Deskercise? Under Desk Exercise Equipment For Health And Fitness

Deskercise is one of my newly discovered exercising words .

What Is Deskercise?

It is a combination of the words “desk” and “exercise” and refers to any type of exercise that can be performed while working at your desk.  The definition really can encompass a desk exercise while standing or sitting as well as with or without equipment.  This article, however, focuses on under desk exercise equipment . Read why it is an extremely important concept for a number of reasons. 

In a hurry?  These are 5 popular choices!

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What Are The Benefits Of Deskercise?

Desk workout equipment can play a vital role in our health.  According to the American Heart Association recommendations, adults should receive at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Many Americans do not reach this goal because the majority of their day is spent at work. Afterwards, they come home to unwind and feel very little motivation to exercise. This eventually becomes a habit until physical activity is all but forgotten.

Is Sitting The New Smoking?

The results of sitting too long are often compared to smoking.  As you may know, a lack of physical activity can lead to a number of serious health conditions as pictured below.

Is sitting the new smoking


But what if you do exercise for thirty minutes a day during weekdays? That would mean you are reaching the 150 minutes of activity recommended. Does that mean you shouldn't invest in deskercise equipment?

Unfortunately, if you spend the majority of your workday seated at a desk, then you'll have to work harder than the rest of the world to stay healthy.  That's where desk workout equipment comes in.

New studies are revealing that 150 minutes each week simply isn't enough to overcome the negative health consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. 

 A person who spends eight or more hours each day working from a desk has an increased risk for high cholesterol, obesity, and cardiovascular disease than the average person.

 In fact, some studies have shown that the solution to the problem isn't as simple as increasing physical activity before or after work.

Often people develop neck and back pain from sitting too long in their office chair.

back pain from sitting too long


Instead, long sessions of sitting down need to be interrupted with brief periods of physical activity. This would normally be very difficult to achieve in an office position.

Some previous solutions included walking around the desk or jogging in place, but we now have better options: under desk exercise equipment! or exercise equipment to use at your desk

Not only will this count towards your 150 minutes of physical activity each week, but it will also break up long periods of sitting during the day, thus allowing those 150 minutes of exercise to work as they should.


What Is Under Desk Exercise Equipment?

under desk workout equipment

If you are like me and are one of those people who work solely from a desk, we often get very little exercise. My FitBit activity tracker does not lie and many days, I am not even close to the recommended 10,000 steps per day.  

That is why I was so excited when I saw my first  under desk bike. Who knew they actually made machines where you could exercise and work simultaneously?  This eliminates all those excuses for not working out by allowing you to remain active even when spending eight hours or more a day sitting! 

Read more about the best desk exercise equipment:

  • Deskercise equipment is designed to be compact, lightweight, and quiet. Most machines are able to fit under most desks easily.  This is great for your home office and easily used with your office chair. 
  • You can transport them easily to and from work and operate them without disturbing other family members or workers.  They make great office gym equipment.
  • Additionally, you can use them while working at your desk, on the phone, reading, watching TV, or even reading the newspaper! 
  • Deskersize machines are low-impact and often used for rehabilitation  

If you are a multitasker, you will have few issues working and exercising simultaneously. For others, you make choose to take short breaks and fully focus on exercising while at your desk.


What Are The Types Of Under Desk Exercise Equipment?

 As of this writing, most deskercise equipment falls into one of the five following categories.   Most of these are based on a larger piece of traditional exercise equipment and contain the same features.  However, this has become such a health issue that different variations are popping up in the marketplace and some were invented just for sitting.

Exercise desk options include:

  1. Mini Exercise Bike or Pedal Machine
  2. Portable Stair Stepper
  3. Under Desk Elliptical
  4. Under Desk Treadmill
  5. Leg Swing

Mini Exercise Bike

Of these five, the mini exercise bike or pedal machine is the easiest to integrate into your workflow.

Many of them are designed so that the front portion of the bike is beneath the desk and the chair for the bike is the chair you normally sit on at your desk.

 They are essentially just the bike pedals!

DeskCycle Under Desk Exercise Equipment

Depending on the brand, you can place it on your desk and then use the pedals to exercise your arms to obtain a better workout. With the miniature bike at your desk, you can stop at any moment and exercise without needing to stand up or move any equipment.

A pedal machine also requires the most care when purchasing. You will need to consider your height as well as the height of your desk. The last thing you want is to purchase a bike that is too tall because you will not have the leg room to peddle beneath the desk. In general, a miniature bike is best left for desks with plenty of height and leg room.


Portable Stair Stepper

sunny health and fitness twist stepper mini stepper

Step machines provide low impact aerobics and a portable stair stepper can easily be used at your desk.

 A miniature stepper is one of the easiest pieces of equipment to move, conceal, or keep out of the way and is a great choice for desks that have very little leg room.

These are typically very small and lightweight. Most of them are less than 2'x2' and weigh less than 15 pounds, yet they can support a maximum weight of up to 250 pounds.

Some brands come with resistance bands to tone  chest, back and shoulders. Another brand adds a twisting motion to the stepper for a better workout. 

 You simply stand up, slide the stepper out from beneath the desk, and enjoy a quick exercise session. You can use it while on the phone or watching a video online.


Under Desk Elliptical

An under desk elliptical is very similar in design and function to a stepper. 

One major difference between the two is that a miniature elliptical requires only a single continuous motion without bottoming out as a miniature stepper does.

This reduces the impact on the knees. Aside from this slight advantage, both machines perform similarly, work the same muscles, and produce similar results.

stamina inmotion under desk elliptical

Under Desk Treadmill

Under Desk Treadmill

The fourth option is the miniature treadmill. These are typically larger than any other deskercise equipment.

 Many people still prefer them because they are very familiar with exercising on a treadmill and the results it provides.

 These will generally need to be folded and placed in a corner of the room until being unfolded in front of the desk for use.

These work well with stand up desks. 


Leg Swing

The need to exercise has prompted the creation of other compact exercise products.

One extremely popular new kid on the block, certified by the Mayo Clinic and University of Illinois,  is the Leg Swing.

Instead of pedaling, pushing or stepping, you are swinging your legs.  This motion increases blood circulation as well as burn calories.

hovr leg swing

How Many Calories Can You Burn?

The real answer is it depends.  Don't let the size fool you!  Treat this compact machine just like a full size piece of equipment.

Just like any type of exercising equipment, it depends on the type, the resistance levels and of course your effort.  Many machines come with a display unit that shows calories burned and distance. 

Most people choose to take short breaks during their workday where they can fully focus on exercising. These breaks may last anywhere from 1-to-10 minutes depending on their schedule. 

At the higher resistance levels, you can work up a sweat. But for safety reasons, you should be focusing on exercising and not other activities.


Deskercise: Not Just For Adults!

Do your kids spend more time on tablets and cell phones than exercising?  Are they hyperactive?Elementary and Middle Schools are taking advantage of under desk exercise equipment to help students focus as well as provide much needed exercise.  Watch the video below for more information. 

Your kids will love these machines at home as well!


Additional Items You Can Use To Workout At Your Desk

Can you believe that over the last 50 years or so, occupations in the United States requiring the physical activity of even moderate intensity has declined from 50 to 20 percent.

If you have a desk job that requires a lot of sitting, leveraging the use of some of these items can help reduce the negative consequences of living a sedentary life.

Here are 4 additional desk workout equipment choices!


Balance Ball Chair

A balance ball chair is an innovative and much more practical take on the idea of using a balance ball to sit at your desk.

The chair features a support bar and a ball holder to give the ball much more stability which helps you work at your desk without having to worry about rolling around.

Best of all, it can offer a lot of the core-strengthening benefits that using a balance ball alone can provide while encouraging more attention to your posture.

This ball was created with the assistance of Dr. Randy Weinzoft, a chiropractor pioneer, to ensure that the ball/chair was capable of providing sufficient ergonomic support to sit for long periods of time.

The chair is not only a good way to encourage micro-movements which can strengthen stabilizer muscles, but the chair is practical with both a support bar for better balance and easy-glide wheels attached to the bottom to help you move around to reach things near your desk.

This ultimately makes it a viable alternative to a traditional office desk chair that you can use and remain productive while improving your overall well-being.


Wobble Cushion

This wobble cushion can help encourage the same micro-movements you get from sitting on a balance ball to improve core strength. The way the wobble cushion is designed, it forces you in a completely upright position to correct posture inconsistencies and to engage your core muscles for better-seated posture.

Because this product forces you to be constantly balancing yourself on the seat, you will be forced to engage your core muscles at all times. This can keep you strengthening your stabilizer muscles which can subsequently enhance your posture.

It can even be used as a piece of dedicated workout equipment. The cushion features two distinct sides. One of the sides is meant to provide seated cushion for your chair with an acupressure effect. The other side is flat and meant for balance training.

You can take it off your chair and stand on the balance trainer forcing you to balance on the cushion while in a standing position.

This can provide you with a quick and effective workout while right next to your desk.


Workout Attachment To Your Chair

The Noonchi office chair attachment can be a great addition to your home office if you are looking to get in some physical fitness at your desk. If you have a desk job and you are in a constantly seated position, you want to look for ways to improve your physical fitness.

One of the best ways to do so is by adding this type of attachment to your chair. It wraps around your chair which effectively turns your office chair into a workout chair.

It is compatible with pretty much any office chair due to its adjustability and it is compact enough to take with you on-the-go. Perhaps best of all, it is extremely easy to set up and you will be able to use it for both upper and lower body workouts.

It includes 5-pound resistance bands that you can use for light stretching at your desk. If you want to really get in a workout at your desk, you can use bands providing up to 20-pounds of resistance.

You can even unclip the resistance band attachments when you aren't using them so you don't completely clutter and disrupt your workspace. The possibilities are endless with this attachment because the bands can be attached in a variety of locations of the Noonchi.


Traditional Resistance Bands

You can also purchase regular resistance bands that you can bring along with you to your workplace. The Black Mountain resistance band set offers high-quality resistance bands that are stackable. Meaning, you will be able to produce up to 75 pounds with the complete set.

The bands are separated based on color to help you easily distinguish how much resistance weight is being applied.

A resistance band set is a good option if you want to get a quality workout at or around your desk because you can do so many different things with it.

Resistance bands can target your legs, arms, chest, or back. There are countless exercises that you can incorporate into your daily life with a quality set of stackable resistance bands that will have you getting in a full-body workout without having to leave your office.

Perhaps the best thing about resistance bands for your desk workouts is the ability to target specific muscle groups without having to carry around heavy weights or equipment. Likewise, resistance bands are very easy on your tendons and joints compared to other things like free weights.

They are a very practical option for office workout equipment because they are so lightweight and portable. The ability to stack them can help you turn them into a real strength training workout.


Investing In Your Future Health

Under the desk exercise equipment has another advantage compared to traditional models:    they are significantly cheaper. The equipment is smaller, lighter, and comes with similar features. This combines to make a relatively affordable investment.

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or want a less expensive way to obtain a cardio workout at home, it is well worth taking a serious look at these under the desk exercise machines.  You could be investing in your future health!

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About the author

Dee Smith

Hello I am Dee and I am a busy mom who truth be told hated to exercise. That is why I was always looking for shortcuts to fitness and started researching ways to stay healthy and fit at home. Here we provide reviews of the best and most popular products you can use at home to achieve your fitness goals!

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