These Tonal members love the convenience of exercising from their workspaces.
Balancing a busy job and a regular workout routine is challenging. For commuters, it means speeding through a workout before getting to the office or fighting exhaustion and hitting the gym after a long workday.
Working from home, though, offers more flexibility—and that option has become a lot more common since the pandemic. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in January 2022, 59 percent of Americans who say they can do their job remotely reported that they work from home all or most of the time.
When you work from home, it’s easy to exercise in your home gym—whether it’s in your garage, basement, or even, the same room as your home office. A home gym office combo is a great space-saving solution and, according to some Tonal members, can actually motivate you to exercise more. Here’s what you need to know about setting up a home gym office combo and whether it’s right for you.
Benefits of a Home Gym Office Combo
Counteract the Effects of Sitting
The transition to remote work during the pandemic sparked a surge in popularity of all types of at-home fitness solutions, from treadmill desks and balance balls to connected fitness equipment, all to counteract the effects of gym closures and quarantine, but also all that sitting. Sitting for hours hunched over a computer has been linked to muscle stiffness and lower back pain. Unfortunately, that’s how many of us spend our days, especially if we work from home. By combining your home office and gym, you can create a space that encourages activity, even in small bursts during the workday.
Maximize Your Space
If you live in a small space, your home office might be the only place you can fit your gym equipment. That was the case for Tiffany S., a sales manager from Tampa, Florida. “I live in a townhouse and didn’t have many options that allowed space [for a home gym],” she says. “After removing some furniture in my office, it became the perfect space.”
For Marisa Garcia Saturni-Johnson, a contracts manager from Denver, having a room that does double duty helped free up other areas of her home. “We wanted to maximize the space in our home [so] it seemed smarter to lump together the workout room and office, especially if we have guests. We would not have to disturb them to work out or work as they have a separate bedroom space,” she says.
Create Built-In Motivation
Marcy D. of Hawthorne, California calls her home gym office combo her “sanctuary” because the multipurpose room offers her a private space to focus on her career and her fitness. “My home gym/office is the best area since it is really my own space as opposed to other rooms that may be occupied by other family members and may discourage me from working out,” she says.
Other Tonal members feel similarly that keeping gym equipment visible in their offices makes it more likely they’ll work out on any given day. “Being able to look at [Tonal] while working is inspiring,” says Aaron Coffman, an electrical engineer from El Cajon, California. Plus, with no need to leave home—or even the room—adding a workout during lunch or in-between meetings is a seamless experience.
“Having Tonal set up in my home office actually makes me more productive,” says Molly Ritterbeck, Senior Director of Editorial at Tonal. Even though she usually exercises before work, Ritterbeck says, “If for some reason I can’t do an early session, Tonal serves as a visual reminder for me to fit it in during my lunch hour before the day gets too crazy. Plus, it’s so easy to sneak in a Quick Fit or short mobility session between meetings without even having to step away from my desk.”
Tiffany S. agrees that seeing her Tonal during the workday motivates her to work out. “The convenience of having it so close by really leaves no room for excuses,” she says. “I normally schedule a lunch break and complete a 30-minute workout, shower, eat lunch, then continue my day. It doesn’t get more convenient than that.”
How to Set Up Your Home Gym Office Combo
As you plan your home gym office combo set-up, consider all the furniture and gym equipment you plan on adding and make sure you have the room to fit everything. You don’t want to be bumping into your desk chair as you do burpees.
Think about your electrical outlet situation, too. Will you have enough outlets to power your smart home gym equipment along with your computer and any other devices you may need, such as a monitor or printer? Wi-Fi connectivity is likely less of a problem in home offices than in other rooms if you already have a signal strong enough to stream video. If you share your home office with a family member, think about if it’ll be distracting if one of you is exercising while the other is trying to work.
“Really think about your layout and giving yourself plenty of space to actually use [Tonal] and its many cool workouts,” says Saturni-Johnson. “But keep in mind that the office side should not be neglected and should fit your needs as well. You should feel comfortable when using [either one].”
For installing Tonal, you’ll ideally want to have 3.5 feet on either side of Tonal (measured from its center) and 7 feet out from the wall as open space.
And you can’t forget to decorate. Tonal members have gotten creative with statement walls and neon lights when designing their workout areas, but you may want to go with a more muted scheme if your home gym doubles as your workspace. Think about whether you want your gym equipment to stand out, or blend into the space.
“The day before my Tonal was delivered, I chose to paint that wall a darker color and I am so happy I did,” says Tiffany S. “It helps the equipment almost fade into the background without being a main focal point.”
If you spend most of your day in meetings with your camera on, consider the placement of your Tonal and if you want it to be seen by your coworkers.
“My gym equipment is on either side of me, not in the background,” says Marcy D. “I work for the government so having gym equipment behind me is not professional.”
Tiffany S. also prefers not to display her workout equipment during meetings. Even though the best spot for her Tonal was directly behind her desk, it’s not a problem because she uses virtual backgrounds during work calls.
While Coffman sometimes uses a blurred background to remove distractions from his meetings, he says, “I have no issues showing off the gym,” especially since he’s proud of the results he’s gotten from working out on Tonal. When he does keep his home gym in the picture, he says co-workers are often curious about Tonal and want to know if it can truly replace a gym membership. His response: “Short answer: Yes.”