Office Gadgets for Better Health and Peak Performance

If you're a knowledge worker, most likely you sit most of the day in front of a computer. And too much sitting affects you in two ways: serious health effects and poor performance.

After some research and experimenting, I ended up investing in three gadgets to protect my health and improve my performance at the office.

Disclaimer: If you decide to purchase what I recommend below with my links, I'll get compensated by Amazon at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

1| Standing Desk for Better Health

According to a 2015 study by Annals of Internal Medicine (an academic journal published by the American College of Physicians) sitting for prolonged periods of time has been linked to serious health consequences and premature death—even if you exercise regularly. [1]

To break the sitting pattern, I got an adjustable standing desk to switch between sitting and standing throughout the day. There's no study regarding an optimal daily standing time, but most experts recommend getting started with two hours, until eventually doubling to four hours.

VARIDESK - Height-Adjustable Standing Desk - Pro Plus 36 - Black

Photo by David Jacoby (click to enlarge)

I looked at several standing desk options, and the Varidesk had the best reviews. It was also the most cost effective because you can use it on top of an office desk. 

The Pro Plus 36 model I got works best if you work with a laptop, have a second screen and need a retractable tray for a keyboard and mouse.

However, VARIDESK also comes in other models for users with different workstation setups; e.g. laptop only, two large screens, etc.


2 | Mini-Trampoline for Peak Performance

At an event with Tony Robbins, I experienced—through a series of exercises—that how we feel is reflected in the posture and movement of our bodies. We perform our best when we feel great! Or in Tony's words:

“The difference between peak performance and poor performance is not intelligence or ability; most often it’s the state that your mind and body is in.”
— Tony Robbins

Due to the nature of the office environment, even when alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day, we operate with minimal movement. And even less movement, if your job doesn't even involve much verbal interaction such as in sales.

Conversely, the lack of movement over extended periods of time puts us into a passive state where we're less engaged. Most of us unconsciously already know this, and that's why we rely on caffeinated products to get back in the zone.

But there's only so much caffeine we can take to change our state and how we feel before it becomes an unhealthy habit. So I borrowed one of Tony's tactics to stay engaged at work naturally.

Stamina 36-Inch Folding Trampoline

Photo by David Jacoby (click to enlarge)

Before his presentations, Tony jumps on a mini-trampoline for 10 minutes to get into a peak state. [2]

After attending one of his events, I immediately knew I wanted to replicate his energy at work.

I prefer running over the bouncing, but in Seattle rains most of the year to go outside. 

Also, 10 minutes bouncing on a trampoline is a more efficient cardiovascular workout than 30 minutes of running. [3]

That's how I landed on getting a trampoline. I got this one because it had good reviews, it was cheap, and available through Amazon Prime.


3 | Posture Sensor for Prolonged Energy

Finally, we tend to slouch when we're tired whether we're sitting or standing. Slouching is not only less attractive, but it also has adverse effects on our body and mind. In fact, a 2011 study conducted by San Francisco University found that slouching worsens feelings of depression and decreases energy levels. [4]

Lumo Lift Posture Coach

lumo lift posture coach

The Lumo Lift is a wearable posture sensor that alerts me with a vibration when I slouch for more than 15 seconds (the recommended delay) to correct my posture.

Every time I'm in the office, and I feel a vibration, it not only reminds me to correct my posture but also to use my body to change the way I feel!


My Daily Routine to Stay Engaged

I alternate between 45 minutes sitting and 15 minutes standing. My standing desk comes with a desktop app that reminds me to switch positions on my computer screen. 

I usually workout before coming to the office, but when I don't, I squeeze 5-minutes of bouncing in the morning. Then in the afternoon around 3 pm, I do 10-minute session to finish the day strong.

The goal is to maximize performance by being proactive about changing positions and moving throughout the day.

References

  1. Annals of Internal Medicine Study: Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults.
  2. How Tony Robbins Gets in Peak State for Presentations, Forbes Magazine.
  3. Journal of Applied Physiology: Body acceleration distribution and O2 uptake in humans during running and jumping.
  4. Increase or Decrease Depression: How Body Postures Influence Your Energy Level, Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback.