Reasons Why Office Desk Exercise Equipment Is Not a Good Workout

Reasons Why Office Desk Exercise Equipment Is Not a Good Workout

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OK, so whilst I was researching about top-rated exercise equipment for your office cubicle, I came to a realization:

They suck. Big time!

I was genuinely interested in seeing if some of the top-rated products really work, but unfortunately, I cannot with all good consciousness promote anything.

So here is the thing:

There may be some top-rated adjustable products out there that you can use whilst in the office or your cubicle, but to keep it nice & short and to the point… I have not found them yet.

If you came looking for adjustable exercise equipment for the office cubicle that you hope will work out your abs while you work (paperwork), expand your lungs when writing reports or even fitness blast your quads as you are having a conference call with the big boss; then I am sorry to disappoint you.

But wait:

There is a silver lining here.

Whilst I will not promote any kind of ergo exercise gym equipment for your office cubicle, (unless as a joke that is…), I will give you much better alternatives about how to stay healthy when working in a small office cubicle.

Let me give you some background information first:

I am a bit of a health & fitness freak. I love it and I feel sluggish and weak when I do not exercise or workout in the gym.

In fact, my borderline obsession with working out was what led me tenuously to creating this website.

You see I started working out with weights that were far too heavy for what I should have been using and damaged my knee in the process of a particularly heavy rear squat. If you want to find out more about ergonomic office stools for your workplace.

It is this injury and various other, (not all from exercise) that led me to find out about ergonomics and ergo related things.

However I digress, so let’s have a look at some things you can do that will really get your juices flowing and get you feeling happy and productive.

Do I Really Need Exercise Equipment For The Office?

Let me answer that question with another:

Is equipment really the be-all and end-all to get healthy and more importantly; what are your fitness goals?

If you work in an office or cubicle, and I am going to presume that you do seeing as you have read this far into a post about office fitness, then I think that you are after more energy in your day to day life, and also more flexibility; to stop being hunched over and pasty looking.

Let me break this post down then because it is going to belong:

  1. Why even top-rated exercise gym equipment aimed at getting you fit is bull****.
  2. Easy ways to keep healthy when working 9-5 behind an office desk (this is from experience!).
  3. Some possible suggestions for top-rated gym fitness equipment that works…if you really insist on buying something for your small cubicle.

Why a Cubicle or Small Adjustable Workout Equipment Is Baloney

Firstly, you have to know how exercises and workouts work.

Now I am not going to insult your intelligence by going into too much detail when you either know already, or a quick google search will suffice… but I will give a brief summary.

In order to get the full benefits of proper adjustable exercise equipment, one thing is really most important over others:

You have to get your heart beating fast to pump the blood around your body.

Fresh blood = fresh oxygen-rich, nutrient-filled goodness that helps to flush away the old and in some cases toxic, blood.

It also means that your lungs are working hard and your heart is straining, (not too much though and I really must stress that you should check with your doctor first before starting any workout routine, and even then start slow.)

Your heart is a muscle and should be treated as such.

Do you really think that spending half your day sitting down using a piece of ergo gym exercise equipment “designed for the office or a small cubicle”, then eating your sandwich at lunch only to continue in the afternoon, can really do this?

Let me answer that for you:


To be honest, I would say getting into some form of yoga in the mornings and/ or evenings is a better way to get in shape and completely free if you just check out YouTube. (That is a bit of a sidestep there but I have just started practicing yoga and truly, it’s great! Helps my knee too.)

OK so now that’s out of the way, how about the reasons behind why I think so strongly that an office ergo gym fitness exercise equipment is just not worth your hard-earned money.

As I mentioned before:

You must get your heart beating to get some kind of benefit; and the machines, gadgets, and gizmos aimed at the average office cubicle worker primarily exist to transfer your cash into the maker’s bank account.

Let me give you an example:

To lose weight or improve your blood circulation, you have to get your pulse rate up, and to get your heart rate up you must do work.

In an effective piece of home cardio equipment, there is a way of converting your work into heat somewhere inside the device.

In a simple bike, it can be a brake pad scraping on a rim making the actual rim hot or the friction of the wheels on the ground, etc.

In most modern exercise gym equipment there is a generator that turns your work into electricity that is then dumped into a resistive element that gets hot. Within these modern gadgets, the electrical resistance can be varied which changes the intensity of the workout.

You can see from the example of the desk bicycle machine above, that this device has no method of converting your work into heat.

To be completely honest with you; flapping your current arms would give you comparable gym workout to fitness machines like this one!

So let’s move onto point number 2:

How Can I Get Healthy When I Sit Behind A Desk For 8/ 9/ 10 Hours A Day?

However, I only recommend ergo products that I either use myself, I want to get or have reviewed myself, or that after considerable amounts of research I am happy to recommend and put my name to it.

However, I am serious about fitness and health, ergonomic or otherwise, and serious about my reader’s health.

So when I say that you can get a decent office workout without spending any money, I hope that you believe me.

Better still:

The absolute best form of exercise you can do in the office that will have the biggest impact on your overall health, is the also the easiest and freest (is that a word?) thing to do:

Stand up from your desk, step away, turn around and walk around the office.

Yep, that’s it!

Do this magical, amazing thing every hour on the hour for at least 5 minutes and I promise you that you will start to feel the benefits after time.

If you can only do one thing, make it that one. Please, please, please believe me.

I do this all the time, and after about 3 weeks of starting this in my old job (will vary in time from person to person), I found myself with less backache, more efficient breathing and better eyesight.

Better eyesight, I bet you didn’t think that would come from just getting away from your computer for a total of 40 minutes spread over an 8 hour day, did you?!

Well, less time staring at a computer will help you to really refocus your wonderful, amazing and somewhat miraculous eyes, (they really deserve to be treated well, after all, we are visual creatures).

Some other ways in which you can improve your health when working a desk job include:

  • Eating a healthy lunch
    • By making your own food to eat at lunch, you can ensure that you save money & keep healthy. The reason I have included this in a list of exercise options is that eating well is just as important as anything else.
  • Practice deep breathing
    • By learning how to breathe again, but this time properly, you will improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs and in fact all of your respiratory systems. This will make you less tired and able to think better, i.e. make you become more productive.
  • Use the stairs and not the elevator
    • A few years ago, I used to work in an office block answering customer care call, and my office was 1 or 2 floors above the middle, (5th floor I think?). Anyway, I made the change from taking the elevator in the morning, grasping my cup of coffee hoping that it would keep me awake, to climbing around 10 flights of stairs up and down. This gave me a great feeling in the morning ready to start the day and gave me more energy in the evenings when I had finished so that I could concentrate on other things back at home instead of just sitting on the couch watching TV.
  • Sit up straight all the time, and tense your bottom some of the time
    • OK so this sounds a bit weird, but by sitting up straight and consciously thinking about it, you will start to strengthen your core and improve the muscles deep in your spine. It is kind of hard to do at first and can be a bit painful so I would suggest to do it actively for maybe 20 minutes of every hour until you are comfortable enough to do it all the time (at home and work). Tensing your buttocks some of the time will help to move the blood around your body a bit more. When you sit for extended periods of time, your blood stats to pool and stagnate, so tensing just ensures that it gets moved along and stops loitering!
  • Maintain a workout routine at home
    • Not related to exercise equipment for the office, I know, but sometimes unrelated things make a big difference to each other. As I said before, by using the stairs in after work, I got more energy to do the things I wanted to do after work and for me, that meant working out. More exercise = more energy and feeling of power.

I will do another post about ergonomic exercises later, but you shouldn’t be worried about starting some kind of exercise. Just find something you enjoy and crack on with that.

I enjoy beating a punching bag for about 30 minutes 3 times a week and that could be enough for me. I am a bit obsessed with working out though so I do other things as well, the point is you don’t have o go overboard.

You may find that by exercising at home, you will have a spillover effect into the office environment.

Think about that for a minute.

If you work out at home, your core will become stronger meaning that you start to sit upright and in a proper, ergonomic position. You will also learn over time, to control your breathing meaning that you can expand your lungs and really get your blood moving when you are sitting down.

So You Just Read All of that But Still Want To Buy?


OK, if you really have your heart set on bringing something into the office, the only thing that I am comfortable with suggesting is an exercise ball.

By sitting on an exercise ball at work, you will get quite a lot of benefits, with the biggest one being that you can take it home at the end of the day and carry on at home!

If you have read my post about 5 Best Ergonomic Chairs Under $300, you will notice a wildcard at the end. It looks odd and you might feel people looking at you if you bought it into work, but it is actually quite a good idea.

The reason that I didn’t recommend it as the best is that I think most of you just want a proper seat that you feel comfortable sitting in.

So there you have it…an exercise ball.

That is all I am going to say about that for this section!

However, let me know in the comments if there is a piece of exercise equipment for the office cubicle that you have used and feel that it really helps.

To Sum it All Up

If you want to go ahead and invest a small amount in some of the things I mentioned, then, by all means, go ahead, but I will not endorse it here on Health Form.

I hope that you found this article useful and if you are ready to have a go at some exercise routines but don’t know how then you can check out our sister site: Tansamai

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