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Office Exercises: Fitness Tools You Can Hide in Your Desk

So you’re pulling long hours at the office. And I’m not talking about a home office with a treadmill next to your desk — I’m talking about a multi-person office, where there’s, like, a dress code and cubicles and an actual water cooler. When you’re coming in early, leaving late and trying to, you know, have an actual life outside of business hours, fitting in a trip to the gym can be the hardest part of a workout.

Now, I’m all for a lunchtime workout if you can swing it, but if you sweat like I do, an hour won’t cut it — half an hour of hard exercise requires at least 15 minutes of cooling down before hitting the showers, otherwise, the shower just doesn’t take.

But here’s the good news — there’s plenty you can do, right there in your office, wearing your fancy work clothes and everything, using just a few simple (and small!) tools for a few minutes at a time throughout the day. Is it the same as going and knocking out a solid hour of serious strength training? Of course not. Is it better than sitting at your desk and only getting up to walk to and from the fridge or restroom? You betcha.

You’ve already seen some moves you can do to get a fit booty for Work It Week, but here are a few tools to help you work a variety of muscle groups. And chances are good you can fit them all in or beneath your desk!

fitness products for office

Rocker Board

If you happen to have a standing desk, you can utilize a rocker or wobble board, like this one from Performance Health ($108.99) to better engage your stabilizing muscles while you work. But, even if you’re not standing all day, keeping a wobble board (or any sort of tool that makes you work on balance) handy and standing on it during breaks is a great way to use some muscles that otherwise don’t see much action at the office.

Pedal Exerciser

Who says your feet have to stay still while you’re sitting at your desk taking conference call after conference call? Get in some low-impact movement with a stationary pedal machine. This one from Essential Medical Supply ($55.95) also works well if you’re looking to warm up your upper body a bit, too … although that could make typing a bit more challenging. But hey, isn’t that what breaks are for?


If you’re looking for something small enough to stash in a purse or pocket, but with almost limitless applications, the resistance band (like the ones from TheraBand, $5.49 for an Individual Band Loop) is it. You can loop them around your feet or legs to work your hips and thighs, or get your hands in on the action to up your squat game … you can get about a gazillion workouts out of them. And if you want to mix it up, you can change up the level of resistance for one with less stretch!

Covered Resistance Band

If you’ve more specific moves in mind and would like a band with handles, this Covered Resistance Band from Gaiam ($11.98) is a great option. The handles make it easy for you to adapt some of your dumbbell exercises to be more office-friendly, so you can do sets of curls, rows and more during your coffee break.

Push Up Stand

When you want a lot of bang for your workout buck, push-ups and planks are the way to go, and this Collapsable Push Up Stand ($14.99) lets you do your planks and push-ups in any hand position you like while supporting your wrists (and, you know, keeping your hands off the floor itself). Got two minutes before your next meeting? A 60-second plank is a great way to kill time, right?

What easy-to-store fitness tools do you have in your office? —Kristen

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  1. kendal says:

    Has anyone looked into this for a little exercise at their desk?

    It seems too good to be true, but before making the investment I wanted to hear some feedback to see if others had thoughts on this.


  2. Jenny says:

    I guess that many people (myself included) find it difficult to find some spare time to workout. Thanks for the office excercise tips, they might come in handy!

  3. Summer is a good time to exercise, but too much heat and humidity can cause problems.R

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