If you are a busy professional, health is usually left on the back burner. Claiming that you “do not have time” or that you are “too busy” to prioritize your health are just excuses. However, if you can spare ten minutes, and have an iPhone and some basic equipment lying around your office or workspace, then you have no reason to overlook your fitness while you are working at the office or home.
Here are some of my favorite fitness apps that I love to help me get focused on my health, both at home and during work.
Ergonomics and Fitness Apps for iPhone and iPad
#1. Stand Up! The Work Break Timer → free, with in-app purchases for iOS
Sometimes, the most effective thing we can do during the day is to take a break from the bright screens, constant hunching over our phones and keyboards, and to stretch out stiff and tired joints. Work Break Timer is the perfect solution to this problem!
With Stand Up! The Work Break Timer, you can increase your productivity and focus by becoming more energized after a daily break. Set different alarms for different types of breaks you should take, from stretching, a quick nap, to resting your eyes. This is simply the most flexible timer app to plan out various health reminders throughout your workday.
The app also includes:
- Supports reminders at different intervals, such as every 15 minutes, 2 hours, etc.
- Time how long you are standing up.
- Many custom alarms, some hard to dismiss to force you to break.
- 7-day history view to track your progress.
#2. Pocket Yoga Teacher → $9.99, one-time purchase
Yoga is, by definition, stretching through the muscles, joints, and ligaments of our bodies. So, what better way to move through those stiff joints and improve blood flow, concentration, and performance than with the Pocket Yoga app?
Pocket Yoga contains twenty-seven different routines that vary in difficulty, length, and exercises, making it the perfect way to fit in even the quickest stretch session in between meetings. You can learn each move from their pose library, which provides detailed descriptions of how to perform the pose, as well as the alignment and its benefits.
The app also includes:
- Detailed voice and visual instructions to guide you through each pose and session.
- Over 200 pose illustrations showing correct posture and alignment.
- Dictionary of poses, which contain the benefits of each pose.
- Preview practices before starting to verify that it is right for you.
- Built-in soothing music, which plays during a session.
- Automatically tracks your workouts.
- “Pose of the Day” widget, which teaches you a new pose every day.
#3. Breathing Zone — Relaxing Breathing Exercises → $5.49, one time Purchase for iOS
The ability to take a break from your work and exercise is nice, but where would we be without our breath? Breathing properly helps to deliver oxygen to the brain and muscles, as well as keep us calm, focused, less stressed, and energized throughout the day. Improper breathing can also lead to poor posture and terrible circulation.
The Breathing Zone app — which has been recommended by Lifehacker, The app — uses proven breathing techniques intent on lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. It’s been proven that forty-five minutes of deep, mindful breathing per week can significantly improve blood circulation!
The app also includes:
- Intuitive animated breathing guide.
- Easy to follow voice instructions.
- Timed sessions, lasting between 5 and 30 minutes.
- Five calming guide sounds.
- Weekly targets for therapeutic breathing.
#4. 7 Minute Workout → free, with in-app purchases for iOS
Everyone has seven minutes! And seven minutes are all that are required to complete one circuit of this handy training app, which was popularized by the New York Times after its initial launch.
The 7 Minute Workout app uses the practice of High-Intensity Circuit Training (HICT), which is a type of workout that focuses more on quality, not quantity when it comes to training. With voice commands that guide you from start to finish, the app only requires either bodyweight alone, or a small platform and a chair to get the work done. It will leave your heart rate elevated and your mind more focused!
Though all of these workouts are designed with the busy individual in mind, it is also advised to speak to your doctor before starting any intense training style.
#5. ENCOURAGE: Move More Sit Less → FREE for iOS
Do you sit a lot at work? The answer, almost always, is yes. That’s where the Encourage app comes in! Encourage is an app that is specifically designed to fight “sitting disease” by getting you up and active consistently throughout the day.
Encourage challenges users to complete an exercise for a number of sets and repetitions at after long periods of being sedentary, and at random intervals. It helps to develop consistency over time using behavior change techniques proven to gradually change your routine to include healthy choices.
Other features on the app include:
- Daily health challenges to keep you motivated.
- A variety of exercise routines you can do right at your cubicle.
- Keeps track of how long you’ve performed an exercise.
- Ability to track your progress over a long period of time.
#6. Ergonomics App → $0.99, one-time purchase
Awarded with the People’s Choice Award for the Department of Labor App Challenge, the Ergonomics App is a fantastic way to reteach yourself — or learn for the first time! — how to sit, stand, and type efficiently.
Most people ignore basic workspace ergonomics thinking it has little consequences on their health, though the skyrocketing of musculoskeletal disabilities such as carpal tunnel, RSI, and back pain tell a different story.
The app boasts three key features, including:
#1. A detailed stretch library, which includes hundreds of stretches that aim to
stretch the entire body:
- All stretches have detailed drawings and instructions.
- All stretches include a timer so that you don’t over or under stretch!
- You can choose between a single stretch or a group of stretches.
#2. Reminders: The app gives you daily reminders to get up and move!
#3. Optimal Ergonomic Setups
- The app teaches you how to set up your desk, keyboard, office chair,
mouse, and a computer monitor for proper ergonomics.
- It also offers quick tips for the most optimal office set up!
- All details are supported by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA.)
#7. Headspace: Guided Meditation → FREE for iOS
Meditation has been practiced throughout the world for centuries to relieve stress, be more productive, and reach a higher level of awareness. All of us can benefit from these things at the workplace, which is why Headspace: Guided Meditation was developed.
This app brings all the benefits of meditation to the masses, through step by step, easy to follow lessons that will help you learn to master meditation gradually as you reap the benefits each step of the way.
The app comes with the following features:
- A large library of different types of guided meditation for focus, stress, better sleep, etc.
- “Mindful moments” to remind you to stop and smell the roses every day.
- Track your progress every step of your meditation journey.
- Mini-meditation sessions lasting 2-3 minutes to help you quickly focus or relieve stress.
- “Sleep” sounds when you wish to nap or sleep.
And much more. This is simply one of the best apps for anyone who is new to meditation and wish to get into it.
We have taken health for granted, and therefore, the popular adage – Health is Wealth – has lost its true meaning. But when we fall ill or develop lifelong health issues, we understand the real value of our health.
Apps listed above help keep you fit and fine for a long time. Our sedentary lifestyle gives birth to a lot of physical and mental ailments. Use the apps wisely and stay fit to meet challenges.
You may like to explore more related posts:
- Best Apple Watch Health Apps
- Best Health Apps for iPhone You Shouldn’t Miss Out
- Best iPhone Apps for Healthy Eating: Apps to Find and Cook Healthy Food
- Best Sleep Tracking iPhone Apps for Optimal Sleep Cycles and Health
- Best Fitness Apps for iPhone
About the author:
Jon Muller is a mechanical engineer turned ergonomics enthusiast and blogger. He is the founder of Ergonomic Trends where he writes about ergonomics, office productivity, and the best ergonomic products for your health.