90,000 hours. 10.3 years. 18.5% of your waking hours over your entire lifetime. This is how much time you spend at work.
You've probably read the stats on how all those hours are taking their toll on your health: sitting is the new smoking, work stress is killing you, the unhealthy habit of forgoing vacation days. 28% of us have gained more than 10 lbs. at work, and 13% have put on more than 20. Our waistlines are expanding and our attention spans are shrinking.
With so much of your life spent at the office, it's more important than ever to make your work environment as healthy as possible. Yet most of us simply don't feel we have the time or resources to make our physical well-being a priority at work. These 10 gadgets are designed to help you feel better while you work, so you can improve your health without compromising your productivity.
If a full-size standing desk is either too bulky or too expensive for you, try out the StorkStand. It clips onto the back of your regular office chair so it's easy to be productive and stretch your legs, then quickly go back to your normal desk setup when you're ready to sit.
When you spend your days sitting, good posture is essential. Unfortunately, many of us need some help in that department. (I know I do!) The Lumo belt gauges your posture, how long you’ve been sitting, how many steps you’ve taken, and even how well you slept. The accompanying app shows an animated recreation of your posture throughout the day, and you can program the device to buzz and remind you to sit or stand up straight, or go for a walk.
3. Cubii Desk Elliptical
If you want more prolonged activity that'll still let you get work done, an under-desk elliptical (or bike pedals, or mini-stepper) is a great solution. It's low-impact so you can still focus on your work or make phone calls without being out-of-breath, but it'll keep your blood flowing — and the increased circulation will actually help you be more creative.
4. Dumbbell Alarm
If you’ve got your own office where the noise won’t disrupt others, this dumbbell alarm is perfect for alerting you when it’s time to get in a few minutes of exercise. You can put it in normal alarm mode, where a single curl will silence it, or exercise mode, where you’ll have to complete a set number of reps. At just over a pound you won’t exactly achieve an Arnold-level pump, but it’s a great reminder to take periodic breaks and get in some physical activity.
5. Darma Smart Cushion
This gadget may look like a simple seat cushion, but its built-in sensors monitor your posture, sitting habits and stress levels — it even coaches you to improve your posture and alerts you when it’s time to stand up and stretch your legs.
6. Carpet Skates
Remember that episode of The Office where they stage a company-wide Olympics? Get your heart rate up or take a fun team building break by hosting an office speed skating race.( Just make sure you clear the course first so no one gets hurt!)
7. Desktop Air Purifier
This bad boy captures up to 95% of airborne particles, so you don’t have to worry as much about that co-worker who insists on coming in to the office with a cold. Fewer days feeling under the weather means you get more done — and you can save that PTO for a real vacation.
8. USB-Powered Flower Pot
Like sleep, looking at plants and foliage helps refresh your brain’s ability to focus. Unfortunately, fluorescent lights don’t necessarily provide an ideal growing environment, and if you’re busy, you may not have the time to tend to a houseplant. But with this USB flower pot that reminds you when to water, you can get the benefits of greenery even if you aren't blessed with a green thumb.
9. Noise-Canceling Headphones
If you work in an open-office setting or travel frequently, you need a way to shut out distractions and focus. Noise-canceling headphones are an ideal solution (I personally could not function without a pair).
10. Water Bottle
Even mild dehydration (just 1-2%!) makes us less alert, causes a decline in cognitive function, and hinders our ability to manage stress and anxiety. One study even found that workers who were dehydrated by only 1% experienced a 12% drop in productivity. This water bottle by Hydros has a built-in filter, and a portion of proceeds helps fund sustainable water projects to bring clean water to those who need it most.
Want more personal productivity tips?
Check out our collection of resources, strategies, and techniques to fight procrastination, find your motivation, and be more productive.