

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