10 best desk exercise equipment

No time to get to the gym? Work on your fitness in the office instead

Claire Fo
Thursday 21 January 2016 12:14

Even the best laid fitness plans can struggle to survive a hard day in the office. So why not squeeze your gym session into working hours and multitask your way to a dream body?

We’ve trawled the market to find the best fitness kit for a desk-based exercise session, from equipment you'll forget you're even using to fast and effective workout tools that you can squeeze into a coffee break or during a boring phone call.

And don’t worry, we’ve filtered out anything liable to make you look like a wally in the office (treadmill workstations, we’re looking at you).

So make yourself a cuppa, pull up your office chair and get ready to deskercise in style.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

1. NSD Powerball Autostart Fusion Pro: £39.84, Amazon

For arm toning, this hand-held gyroscope is hard to beat. It works fast – spin it for one to two minutes a few times a day – and won’t take up space. Low impact and high intensity, it can also help with ailments such as RSI.

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2. Back App 2.0 chair: from £555.60, Back2

Sitting on this posture-improving stool subtly exercises your back and ab muscles by requiring you to balance. By adjusting the base you can also decrease the stability further to enable specific ab and core exercises. Choose from a range of fabrics.

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3. Bodyism exercise band: £11.95, Clean and Lean

This resistance band can give you a hip, thigh and core workout without leaving the comfort of your chair. It comes in three different resistance levels. Buy separately or in a multipack.

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4. Technogym wellness weights: £123, Technogym

These free weights are slim enough to stand on your desk or tuck away in your drawer. More elegant than most, they come with velcro straps, a carry case, exercise manual and warranty. Choose from 0.5kg or 1kg sets.

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5. Fitness Mad Stability Cushion: £22.49, Discount Supplements

Pop one of these cushions on your chair to destabilise your seat, working your abs and core. It can also be used separately for core strength exercises by kneeling or standing on it.

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6. Reebok ankle weights: £12.27, Amazon

Discreetly work out by strapping on some of these and doing a few under-desk leg lifts. They’re easy to adjust and available in 0.5kg, 1kg and 1.kg.

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7. The Friendly Swede Egg-shaped hand exercise balls: £14.99

Squeezing these can help relieve tension and stress while strengthening your hands, wrists and forearms. They come in a pack with three different resistance levels.

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8. Pro Fitness mini exercise bike: £34.99, Argos

For a leg workout with a side of cardio, slide this under your desk and pedal while you type. Or move it onto the desk for a (less discreet) arm workout.

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9. Polar Loop 2: £94.50, Polar

This fitness tracker will buzz when you’ve been inactive for 55 minutes, reminding you to get up. Tracking your steps and activity, it will let you know when you stray from your fitness goals.

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10. Varidesk Pro: £295, Varidesk

This standing desk helps you to move more in the day. It sits on top of your normal workstation and can be easily adjusted between sitting and standing position.

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For all over toning the Powerball and Bodyism exercise band make a great team. But if you’ve got the cash and are looking for an all round healthier way to spend your days in the office then the Back App 2.0 is a smart and subtle way to boost your health and fitness without even trying.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.