For those that make New Year's resolutions, there is most likely one along the lines of "be healthier" on your list. At ArcStone, although we have standing desks available for the staff, most of our time is spent sitting. Luckily, there are a couple more solutions that don't rely on switching to the standing desk that will integrate a bit more movement into our day.
If you research and read about the effects of sitting and the health problems that surround a sedentary lifestyle, it's extremely scary. DIY Genius did a study that shows "if you regularly sit for long periods of time at work, this habit will take years off your life (even if you exercise regularly). That’s not to mention the heightened stress levels and a host of other problems that don’t show up for decades."
It's almost enough to make you want to sign up for a marathon. Almost. To counter sitting for 9 hours each day, I did some online searching and looked for an easy (and cheap) exercise option that I can do at my desk during the day.
Some options that I found:
Hovr ($89-$189) – An option for the feet that is relative to walking, but has low impact on joints.
PediGlide ($99) – A small contraption that moves your feet back and forth. A bonus is that it's small and can fit easily under a desk (and even on an airplane).
Cubii ($347) – Mirroring an elliptical machine, the Cubii is designed to keep knees away from under the desk.
Since I wasn't sure what my commitment level would be to trying out exercising at the office (I didn't want to be sweaty while in my work clothes), I didn't want to invest more than $50 on a machine. A quick search on Amazon led me to the Stamina InStride Folding Cycle (currently $30.76 with free shipping from Prime).
To be honest, I asked a coworker what she thought about it, and she told me the office might laugh if I brought it in. I tried it out at home first to make sure it actually worked for me. When I realized it did, I brought it in, others have supported it and I've enjoyed it since.
The first few times using the cycle, it was difficult. As many others have noted with bicycle style machines for desks, your knees will bump the desk if you have long legs. Even as short as I am (4'11"), I found it was a problem, but a quick adjustment to make my desk taller helped fix that.
Typing is also more difficult when you are moving, but with practice, it's doable.
If I miss a workout after work, I don't feel as guilty. It also feels great to be efficient.
I haven't noticed much weight loss (yet), but it feels great to be able to get movement in when I don't have time for a walk.
I also work my core trying to keep my rolling chair still!
I no longer get short-winded going up stairs.
Some tips if you plan on exercising at your desk:
Wear business casual clothing that will allow you to move.
Set a timer. It's easy to think you did a full 30 minutes when it's only been ten minutes, but having a timer on helps.
Make an effort to use your equipment daily, and it will become habit.
Put on some music that gets you motivated.
No matter how difficult it may be to keep resolutions, finding a way to incorporate movement into a day at the office – no matter how small – is beneficial.