Good news for all the people who want to optimize their hours and days behind the desk.

December 3rd, 2018

Using a Smart under-the-desk bike is a low-effort way of getting some beneficial exercise that burns calories while we're sitting at our desks.

In a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, a group of office workers were provided with an under the desk bike for a period of 16 weeks.

Researchers noted significant improvements amongst participants given the cycles:

  • Weight, total fat mass, body fat percentage and waist circumference
  • Resting heart rate
  • Work performance outcomes including improved concentration and less days off sick

Best news of all for those wanting to lose weight, the under-desk cyclists burned an extra 107 calories each day, which adds up to more than 500 calories a week.

That's a pound extra lost in 7 weeks, which may not sound like much but is pretty good when you consider that you haven't had to give up a single chocolate or pint.

Of course you could pedal for longer than the average 50 minutes a day the study participants did if you wanted to bump up the weight loss.

Study Details

Recruits were healthy, but physically inactive, overweight or obese adults working full-time in office jobs that had them sitting for 75% or more of the working day.

The recruits were randomly split into 2 groups:

  • A health protection–only group (HPO) who received an ergonomic workstation optimization intervention and three e-mails a week promoting rest breaks and posture variation
  • An integrated health protection/health promotion group (HP/HP) who received the same as the HPO group, plus a pedal exerciser to keep under their desks

Outcomes were measured after 16 weeks.


Study Findings

Study participants who had the under the desk bikes, used them…

  • On 70% of working days and pedalled an average of 50.2 minutes a day
  • An average of 4 minutes 24 seconds in each session of usage
  • An average of 18.6 times a day
  • At an average speed of 59.3 rpm

… and achieved these outcomes:

  • Beneficial changes in weight, total fat mass, body fat percentage, and resting heart rate, increasing with the average minutes pedalled each day
  • Beneficial changes were also observed in body fat percentage and resting heart rate, increasing with the number of separate pedal exerciser sessions each day
  • A significant connection was observed between average pedalling speed and decrease in waist circumference.
  • Significant associations were observed between the average minutes the cycle was used each day and improvements in work performance, including: self-reported concentration at work and days missed because of physical or mental health problems over the past 4 weeks

This can work for you too. That partly depends on what your goals are, if it is weight loss you're looking for then spending more time pedalling will increase your calorie burn, decrease your body fat, and help you lose more weight.

For heart health the total number of minutes spent pedalling, and the number of separate sessions, are important.

For the overall benefits of weight loss, fat loss, improved physical and mental health and performance at work the message is: do this and do it often.

Starting to use the Smart under-the-desk bike is easy and it just needs some persistence to accomplish the goals.

You need to set your goals, and the Ergonomyx App will help you achieve those goals.