5 Back-to-School Fitness Essentials for a Healthy School Year

CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our fitness advice is expert-vetted. Our top picks are based on our editors’ independent research, analysis, and hands-on testing. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

The new school year is about to begin. That means tons of shopping for back-to-school essentials like notebooks and pens. The last things that may come to mind while shopping for school are fitness related gadgets. But staying on top of your health will ensure you feel and perform your best.

Here are our top picks for wellness essentials for a happy and healthy school year.

Fitbit Versa 4


When looking for a gift for an active person, you really can’t go wrong with an activity tracker. You also don’t have to spend hundreds on the latest Apple Watch (although I’m sure your giftee would appreciate it). There are tons of cheaper Apple Watch alternatives that have many of the same functions and can satisfy the data-driven minds of fitness fiends.

The Fitbit Versa 4 is our pick for the best back-to-school fitness gift.

Read our Fitbit Versa 2 review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Sitting for hours on end can really take a toll on your posture, even when you actively attempt to correct it. While you might get instant gratification by slipping into a slouched position, you’ll pay the price later when neck and shoulder soreness impede the simplest of activities. 

A massage gun can beat the soreness out of you — literally. If you’re looking for a massage gun for a student or teacher headed back to school this fall, study up on some of the best by reading our guide to the best massage guns (and our Theragun review). 

Our pick is the Hyperice Hypervolt Plus, but be sure to check out the and the brand-new Theragun Mini also.

HUANUO Under Desk Footrest


This one’s more for the teachers than the students, but anyone who experiences fluid accumulation in their lower legs (aka, the dreaded cankles) can benefit from a foot hammock. 

This tool creates a resting place for your feet, which can relieve pressure and keep fluid from building up in your calves and ankles. 

You’re receiving price alerts for HUANUO Under Desk Footrest

CrazyCap self cleaning water bottle


Navigating the germy hallways of schools this fall kind of seems like a self-sentence for the flu. Luckily, you have power over at least one surface: the inside of your water bottle. 

If you know someone who constantly fills up at hallway water fountains, consider gifting them a UV-powered self-cleaning water bottle, which can zap germs from the interior of the cap and bottle. Of course, it’s still upon the receiver to keep the mouth spout clean, but at least they’ll have peace of mind about the fluid they’re guzzling.

Larq is the trendiest self-cleaning water bottle out there, but in our testing, we settled on CrazyCap as the best self-cleaning bottle. There’s also the Mahaton bottle on Kickstarter.

You’re receiving price alerts for Self-cleaning water bottle: CrazyCap

6 Pack Bag

6 Pack Bags

I remember when I was in school and would go straight from class to sports practice to work. It was always a 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. day with no stops at home and, looking back, one thing could have made it all so much easier: a high-quality, compartmented, durable bag that could fit the various meals and gear I needed throughout the day. 

Whether you’re gifting a busy student or a teacher who loves to hit the gym before or after work, you can’t really go wrong with a nice bag. 6 Pack Bags makes top-notch duffels and backpacks that can meet the needs and style preferences of almost anyone. 

We also love the for anyone who wants extreme durability.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.