Lack of exercise is a serious problem in Germany. On average, Germans spend 8.5 hours of their day sitting down. Around a third of this time is spent working at a desk.
However, it is not only productivity and mood that suffer from sitting for long periods of time, but above all health. The lack of movement promotes high blood pressure, pain in the neck and back, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. It is therefore hardly surprising that sitting for long periods of time is now considered just as harmful as smoking cigarettes – because excessive sitting also reduces life expectancy.
According to experts, exercise can significantly improve your own performance at work. This is mainly due to improved blood circulation, which supplies the brain with more oxygen. Effectiveness and mental performance benefit from this.
However, many people simply don’t have the time to integrate enough exercise into their everyday lives between work and the few hours of free time they have. However, there are some new technology gadgets that are designed to solve this problem, such as a treadmill for height-adjustable desks. Exercise should have a positive impact on both health and productivity without having to invest additional time.
The treadmill for the desk
Treadmills that are placed under a standing desk differ from conventional treadmills in that they are significantly slower. This not only makes them lighter and more flexible, but also allows you to walk comfortably.
These treadmills are available in two different versions. Some models can simply be placed under your own desk. Others have a built-in tabletop. However, the disadvantage of these devices is that they are quite noisy – this can be particularly distracting during meetings or phone calls.
It is important to adopt a correct upper body posture while walking at the desk. This also requires the standing desk to be at the right height. Otherwise, neck and back pain are encouraged.
Pedaling at your desk
Those who want to make their working day even more sporty can do so with a desk bike, which is also known as a desk bike. Depending on the price range or model, individual pedals can be found, for example, which can then be placed under the desk. However, retailers also offer a bicycle seat with pedals that serves as a replacement for the normal desk chair. There are also complete sets available that have an integrated desk top.
However, if only pedals are placed under the desk, the hip flexor in particular is strained. If the exercise is performed incorrectly, there is a high probability of back pain. A desk bike that allows the legs to point straight down when the hips and knees are stretched is therefore better.
It is also important that the rest of the workstation can be flexibly adapted to the device. It is also important to ensure that the shoulders are also moved during the working day so that the lower half of the body is not the only part of the body that is challenged.
Maintaining the right balance
Another device designed to prevent a lack of movement during the working day is the balance board. This serves either as a replacement for the normal office chair or can be set up in front of a standing desk.
The main advantage of the balance board is that it is easier to handle and takes up less space than other gadgets. This means that it can also be used in small rooms and easily stowed away again. Not to be neglected is the fact that the balance boards make hardly any noise, so that the volume does not interfere with work.
The task on the balance boards is to continuously balance your own body weight. This strengthens the back muscles and relieves the typical pain caused by sitting for too long. Spending 20 to 30 minutes a day on the balance board is sufficient to achieve these positive effects. However, it is not advisable to work on the board continuously, as this can overstrain the muscles. This can lead to sore and tense muscles.
The innovative Gymba board
The daily steps that are otherwise completed on the treadmill and the balance exercises on the balance board are combined on the so-called Gymba board. This is an extremely handy fitness device on which walking is simulated. In direct comparison to the desk treadmills, the device is also much quieter.
In addition, a simple turn is all it takes to turn the handy treadmill into a balance board on which balance exercises can be performed. The Gymba board therefore offers a particularly wide range of options for training the entire body while working at a desk.
It not only promotes the deep muscles, which ensure the stability of the spine, but also the muscles in the feet and legs. The Gymba board can be set up in a few simple steps and is therefore very flexible to use.
Caution, risk of accident?
However, the risk of accidents with this new type of desk fitness equipment should not be ignored. After all, it’s easy to trip on the treadmill or lose your balance on the balance board.
The home office in particular is still a legal gray area for accident insurance in this context. Basically, it is not an accident at work if an incident occurs in the home office due to the use of sports equipment. The situation could be different if a team call leads to the employee being startled and falling off the treadmill. However, this scenario would then have to stand up to a detailed insurance review.
The secret: Provide variety
Regardless of which fitness equipment for the desk best suits your needs: The most important thing is to ensure sufficient variety in terms of exercise during the working day.
Personal attitude also plays a major role here. Regular breaks from sitting should be planned and, of course, consistently adhered to. Certain elements of the working day can also be combined particularly well with movement, such as making phone calls. The chair should be left for at least ten minutes after an hour.
The World Health Organization provides a guideline of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise and 60 to 180 minutes of more intensive cardiovascular training per week. This is because the general health risks are particularly favored by problems with the cardiovascular system.
The entire body should be challenged for at least 15 minutes a day in its entire range of motion. This activates the shoulder area, all joints and the intervertebral discs, which would otherwise remain completely rigid if you were sitting all day.