Not everyone is a fan of the traditional office desk and chair setup. Some of us are too restless and need to do something more active during the 9-to-5 day than sitting still at our keyboards. Some of us need more peace and quiet to focus, and some of us just need to be comfortable. We've compiled a list of interesting furniture and equipment that introduce new ways to sit, stand and pedal while getting your work done.
You can now do cardio while filling out reports thanks to several devices that allow you to work out without leaving the desk. Under-desk ellipticals are small, portable devices that emulate the movements you do on a full-size elliptical. Most under-desk ellipticals are built to be nondisruptive, making as little noise as possible so as not to distract your co-workers.
Devices like the FitDesk and Cubii come with different resistances to challenge you and get your heart going. The Cubii has a free phone app that you can connect to the device to show you how many rotations you've completed and the calories you've burned. Pro tip: Make sure your desk has enough clearance so your knees don't bang against the bottom as you work out.
Yoga ball alternativesCredit: Safco
The Buoy by Turnstone is another alternative to yoga ball seats. It looks like a cylindrical stool, but its base moves on a free swivel and tilt, allowing you to freely rotate, lean and balance. You'll get the yoga ball benefit of engaging your core while having a seat that's stationary and has a flat surface. It also has an adjustable height.
With a tilted seat and pew-like knee rest, you'll stand out by sitting down, but the makers of kneeling chairs claim they're better for your back and neck than traditional office chairs. The design is meant to naturally correct your posture, which can help relieve back and neck pain. Some versions, like the one by Varier, have a rocking-chair design so you can rock back and forth to engage your core muscles and get a slight workout.
Office phone boothTalkBox
While some tout the benefits of an open office, some may find it too noisy and distracting at times. Not all offices have a lot of empty meeting rooms for employees to retreat to. Installing a few office phone booths give employees a refuge where they can go with their laptop, shut the door and work when they really need to concentrate. You can also step in to take private phone calls. Several companies specialize in office privacy booths, offering different sizes and amenities. TalkBox and Framery offers models with setups for sitting, standing, lounging and even napping. They are built to be as soundproof as possible. If you feel up to the task, there are plenty of plans and blueprints online for you to build your own as well.
Standing desks are all the rage, with many touting the benefits to your back and overall fitness. However, some may feel they're still too static. Refold aims to make the standing desk portable by building it out of sturdy, lightweight cardboard. Refold's desks weigh only 14 pounds and support up to 187 pounds, so you can easily move your desk around the office to wherever you see fit. You can order yours with an optional waterproof surface so you don't have to worry about ruining your cardboard desk with coffee.
If your job requires you to drive frequently, or if you just have the freedom to make the open road your office, AutoExec makes a desk specifically for road warriors. The desk fits onto your passenger seat and is secured by a seatbelt. It has a large space for writing or setting your laptop, with compartments for file folders and office supplies. Other models allow you to customize with a power inverter or swivel mount for laptops and tablets. Just make sure to keep your eyes on the road when you're driving.