Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) contributes a small bit of calorie burning that can be a part of a calorie-balancing lifestyle. I have special respect for the need to maintain activity at a desk job, and these items may be very appreciated by the desk-bound workers in your life.

Here are some of my favorite fidget widgets that can work for you or make great gifts or stocking stuffers.

First is Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty. The 3.2 oz size makes for good hand exercise. It’s a little softer than Silly Putty and has enough resistance to squeezing to increase grip strength. I received some as a gift years ago and still use it.

These ring exercise widgets
come in various resistance levels and offer a little more variety than the usual stress ball squeezes by adding pulling and abduction (spreading your fingers apart rather than together) exercise possibilities.

A wobble board is a pretty simple device, and may be a better gift for yourself than others. You stand on the platform and teeter on the rounded protrusion on the underside—it feels a bit like carpet surfing, but it’s not difficult and the platform can only tip so far before the edge hits the floor, so it’s unlikely to provoke a fall. If you have a standing desk or do a lot of standing work, a wobble board like this one can add some leg and trunk activity as background activity.

Last, but not least, there’s no better gift than your time. You can encourage both exercise and non-exercise activity for yourself and a friend or family member by giving the gift of a scheduled walking time, bike ride or a set-aside time for playing a game or assembling a puzzle. Filling your time with activity decreases the chance of free time becoming sedentary screen time.