As unusual as it may sound, a bike desk is precisely what the name implies: a stationary bike with an attached desktop. While the desk is of a suitable size for various purposes, such as eating or putting together a model kit, most people use one to hold their laptop or other work necessities. In doing so, they can combat long periods of stationary sitting by exercising as they work. If you are trying to manage your calories to maintain weight a bike desk can help burn those extra calories throughout the workday.
While this is an excellent resource for remote working, proactive employees have earned approval to use these productive exercise machines in offices or other on-site workplaces, multitasking to benefit their health while providing an activity that can help maintain focus and help them constructively pass long hours.
For those unable to acquire permission for such a substantial device in a work room or without a lot of extra space, there are smaller options that consist mainly of a set of pedals able to be placed beneath an existing desk or table. However, these accessories are technically floor pedals, not official bike desks.
The Function of a Bike Desk
A bike desk is a relatively simple phenomenon. Most workers place their laptop computers and working materials on the desk’s surface while sitting on the bike. While they work, they now have the option to activate the pedals for continuous or sporadic exercise as they choose.
The pedaling itself is the same as any stationary bike. However, devices with only pedals may require a slightly different pedaling motion to correspond with the variances in the body’s position when seated in a chair instead of an upright bike seat.
Many models only offer a single resistance level; others grant a variety, which allows you to customize your workout to suit your needs, adding resistance as your body strengthens. You are unlikely to find the same bells and whistles you could enjoy with a standard stationary bike, but you can sometimes find a few features, such as basic monitors and Bluetooth support, to improve your experience.
Nonetheless, the bike desk fills a specific need – exercising while completing work. If you think about it, doing so not only allows you to burn calories and improve your fitness but you are technically getting paid to work out!
The Benefits of Using a Bike Desk
Aside from multitasking, a bike desk is a proven way to squeeze in exercise time throughout the day, sometimes for substantial amounts of time. Any exercise is beneficial, especially if you spend most of your day in a sedentary state, a posture often linked to many adverse health conditions such as increased blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you are sitting in one place, you are not burning nearly as many calories as when performing an active job, so it is far easier to gain weight.
Stationary bikes are excellent fitness tools that build lower body and leg strength while burning calories. Having the ability to use it while working opens up a world of time for fitness which you may not be able to find any other way. Plus, you can choose to use it as much or as little as you want. As you grow stronger and build endurance, you can continue for more extended periods.
Eventually, you may become so used to the motion that when engrossed in your work, you may not even be aware that you are performing a quality workout!
Here are some more benefits of using a bike desk:
Improves Your Mood
While you may feel the burn when just starting, there’s a reason why so many people get hooked on working out in gyms and at home: it makes you feel great! Exercise releases endorphins in your brain, improving your mood and mental state.
Using your bike desk can give you the emotional boost you need to get through a grueling workday while making it easier to get along with your coworkers.
Sharpens Your Focus
In addition to endorphins, exercise triggers hormones such as cortisol, which can soothe your mind and eliminate stress. That in itself is excellent, but a happy side effect is that it can allow you greater concentration and focus, which is undoubtedly a plus when trying to complete work tasks.
Builds and Burns Energy
Exercise is well-known for instilling additional energy into the body, which is why it can help with some symptoms of depression. Of course, energy at work is a bonus as you can have greater motivation to accomplish more work. The bike desk is convenient for this purpose but can be an exceptional tool for those who can’t sit still.
Whether due to ADHD or just general restlessness, some people have a tough time remaining in one place for long periods. For this reason, Fidget spinners became a phenomenon, as children, in particular, found it helpful to expend pent-up energy, allowing them to participate in extended sedentary classroom activities.
The bike desk works similarly for many people; as they sit, they can tool their legs on the pedals to alleviate their need to shift and move when locked into a workstation or cubicle.
Establishes a Fitness Routine
For many people, the most challenging part of fitness is getting started. It is so easy to procrastinate, mainly because it takes time for the body to adjust to a new exercise routine. Plus, so many distractions at home can get in the way, and while many people have the greatest intentions, they never seem to get around to realizing their fitness dreams.
In a work environment, you’re pretty much stuck there whether you want to be or not. This mindset encourages many workers who see multitasking as a way to increase the value of their workday and enjoy fitness without taking away any of their personal time.
Pressure is low because they can cycle as often or as little as they want. Hence, as they get more involved in the process, they begin to experience the positive benefits of exercise, including the additional energy and mood stimuli. As the body becomes used to the activity, it becomes easier to transition to home fitness.
The body is now healthier, and the major hurdle of initial activity is over. With positive vibes encouraging one to take the next step, many users pursue additional training to increase muscle mass, lose extra weight, or a combination of the two, depending on preference.