July 9, 2014
Many people are turning to standing desks to avoid the negative impacts of sitting all day (click here for research on sitting and here for one convert’s story). However, switching to a standing desk requires, well, a standing desk. For many of you, a standing desk isn’t a feasible option for your work space, so what can you do when you’re bound to a chair?
Pedal, of course! The problem with sitting is not the fact that you’re in a chair but the muscular inactivity that results, especially the very large leg muscles that go dormant when you sit. Thus, the folks at 3D Innovations have created an exercise bike that fits snugly under your desk: The DeskCycle. They sent one our way to give it a try, and I have to say, I was impressed.
Right out of the box, I was pleased with the heft of this small piece of equipment. I get the sense that it was designed with durability in mind. It has a digital display that can either live on the DeskCycle or sit on your desk. I placed it on my desk, since it was much more satisfying to see the calories tick away right in front of me. The display shows distance, time, and calories, with the caveat that the calories listed won’t really be accurate (calculating energy expenditure requires several variables of input). To get a better estimate of calories, they provide an app on their website, which estimates your normal sitting calories (about 1 per minute), and the additional calories burned by using the bike.
With 10 resistance settings, you could actually get a legitimate, sweaty workout with the DeskCycle. When you’re at the office, though, this is actually not the objective. You simply want to keep your muscles active to counteract the negative effects of being sedentary. For me, the sweet spot was right at level 4. I could pedal slowly and constantly without feeling distracted from my work at hand. My speed sometimes varied; while concentrating intently at my computer, my feet would almost come to a stop, but when I skimmed emails I pedaled faster. The key is to discover for yourself what type of work you can best do while moving, and capitalize on those projects to integrate standing, walking, or pedaling into your workday.
Priced at $159 on Amazon, the DeskCycle is one of the most affordable ways to make your office healthier. Thanks, DeskCycle, for bringing a great new product to the healthy office space!
And for those who love numbers, here’s an example of a day that I pedaled for one hour:
Reading from the display:
Distance (miles): 9.8
Calculations from DeskCycle’s website:
Power: 17.5 Watts
Calories sitting: 64.4
Additional calories burned using the bike: 134.1
Total calories burned: 198.5
It’s important to note that 134 extra calories in an hour is a significant improvement from sedentary sitting. If this were done daily during the 240 work days in a year, it would burn an additional 32,160 calories.
– Jake Koenig, cofounder and CEO of FitYourSpace