Don’t get me wrong; working here at beautiful TechnologyTell Towers is a good job, but it requries an awful lot of sitting around. Like a lot of you out there, I spend all day sitting in front of a computer, only to go home and spend a good chunk of the evening sitting in front of a larger computer. If, like me, you’re finding you’re just not getting enough exercise, Office Fitness (Health at Work) for iPhone and iPod touch can help you inject at least some physical exercise into your daily routine.
What is it?
Office Fitness is a collection of exercises that can be easily performed in an office setting. Exercises are broken down by upper body, lower body, abdomen, back, lower back, diaphragm, eyes, mouth and neck, all of which require nothing more than your desk or chair. You can adjust the length of your routine, set reminders, and even select only exercises that require you to be seated (for those stuck in cubicle hell, most likely).
How does it work?
The UI for Office Fitness is a bit confusing at first. There are only two buttons on the home screen—Start and Settings—but it would’ve been better to first have the user create a profile than to simply toss us into the core functionality. Start brings up your first set of exercises, while Settings allows you to determine the type of exercises you want. If you don’t adjust these first, you’ll just be going off Office Fitness’ generic settings.
Once you begin a routine, a collection of exercises based on your workout length is presented. There’s a quick explanation of how to do it (they’re all pretty easy to figure out), but the timer starts the moment you hit the routine. You can tap the timer to reset it, but you can’t pause it. When the timer ends, there’s nothing to indicate it’s done (either graphically or aurally) other than that the timer itself quits moving. When your routine is over, there’s nothing to celebrate that, either. You’re just left to return to the home screen, then tap Start again when you’re ready for another workout.
This entire portion of the app needs some serious usability work.
Is it contagious?
I wouldn’t say it’s contagious so much as it’s just a good idea. I mean, look, we all know performing some light exercises and stretches at your work desk isn’t going to replace a regular exercise routine. But for the days when you can’t fit in a good run or get to the gym, or if you just don’t want to go eight hours with nothing more than walks to the coffee machine to get you moving, Office Fitness (Health at Work) does a good job of getting you moving.