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Whether you’re headed back into the office, or working from your at-home setup, days at your desk can put some serious strain on your back, neck, and shoulders. You may even catch yourself clenching your jaw, tensing and tapping your leg, or other unconscious behavior that signifies stress.
The good news is that there’s no shortage of devices to help you relax those muscles via various methods. These office stress-relief and massage tools don’t take up much space, but they do provide relief where you need it, and are a welcome addition to any workspace.
Buying Guide: What to Know About Office Stress-Relief Devices
From their features to the different types of stress-relief tools for the office, here’s your guide.
Types: First, consider which parts of your body are needing relief the most. That will help you know which type of tool to look for, whether it’s a chair accessory, foam roller, or another device.
Chairs with built-in massage capabilities can get seriously expensive, easily climbing up into the hundreds or thousands. But luckily, when it comes to massage tools, you’ve got some way more affordable options.
For a more targeted approach to really hit the spots that hurt, a massage gun is going to be best, and even better if it includes attachments to dig deep.
For hard-to-reach spots like your upper and lower back, consider a cushion that goes right onto your desk chair. Foot and leg devices can be surprisingly relaxing too.
Features & Portability: Portability is a really nice perk for those days when you’re shuffling between home and the office. So if you’re constantly traveling, go for a battery-powered device.
A short session of heat can feel great as a bonus, but as with all of these, be careful not to overdo it. And for particularly intense massages, give yourself a few days to recover afterwards (and drink plenty of water).
Aside from massages, devices that have short-circuit and overheating protection add even more value to a worry-free experience.
Control: Having the choice of a few different speeds and power modes can make all the difference. This matters more for vibration-based therapy devices, where some speeds might be too intense or weak for different users, and the option to turn it up or down makes it usable for multiple people, or when you’ve had a particularly stressful day.
For a chair-based cushion device, a remote usually comes standard. It gives you the choice of different zones such as upper and lower back, with varying intensity, and the ability for instant shutoff when you’ve had enough.
The Best Office Stress-Relief and Massage Tools
Taking care of yourself at work is vitally important, both for your body and mind as well. Adding a few of these at your desk and taking a few minutes to loosen up can help you focus and get through the day with less pain, aches, and muscle fatigue.
1. iLive Portable Handheld Massage Gun
For targeting specific spots, iLive’s massage therapy device lets you zoom in on exactly where you’re sore, helping to loosen it up with six speed settings of intensity. This comes with four interchangeable massage heads too, all differently shaped and angled for getting deep and relieving sore muscles. In our tests, we especially liked the U-shaped attachment, which was ideal for pinpointing neck and back areas and avoiding massaging directly against your spine. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery plugs in via USB, refueling in about four hours, and is also portable for taking it wherever you want to work.
2. Snailax Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat
You can pick among three massage zones on this Snaillax, covering your entire back from upper to lower, letting you choose the level of intensity you want with the attached remote. Four different Shiatsu massage nodes that go up and down your back, working tight muscles with a circular kneading motion. You can even select the “Rolling Mode” for a simple, soothing track on each side of your spine. It also has a vibration effect on the seat, and a soft blast of heat too. This easily attaches to any chair with straps, or can be used on larger areas like a sofa.
3. Emer Foot Massager Machine with Remote Control
Place your feet on this bright orange foot massager under your desk and be amazed at how good a foot massage can feel. Built-in acupressure heads roll up and down the bottom of your feet here, kneading deep and loosening up soreness and stiff muscles. This one is an ideal gift for someone who’s standing all day. A remote is included too, and with multiple different intensity levels, you’ll definitely find your go-to favorite for your feet.
4. TriggerPoint Core Foam Roller for Exercise
Sometimes the simplest solution is just what you need. No electronics or batteries are involved here, just a tough roller to knock out tension and knots at the end of the day, or to keep near your desk. It’s designed with an EVA foam core to last longer without breaking down or becoming too soft. The surface features different densities to break up knots, increase mobility. It mimics the effect of a massage therapist’s fingers, and works well for both beginners and experienced rollers. Simply rest tights spots like, say, your forearms over the foam roller, and apply a small amount of pressure to help relieve soreness.