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16/02/2011 // INFO Leave a comment

Pedal while you work



Long hours in front of a computer would send anyone podgy sorry potty but what if you could combine some form of pedalling exercise while you work at your desk.

Well researchers at East Carolina University in the US have been investigating whether mini exercise pedal machines, which can be used while sitting at a desk, have health benefits when used in a work environment.

Pedal machines

The University study asked 18 volunteers, most of them female and overweight, to try the mini exercise pedal machines at their desks for four weeks.

Computers wired to the mini exercise bikes monitored their activity and was able to give out data on pedal speed, distance covered and how many calories each individual volunteer burned.


The researchers noted from the results of the study that the intensity of the exercise remained the same over the four weeks among the volunteers and the pedal machines had been a useful tool in the fight against obesity.

They did however note that the novelty factor of having the mini exercise machines did wear off so additional motivation might be needed for individuals to continue using them.

An overwhelming success

At the end of the four weeks, the volunteers overwhelmingly said they’d use a machine if their employees made them available. They also said the exercise machines didn’t affect their productivity or work quality.

“Evidence demonstrating the drastic health consequences of sitting idle for two to three hours at a time is growing considerably,” said Lucas Carr, an assistant professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at East Carolina University. “The idea for this device is to simply pedal at your chosen intensity to mitigate these negative health consequences.”

Wacky cycling machines

Of course, these pedal machines are not really bicycles as such but use the same pedalling motion used when cycling, but it got us thinking of other examples of how to bring some pedalling action into the workplace while you beaver away at the computer (all of which are commercially viable of course).

The Herman Cycling Computer Desk

Hook a bike onto an indoor trainer. Next you rig an ironing board onto your handlebars, ensuring proper balance. Once the ironing board is more or less secure, place laptop on top of the ironing board and work/cycle away (Desktop not advised).


A combination of recumbent exercise bike and computer desk. This is available as a kit (think Ikea).

Pedal exerciser

Put this wheel-less, stationary exerciser under your desk and pedal to your heart’s content. Available from all good teleshopping channels on Sky (probably).

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