It’s no secret that sitting at a desk and tapping away at a computer all day, every day is not great for your health. Yet that’s the reality for office-bound folks. Sitting all day can lead to a decrease in circulation, as well as a general lack of activity that can cause low energy and weight gain. That’s not to mention the aches and pains caused by poor posture and repetitive motions like typing
Luckily, fitness and gainful employment don’t need to be at odds with one another. Here are seven of our favorite must-have office fitness products, which promote better health without hindering your workplace productivity.
If you’ve got enough room in your office, a travel yoga mat can be a nice addition to your space. Storing a yoga mat in the workplace can help bring some Zen to a stressful day. Back hurting? Take a few minutes and cycle through some sun salutations. Throw on a quick instructional YouTube video for a mini-midday class, or hit the park during your lunch hour and fit in some yoga that way.
Shatter-resistant water bottle
Are you drinking enough water? Chances are, you’re not. If you’re planning on moving more during the work day, you’ll need to add more water to your life. The best way to do so is with a water bottle you love.
Ideally, you should go with a shatter resistant water bottle. No one wants to clean up broken glass, and the water bottle that goes everywhere you go is bound to get mixed up in some rough and tumble situations. The HydroFlask is a perennial favorite thanks to its stainless steel construction, while the glass Takeya brings plenty of silicone protection to the table.
Free weights can help you build strength, lose body fat and burn more calories during rest periods. We recommend bringing a little part of the gym into your workplace via adjustable dumbbells. If you’re thinking that sounds cumbersome, guess again. Adjustable dumbbells are fairly compact, making it easy to do some light weight training at lunch or during your next conference call.
Adjustable dumbbells also mean you don’t have to settle on one weight. Instead, you’ll get a pair of handles and a selection of plates, plus a storage rack you can easily stow away under your desk.
Activity trackers are a fantastic way to keep your health habits on track. If you’re planning on making your work-exercise routine a daily staple, a fitness tracker like the FitBit will help you by sending reminders when it’s time to get up and move. Both the Fitbit Charge 2 and the Fitbit Flex help you keep track of calories, steps, sleep patterns and more.
Dry shampoo is a real gift to those of us short on time and blessed with a thick head of hair. Even if you’re one of the lucky workers who has time to rush to the gym or take a quick run during your lunch break, it’s hard to fit in a shower after the main event.
With dry shampoo, you can give sweaty hair a refresh with just a few sprays. Just like that, you’re good as new, no water required. A word to the wise, though: many dry shampoos can leave a white cast on dark hair. Be sure to brush your hair thoroughly before heading back to the workplace to avoid any looks from your coworkers. Allure has a nice list of affordable options that range from $5 to $20 each.
A gym bag that doubles as a work bag
Your gym bag doesn’t need to be a lumpy duffel bag you drag along to workouts. Instead, get something chic that can also stow your laptop. Everlane’s leather tote, or a small weekender bag like this one from Madewell, are both good options. You also can’t go wrong with a backpack. Skip the Jansports of your youth and get something like Herschel’s Retreat bag, which features more “adult” leather straps.
If you’re working up a big sweat during your workday workout, keep some plastic bags in one of the pockets for your dirty gear. Mini trash liners or repurposed grocery bags will keep your nice bag from getting wet and your dirty gear from mixing with office attire.
Workout clothes that double as work clothes
While athleisure is here to stay, some offices remain on the conservative side of the spectrum, making work-to-gym and back again a bit of a challenge. One option is investing in nicer yoga pants such as opaque leggings in dark neutrals. For men, your best bet is going to be sportswear in disguise.
Pair your yoga pants with your workout top of choice, and throw your sneakers in your favorite tote. Add a nicer sweater or oversized blazer to the mix for a polished look. Remember, save the over-the-top logos, mesh panels and bright colors for the weekend.
At the end of the day, not every office can be made into your ideal gym. But regardless, there are still things you can do to bring more movement to your day-to-day office existence. At a minimum, get up and walk around the office a few times a day. Stand up when you talk on the phone, and drink plenty of water. The little things really do add up, and the products above can make your efforts go even further.