Cycle while you work with the Active Desk

Prototype computer desk/static trainer looking for funding

Could this be the ultimate device for the time-pressed cyclist – a computer desk doubling as a static trainer?

Professor Jim Martin, a specialist in exercise science at the University of Utah who’s previously worked on cycling aerodynamics, has turned his attention to a desk-cum-recumbent trainer designed to combat the inactivity of office workers sitting at their computer all day.

The prototype Active Desk is said to help users burn between 300 and 800 calories a day through gentle pedalling. Martin’s idea aims to tackle growing numbers of overweight adults by introducing low intensity exercise into the daily grind. The UK Department of Health's latest figures estimate that 62 percent of the population are overweight or obese.

The Active Desk is designed so that pedalling doesn’t interfere with typing or using the phone. The desk is currently in the prototype phase, and the university is attempting to crowdsource the funding to get it into full production. Early models are are already available for US$2,000. 

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The University of Leuven, Belgium, published a study last month that found simple, repetitive tasks such as running and cycling didn’t interfere with learning a language course. It means combining desk-based office work while pedalling shouldn't be counterproductive.

And for the more competitive users out there it would probably spice up the spreadsheet chores with a note of the weekend club run. Or just aid recovery while they look up rivals on training sites.

For more information on the Active Desk see www.rockethub.com.

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