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Pedal At Your Desk For a Healthier Work Day

Pedal At Your Desk For a Healthier Work Day

We are all well aware of the many health risks of a sedentary lifestyle, but when you have an office job, sitting all day can quickly become a hazard of the job. Getting caught up in work it makes it difficult to remember to take breaks for a stretch or little walk every half hour, but a new study tested a unique way to stay active and healthy at your desk.

Medical Daily reports about a study from the University of Iowa that tested a pedaling device called the activeLifeTrainer that is placed under the desks of office workers. Office workers could take part in the low-intensity pedaling exercise at any point of their work day.

Researchers found that during their 16 week study, employees pedaled an average of about 50 minutes per day. The participants who pedaled the most made much bigger strides in their health as well - they lost the most weight, were less likely to call in sick, and had better focus during the work day.

The pedaling machines not only proved beneficial to health, but they also became pretty popular among office workers. At the end of the study about 70% of employees wanted to keep their machines for future use. Lead author of the study Lucas Carr urges employers who are interested in keeping their employees healthy to consider providing machines like these. Carr explains, “A lot of companies have gone the route of building expensive fitness facilities, that typically get used only by the most healthy employees. The people who need to improve their health the most are less likely to use worksite fitness facilities. This is something that could be provided to just about any employee, regardless of the size of their company or office.”

What do you think of the new study that suggests pedaling at your desk can improve your health?

Do you think more employers should consider providing employees with equipment to stay active at their desks?

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  • Jennyfr By Jennyfr
    08.13.15  

    I think this is a wonderful idea as long as it doesn't interrupt others or the person using it. If it is quiet and person at the desk isn't distracted I would have loved this when I had a desk job for over 12 years! I think using one of these in your home while on your computer would also be a great idea! I may look more into this to add to my other bikes for in the house and outdoors!

  • kirstenpang By kirstenpang
    08.13.15  

    This seems like a good idea, but I have some concerns about the sustainability of the positive effects. Firstly, while 16 weeks is a decent amount of time to get bored with something, I feel like people would use the machine increasingly less once the novelty begins wearing off and they no longer feel obligated to use it because they agreed to be part of a study. Secondly, the article claims that participants "had better focus during the work day," but I'd like to see a more in-depth study on exactly what that means, because that statement in itself is pretty vague. Did they get more work done in a shorter period of time? Were they more alert when speaking with others, in meetings, etc.? I think all of these things need to be taken into consideration.

  • ajsterz By ajsterz
    08.14.15  

    I think this is a great idea! As a social worker, I spend a lot of time at my desk. I bought a fitbit to track my steps, and quickly realized that it was difficult to hit 10k steps every day since I spent a lot of time at my desk. I ride a bike at home, and need to get in a better habit of it. I have also seen the exercise ball seat things, and want to learn more about using those in the workplace. A draw back of this pedal machine could be the employee's footwear - anything with a heel might be difficult? Good article!

  • crisss By crisss
    08.14.15  

    I think it's a great idea. When I used to work at my job, I was sitting for most of the day. The only thing is usually sitting in an office you need to be wearing a suit or business clothes. So unless you can wear sneakers all day, I don't see people changing their shoes all day to ride on it.

  • tinamyers By tinamyers
    09.11.15  

    This is a good idea to keep active and low stress levels for both employees and employers. Also keeps everyone healthy and positive in their outlook on life. Also we would start to reduce over weightness in everyone. Living longer and being happier proves to be a benefit to everyone. Yes, more employers should consider providing employees with equipment to stay active at their desks. Even if it is just a small amount of exercise in the long run it will pay off for everyone. :)

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