We’ve burned through the idea of humble sitting desks, are over standard standing desks, and have already progressed to next concept in healthy office living: The hybrid sit-stand-bike desk. Guys, this is either the greatest fitness innovation of all time, or the world’s most unnecessary gimmick. I’m going with the former.
Right now the jury seems to be out on whether standing desks live up to their claims of improved productivity – some studies say they do, however experts have picked out some serious flaws in the data. However, what we all seem to be able to agree on is this: Standing burns 30 percent more calories than sitting, which can have a positive influence on overall health.
So, once you get over the ridiculous mental image of men in suits cycling at work, the bike desk invention actually seems like a pretty great idea. While you’re probably not going to simultaneously engage in a rigorous hill sprint and respond to emails, light cycling can increase caloric expenditure even more than just standing alone. NextDesk claims that even a moderate effort will torch about 600 calories per hour, while light cycling will burn 350 – 400 calories per hour, which is about three times the number of calories per hour for standing.
There are several brands offering the device, allowing users to change the height of the desk between sitting and standing, and then move in the portable cycling station to replace your chair at certain intervals throughout the day. The version shown below is the NextDesk Velo bicycle desk ($799), one of the more high-end products on the market. It includes a USB data port to track and save your pedal revolutions, distance, calories, and duration data for easy upload to your account when you’re finished with your workout. There’s also a free app that you can use to continue tracking your results from your smartphone.
As someone who works from home most of the time, I can definitely see myself using something like this – although my boyfriend basically laughed me out of the room when I suggested squeezing one into our one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. If space is also at a premium at your home/office, there’s a similar, but much smaller product you may like to try: DeskCycle, a $159 bike peddler that sits discreetly underneath your regular desk (see below). Sure, you’re going to get a few weird looks from your colleagues when you wheel this into the office, but for 600 calories per hour, it’s probably worth it.